Monday, June 9, 2008

Dancing Transition

So, Atomic Ballroom was sold by Jerry & Katie Jordan to Nikki & Shesha Marvin. As a dancing patron, I welcome the changes. As a team member, I'm concerned.

Social dancing is improved, I think, by some simple additions and subtractions. The old, broken-down couches are gone, replaced with a couple high bar tables and stools. More people can sit at the entrance area and fewer human traffic jams occur at the dance-floor to lobby transition area. All the rafter-fans have been replaced and powered by wall-switches instead of remote controls, making things cooler on the dance floor. They're no longer asking people to clear the ballroom and file back in, which was never that big a deal for me, but was for others.

As a team member, there are a few core issues that concern me. Ditching introductory routines for the "seed" team is a big one. They aren't performance routines, but serve to give people a great foundation of socially leadable moves, and get from beginner to high beginner or low intermediate level. Shesha responded that he'd like to bring in new routines to serve the same function. Fair enough.

I'm concerned about the phrase/attitude, "You've been doing this the wrong way. Here's the right way." Just saying, "Do it this way now," is sufficient. Shesha explained that there are some philosophical differences he might have with Jerry's teaching which he's very passionate about, but seemed to agree that the confrontational attitude wasn't productive.

Finally, I'm worried about culture. I've had very little success in getting to know people on the "inside" of the OC Swing dance club. That might mean team members, but extends to just the social core. I've had conversations with Warren, and exchanged pleasantries with others, but that's about it. I don't expect us to be one big happy family all at once, but we should be making an effort to get to know each other in some way. Somehow.

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