Over the weekend of June 22-23, 2019, the Carolina Branch celebrated its 10th anniversary by hosting a National Workshop in Durham, NC. It was a rousing success. Seventy-five participants attended; some traveling from as far away as Valdosta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Ithaca, New York; and fourteen from the Tennessee Branch!
The weekend actually started on Friday night, June 21st with a Welcome Potluck and registration. But the work began in earnest on Saturday at 10am and continued until lunch on Sunday at 2:30 pm. The instructor for the weekend was Allen Pearce, member of the USA Board of Directors & USA Instructional Committee. Allen focused on the tor-yu, emphasizing rising, dropping the elbow, relaxing rather than “muscling”, with softness in the arms throughout the instruction. We then learned to put this variation of the tor-yu into multiple sequences of the set, including the first four moves, brush-knees to chop-with-fist, and the horizontal single-whip/parting-wild-horses sequence. Then at the end, on Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed a very slow and deliberate set, incorporating all that we learned.
Participants ate well throughout the workshop with delicious food catered by three of Durham’s well-known restaurants. We especially enjoyed a traditional North Carolina barbecue complete with hush puppies and collard greens, and cake to celebrate our birthday!
We will be unpacking the many concepts that were packed into the weekend for months to come, and look forward to more workshops in the next ten years.