Laconian Society of Washington, DC Area
66th Annual Dance
If you didn’t get a chance to make it to the Laconian Dance on the Friday night after Thanksgiving, you missed a great party. We admittedly were skeptical about the change in venue, moving from the McLean Hilton to Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt. We’re not sure if it was a better Laconian as a result, but it certainly was different.
The differences between Martin’s Crosswinds and the McLean Hilton made for subtle changes in this year’s Laconian. Martin’s Crosswinds ballroom is a lot classier than the ballroom at the McLean Hilton. Everything from the massive chandeliers to the larger marble dance floor to the expanded seating made the ballroom the place to be at this year’s Laconian. In years past at the McLean Hilton, a lot of the action took place in the atrium area just outside the main ballroom. It provided a buffer between the young adults and the older crowd and the younger kids who mostly stayed in the ballroom area. The set up at Martin’s Crosswinds allowed for a large enough ballroom with a smaller lobby, so that everyone pretty much stayed in the main ballroom area. As a result, you could definitely feel the family atmosphere coming through. It was interesting, but many people actually were spent more time with their families this year, either at their tables, or on the dance floor, but mostly on the dance floor. Another difference at this Laconian was the presence of at least some food , in the form of a light buffet in the back of the ballroom and at the theater-style concession stands, which featured more than just your basic rail drinks.
The balance between Virginia and Maryland Greeks didn’t pan out like many people predicted with the move of the event over to Maryland. It seemed like there were more Virginians there than Marylanders despite the 45 minute or more commute that many Virginians had to face. This was especially noticeable among the under-25 set, where it seemed like there were far more Virginians than Marylanders. Many of the Maryland Greeks who were at the Greek Night in DC the night before didn’t make it to an event in their own backyard.
There was also an absence of many of the people who were at the last big semi-formal, the YAL DC Weekend in October. The Thanksgiving holiday certainly cut down on the out-of-town crowd, but also sent many of the GW students, who have been ever present at many of the events this fall, home for the extended weekend. It is during the holidays when you see the transient nature of the young adult Greek population in Washington, DC, as many folks who are new to the area return home to be with Greeks elsewhere. But even some of the Laconian old-timers who you see there every year weren’t there.
Speaking of absences, we couldn’t help but notice Pappas’ message in The Kafenio last week hinting at a surprise cameo at the Laconian Dance. A few people were on the lookout for him, but there were no reported sightings.
Despite all the changes and all the absences, one thing about this year’s Laconian didn’t change: the music. Zephyros, arguably the DC area’s premier Greek band, put on a great show as usual. It never ceases to amaze us how they can somehow transfer the latest Greek club hits, which are often devoid of real instruments, into a live format, and make them even more danceable than the original version. We’ve noticed a trend over the last couple of Laconians, that they’ve stopped playing any American music at them whatsoever. The dancing to the American music at the Laconian always provided some good comic relief. Watching yiayiades dance the Electric Slide, or in more recent years, the Macarena, was a sight to be seen.
All in all, the Laconian was a great time. There was good music, good dancing, a good mix of people, no roughhousing…all the makings of a great party. (Early reports out of Baltimore confirm four fights breaking out at their Laconian Dance, which is held the night before Thanksgiving. We’ve never been to the Baltimore Laconian, but we’re aware of its reputation for being a lot more exciting than its DC counterpart.) If you missed this year’s Laconian, no worries, there’s always next year.