Monday, March 5, 2007

Order Part 1

Seeing swing done well for the first time is overwhelming and intimidating. I first saw this video before ever taking a lesson. The freedom of expression the dancers exhibit is amazing, but even then, I could sense there was some kind of underlying structure and repeating footwork that I didn't understand:

After taking some lessons and getting more solid familiarity in the footwork, the structure is a little more clear, as are the variations on the structure. That video has gone from intimidating to inspiring (though it still seems completely out of reach).

Atomic Ballroom's first Saturday of the month is a swing dance. This Saturday happened to be the three-year anniversary of it's opening, a real accomplishment. They've had my full support since about a week ago when I first heard about it. Seriously, though, it's a very nice facility, dominated by the main dance floor. There's no bar, which makes it very family-friendly; The focus is on social dancing. I saw they teach couples to do wedding dances. Smart, I never thought about that. The owners Katie and Jerry are very friendly, accessible, and thoughtful teachers. I think all the beginner classes I've taken were taught by one of the two.

On a Saturday with an 8:30pm swing dance, Atomic Ballroom teaches a 7:45pm swing lesson. Remember swing dance boot camp month? I'm not likely to let you forget, though I'm sure some of you are already tired of hearing about it (day 5). The sequence we were building up to was
6-count basic
8-count sendout
Lindy Circle
Ease to Closed (a 6-count transition from open to closed)

Several of the women in the class stayed for the dance, which helped me be comfortable enough to ask them to dance. Early on, the gal I was dancing with asked me to show her the Charleston basic, which we hadn't gone over in class. Some of her friends came, and she asked me to dance with one who she had showed the 6-count basic. I was happy to. If I don't have a problem dancing with less-skilled people, does that mean that more skilled dancers won't have a problem dancing with me? Danced mostly with two other students, Lisa and Susan, after that. Ducked out about 10:30pm to get to bed so as to get to Meeting in a timely manner. Though that didn't seem to work. On the way out, I asked Katie about the turnout for the various nights they host dances. Tuesdays are about 100 people, Fridays are over 200, and Saturdays are just over 100, but can jump when they have a special DJ or live band (all numbers are over the course of the evening, of course).

Good times!

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