Friday, July 16th, 2010

Sean was just game enough to go with us to our weekly group salsa class at Social Life last night. I’m not sure how much he was looking forward to it, but once we got him there and started cutting a rug he picked up quite a few good dance moves in just forty-five minutes! We started with a review of the basic salsa step, added a left underarm turn and a chase with a spin, and pretty soon he was dancing as well as we were.

Then he hung out for another forty-five minutes while My Darling B and I stepped through our private lesson, bless his heart. We’re trying to get as much private instruction in swing dance as we possibly can before the hangar dance at the end of this month. Christopher put us through a crash course in three new steps: a left underarm turn, a belly wrap and a step to switch handholds that I don’t remember the name of. Then he strung them together at the end of an ordinary underarm turn and had dared us to dance through the whole sequence while he played one song after another, each with a beat that was faster than the one before until we were twirling so fast we looked like a pair of boogeyriffic Tasmanian Devils.

The secret to swing dance is not so much knowing the steps as it is possessing the sheer stamina to jump around like a maniac for as long as the band keeps playing. We can learn almost any steps Christopher throws at us, although I admit I suffered a bit of a brain cramp last night when it came to coordinating hands and feet. I’m not sure what was going on but I finally sorted it out with five minutes or so to go before the end of the lesson. Stringing them together is a little more challenging as I’m not terribly creative when it comes to planning my next move. I often have to think about it a bit while I chug along doing the basic step, so I’m glad when our instructor strings a bunch of steps together that I won’t have to think about.

At this point, five minutes of swing dancing seems to be about all we can build up steam for. I have the feeling that, once the song’s over, we’ll have to retire to the sidelines to catch a breather and maybe drink a gallon of water. Also, the hangar dance being at the end of July, I’m wondering how hot it’s going to be. It’s just possible that literally building up steam might be more of a problem than I thought.

But we’re going, no matter what. The studio will have two more group swing classes on Monday nights, and we’ll get two more nights of private instruction to learn what we can before we make a spectacle of ourselves in public.

Thursday Night Group Dance | 5:18 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, dance, entertainment, hobby, My Darling B, O'Folks, play, Seanster
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