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See how Alaska’s extremes disrespect social life

#Alaska Fairbanksans line dancing

Life in the dark, colder than in a freezer

At temperature below -20F (-28.9oC), nobody leaves the warmth and coziness of a heated room when they don’t have too. Even shopping gets postponed as long as possible. In the frigid cold, long winter with its long dark night, Alaskans fear nothing more than SDD (seasonal depression disorder) and cabin fever. The former leads to high suicide rates, the latter to the most weird things. Nobody can imagine that they really happened unless they have spent at least one winter in Interior Alaska.

Baby it's cold outside, when it's dark outside. #Alaskan #quote Click To Tweet
#Fashionover50 Alaskan woman at a social dance at the Pioneer Park Dance Hall
JJ House mother of the bride dress worn as a dance dress at the Lathrop High School Ballroom Dance team Valentine dance party and performance. I wore nude fishnet tight and Very Fine Dance Shoes sandals

Cabin Fever and SDD are big fears

Given the extremes of cold, darkness and loneliness of the place – its the Last Frontier after all – people look forward to social every event that gives them a reason/motivation to bundle up and get out of the apartment, house, or cabin. Such social events are, for instance, the start of the Iditarod in Fairbanks or Anchorage, a fancy ball at 40 below, a Governor’s inaugural ball, the World Championship in Ice Carving, or even fashion shows!

When you don't get a trip to Hawaii for Christmas, your risk for cabin fever or SDD increases. #Alaska #lifestyle Click To Tweet
#Alaska #Lifestyle Lathrop High School Dance Team performing a salsa
Lathrop High School Dance Team performing a salsa at their annual event.

Social events are rare, …

but the odds better than everywhere. In large communities like you know them in Europe, on the West and East Coast, down south at the Gulf of Mexico coast, in the Denver area, or in the Great Lakes area, you wouldn’t think anything about several events taking place at the same time. There, it’s often so, that you wouldn’t get any tickets at all when you wouldn’t make a reservation three month in advance. But you would think that in a community of 33000 or so with maybe 100000 in a 6 hours drive radius, such social events would be coordinated, right?

At least, you can get tickets when you want to. #Alaska #lifestyle Click To Tweet
#AdavancedStyle woman in a dress twirling at a social dance
Me twirling in my mother of the bride dress c/o JJ House with own Very Fine Dance Shoes sandals and fishnet tight. Before this photo I never knew how far I can turn my foot to the side.

It’s all or nothing at the Last Frontier

Nope! Just two examples of this year. There was the annual 40 Below Ball at the same time when another great dance event took place. These two events were on the same day at the same time, when the celebration of life of the Chatanika Nightingale Theresa Burger-Bauer took place at the Chatanika Lodge out on the Steese Highway. She had entertained so many dance events in the community with her lovely voice and excellent music, ever since she started performing.

#danceshow Lathrop High School Dance Team performing a foxtrot at an event
Lathrop High School Dance Team performing a foxtrot for the entertainment of the guests at their Valentine dance party at the Dance Hall in Pioneer Park.

Another example of this year was the start of the Yukon Quest in Fairbanks. On the same day, there were two other big events that competed for the audience/participation of young people between 14 and 20 years in age. One of them was the annual Valentine’s Day Dance with performances of the Lathrop High School Ballroom Dance Team. The other was a youth science show/event.

It's all or nothing at the Last Frontier. #Alaska #Lifestyle Click To Tweet

Sourdoughs are tough

The joke is: Fairbanksans always complain about the phenomenon of that there is either nothing social going on on a weekend, or there are several things at the same time that they would love to attend. Their explanation is “It’s Alaska. Its charm are its extremes.”

#shoelove legs, fishnets and shoes
Zoom-in on my legs. Fishnet tight, Very Fine Dance Shoes sandals (all own), and mother of the bride dress c/o JJ House
You can't have everything at the same time. Click To Tweet

How is social life in your hometown? Is it easy to get tickets to the events you want to go to?

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Photos: G. Kramm

© 2013-2018 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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