Friday, March 19, 2010

Swing

I transitioned to swing dance a few years after to moving to DC. The swing dance music is in the early jazz/big band style, which I enjoy a lot. I’d say I don’t love it quite as much as Latin music, but if I’m dancing, I’m not overly focused on the music. (Aside: It’s not like the dancing I did as a teenager to pop music. I really, really, REALLY cared about that music. A lot of it didn’t have rhythm suitable for dancing, which was a problem.) For the partner dancing I do now, the music can be so-so and I don’t care as much.

I find the footwork for swing to be harder than salsa, though the leads to the turns are the same , so it always came (fairly) easily to me. I tend to take large steps which can make things harder and I sometimes get tangled up in my feet when I lindy-hop (which is an eight-count dance and moves at a very fast pace). That’s why I’m taking (yet another) beginning lindy class. The swing dance (six count) portion of the class is easy-peasy. The challenge will be when we get to lindy.

Something that’s much different about the swing dance scene is that people rarely dance two dances in a row with the same person. You dance one dance. Move on to someone else. Maybe you go back to dance again with someone, but not necessarily. And it doesn’t mean anything. I know people meet and date from the swing scene. I have. No serious boyfriends, but at least two guys with whom I had several dates. On the salsa side, I had my regular partners, but never dated anyone I met that way—except this one (white) guy who was there with friends and who never went dancing with me again. But he was my boyfriend for three whole months!

I’ve been sporadic on my dancing for the last year or two. I didn’t dance at all while I was in France—I didn’t even think about it really, though I do recall searching a little for salsa dances. Oh—I did go to one salsa dance on the banks of the Seine with some friends from my French class. Right. Where I met a dude named Ibrahim who texted me several times even after I told him (in French) that I had a boyfriend. Oh well!

Next: why I dance.

Grateful for: new partners.

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