Allison Day


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For the month of February, 2011




It was the very beginning of the year 2005. I was a freshman at UC Irvine – a dance major. It was a miserably cold, rainy winter in Southern California. Ants had infested my dorm room, and the boy I had been dating for the last nine months had just broken up with me, a week into the winter quarter.

I was a mess.

As any teenager is apt to feel after a breakup, I was devastated. I didn’t have many friends at my new school – I’ve always been terribly shy around new people – and I felt awful about myself after I got dumped. Alone as I felt at the time, I started to do things that I might not have ever even considered before that winter… like try out for a ballroom dance team at the university.

I remember sitting in my dorm room, reading the Anteater Weekly – a weekly newsletter emailed to all the students, with information about club meetings and other events happening at UCI. Ordinarily, I would never consider going to any of the events listed – I was always too shy to join any clubs, or show up to anything but my normal classes on campus. But that week, right after my breakup, something caught my eye – there were going to be auditions for a ballroom team the upcoming Friday.

I had always wanted to do ballroom dancing, but in high school I had no time to do anything other than study and rehearse with my pre-professional ballet company. So, timid as I was, I decided I was going to go try out. I didn’t think I would get in – after all, I didn’t really have any ballroom experience, other than dancing with a Latin band the previous summer, and UCI’s dance program was very competitive. But I figured it was worth a try – I was certain I would love it if I did manage to get in.

So I went – and not only did I completely rock the audition, I actually ended up spending most of the ‘practice’ time at the audition trying to teach the routine to other students who had no dance experience at all.

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Son was in the first year of working on his Master’s degree in Information and Computer Science at UCI. He hated it there. At the time, he was considering transferring to USC for his second year. But in the meantime, he had decided to take the Social Dance class to fulfill his one non-major elective that he was allowed to take, since he enjoyed latin dancing.

He hadn’t intended to audition for the ballroom team. But the teacher saw that he was a good partner – something that can be hard to find – and convinced him to try out.

Son says he noticed me that very first day, that he couldn’t stop watching me at the audition – somehow, out of all the girls trying out, I was the one who caught his eye. I didn’t notice him… yet. I was too busy trying to help the other girls learn the very easy ballroom combination.

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Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! It’s the Year of the Rabbit (or Year of the Cat, if you’re celebrating the Vietnamese calendar). How are you guys celebrating?

We celebrated with lots… and lots… and lots of food. Oh man. I must say, having a Vietnamese boyfriend is awesome. ~_^



Plus, we’re back! And in the spirit of the new lunar year, we’re giving away that adorable Lunar Calendar dish towel in the first photo.

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