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3 December 2007

in october, i went out with j(wh)–dinner, hot cocoa at my favorite local cafe, and lots of conversation. by the end of the night, i knew i’d like to go out with him again so his day-after follow-up email (which has become dating protocol in our e-world, i think) inviting me out again was a good thing. except it was an invitation to go swing dancing.

now, i haven’t danced at all in probably 5 years. maybe more. and swing? i’d dabbled in it 15 years ago or so, but my version of swing was complete slop. and j(wh)–he actually knows how to dance. so the idea of going dancing with him was intimidating at best and scary at worst. i turned my ‘no’ into a joke and suggested alternatives.

so we’ve done some of the alternatives, but the dancing invite stayed open. until i finally decided to bite the bullet and put myself squarely outside my comfort zone. so last friday night i went dancing. an hour-and-a-half of basic swing classes first. then 4 hours of social dancing. and the only knowledge i had going in was a couple of 5-minute parking lot tutorials with j(wh) a couple of weeks ago.

the classes helped. a lot. it also helped that j(wh) knows what he’s doing and danced with me periodically. it’s amazing what i could learn when dancing with someone who knows the dance and is a good lead (as opposed to the guys with spaghetti arms–impossible to follow). it also helped that everyone was incredibly nice and put up with my beginner’s ineptitude. everyone including one of my current students who showed up. i have to say, it’s a bit odd to dance with a current student…

honestly i didn’t know what to expect. i decided i’d go and try something new. and i decided i would just relax and enjoy myself. so i expected to have fun. but i didn’t know what to expect beyond a fun evening.

what i found was exuberance. part of that comes from the music, which bursts with vibrant energy. part of it comes from the style of dance, which responds to the music’s energy. but i think most of it came from the people. i danced a lot of the night (which surprised me, quite honestly; i’ve never been to a dance where i was asked to dance so much). but i sat out quite a few songs, too. which i enjoyed. because it let me watch people dancing. and it was so very evident how much they loved what they were doing. it looked and felt like a simple celebration of being alive. and i loved being part of it. i think i’m officially hooked…

{edited to eliminate inadvertent rudeness…}

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 3 December 2007 8:14 pm

    Yeah! I’m so glad you finally went. That is something I would love to do someday…who knows when though. I guess when I make time. R teases me and says he doesn’t want to dance but I know that her would if I really wanted to! He just has to put up the front! I want to be a part of something with so much energy and so many people too!

  2. 4 December 2007 12:35 am

    Yeah! Sounds fun! Mark tricked me….when we dated HE DANCED! WHEN WE MARRIED HE QUIT DANCING! I’m glad you had fun!

  3. 4 December 2007 9:58 am

    Sounds like a lot of fun – I think I’d enjoy doing something like that with a big group of friends… I like the new template for your blog!

  4. 4 December 2007 11:46 am

    I’m glad you came, glad you enjoyed yourself, glad you were able to tap into the energy of the dancing. It’s really infectious, isn’t it? That you found it so fun the first time around just shows you’ve got good taste. Did I ever mention that I didn’t dance at all the first time I showed up?! I was too intimidated!It cracks me up that you say I know how to “swing.” All kinds of rude associations with that phrasing.It’s been life-changing for me, and I’m excited that you might be hooked!Tasha: You don’t need a partner to go swing dancing. Most places rotate partners for lessons, and you dance with everyone during the dances. Maybe if you went on your own, a certain someone would start tagging along (sorry Mark).zeeny: Why not make “someday” happen sooner rather than later?lallie: You don’t need the big group of friends to lean on. Swing dancers are friendly, mutually supportive, and generally non-creepy.

  5. 4 December 2007 12:08 pm

    ah yes, j(wh). the rude connotations of swing. i forget about them. i’ll try to remember for the future…and no, you never mentioned you didn’t dance at all the first time. though i remember the story about a fib covering for your early escape…and i must have good taste–i’ve been told that a lot lately.jen, next time you and ryan are out i could take you with me. :) then you wouldn’t have to venture all alone. though if you find a place in your area, the two of you should go to that one. and take lallie with you. because while j(wh)’s right that you don’t need a group, it can be nice to have a little support…tasha, i was just remembering that a couple of weeks ago. K being a princess for halloween reminded me of the year i borrowed your dance festival costume to be a princess. didn’t mark dance with you for that?

  6. 4 December 2007 2:30 pm

    Sounds like a cool thing. A while ago I had a roommate who loved to go, and I went once or twice. Very fun.

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