Friday, March 16, 2007

Transitions Part 2

6:15pm Club Swing at the Atomic Ballroom

I make an effort to go to AB's Club Swing class. When I get there, no one else has signed up for it, and they say that last week they folded it into AB Salsa. Jerry states that they'll run the class for me if I'm specifically looking for it, though. I ask instructor Jenny to remind me of her name. She does.

Trish asks me if I'm interested in joining the dance team (they have multiple skill levels, and I'd enter at their Absolute Beginner level). I hadn't really thought about taking this path, and am a little floored by the offer. She tells me a new team cycle is starting this Saturday, 10:45am. They had the tryouts last week, but have been dancing with me enough to have evaluated me. Time commitment? A month of Saturday mornings, 10:45 am. That doesn't sound too bad... Hmmm...

Trish and Alie (sp?)[1] Eli (pronounced ay-lee)[2] give me a 30 min lesson, and second student Patty shows up as a late addition. They explain that the concept of club swing is that swing can be done to modern music as well as more classic swing music. I immediately think of the video SL pointed me to of dancing to Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." Since the distinction is really only about dancing to a specific type of music, we move on to working on actual moves. I try to express my desire to have a solid repertoire of social dance moves. Trish tells me that she's quite happy in a social dance with a solid lead, who works mainly on East Coast Swing, with standard turns and perhaps some well-led variations. But essentially, nothing that requires too much thought. Interesting perspective.

We first work on switches (again, not sure about that terminology), coming out of a swing out, leading into a stylized set of swivels done by the follow while the lead anchors. Had been introduced to the idea by Chris on Tuesday, but it's all a blur in my head. Work with Alie [3] Eli on the timing of the lead (7 a 8!), try to understand the main job of the lead is to anchor the follow, but work on tap-stepping (on odds) and Susie-Q styling as well. Back with a partner, I'm losing the anchor, tapping on the wrong foot, and still don't get the Susie-Qs. But we work on it and I start to catch on.

We back up a step and work on the lead into the styling from the swing out. In this variation, my 6-7 is very much like the oppositional rock-step, so I'm facing to the side on the 7, which really emphasizes or helps the follow go into a swivel on 8. Trish tells me I'm focusing so much on my footwork at this point that my frame suffers. We go through it a few more times. I'm not holding my ground and we're slowly edging forward. Jenny steps in briefly as a follow and points out that my catch is past the shoulder blade into the middle of the back, so I need to adjust that too. Trish asks Jenny to demo her switch stylings, which she does with Alie to close the class. I don't even know how to describe what she does. Amazing.

Trish talks to me again about AB dance team. A definite benefit is that I can buy the month-long lesson pass for half the $200 that I'm spending right now. Again the new cycle is starting, which means I'd be learning a choreographed dance and presumably performing it at their various dances, so that's a commitment too. I'll make a decision tomorrow and let them know about it before the lessons start on Friday. "You'll love it, and Jerry really likes you."

As I run out, Jerry asks whether I'm staying for Club Hustle; I explain about the last OC Swing class of the series, feeling a bit sheepish, like telling a soccer coach I sometimes play in another league. He tells me it's a good thing to dance more, and I feel better about that as I leave.

[1] [2] [3] Edits made on 3/17/2007 0300 PDT

No comments:

Post a Comment