Last night I finally got to go dancing with my friend, Lea. She has been wanting me to go with her for sometime now it just never worked out till last night.
When we arrived at Boston Swing Central (BSC) I found myself rather nervous and when we hopped into the lesson I realized I was exposed.
There was no corner to hide in and I felt a little silly as I moved in with the group, bouncing to the music to get into the rhythm, bobbing our heads like chickens, and moving our arms like swimmers.
Then came the pairing up part of the lesson.
To make eye contact or not to make eye contact. THAT is the question.
I met my first “lead” and we learned to partner dance, but I didn’t stay with him for long because we rotated every few minutes—its like speed-dating for dancers.
I let my ego inflate as many of my leads complimented me on my rhythm or how good of a follow I was.
However, as soon as I would thank them for the complement I would completely trip over my feet or lose the rhythm of the dance thus resulting in an awkward grin spread wide across my face and a “sorry!” uttered from my lips.
Finally, I was time for the open dance. As the music stared and couples began to pair up I finally understood how Harriett must have felt in Jane Austen's, Emma when no one asked her to dance.
I stood along the wall by the cubbies of everyone’s things and just beamed a smile as I watched the couples turn this way and that some pulling off moves that were not in the lesson!
I’m pretty sure there’s at least one dancing stereotype. “the awkward couple” you know the one—they dance nose to nose and you do your best not to look at them because it feels like an invasion of privacy. Yeah there was one of those (but thank goodness JUST one).
Suddenly, I saw someone appear in my Peripheral vision.
“would you like to dance?”
Finally, I got a chance to practice my moves! As we eased into the dance I quickly realized my partner was not a beginner like me. I was spun across the dance floor this way and that like a dizzying top. I now feel as though I can relate to the Looney Tunes’ “Tasmanian devil.”
The previously described scene was how most of the night went—dancing with leads who know much more than I did, so I just had to learn on the fly and attempt to keep up. (One lead asked me to dance and I’m pretty sure I was a ragdoll for the two minutes the dance lasted. I have no clue WHAT he was doing but it wasn’t the basic steps we learned!)
Then came my Elizabeth Bennett, Pride and Prejudice moment. (When she is dancing with Mr. Darcy and she is teaching him how small talk works.) Although, I didn’t have to teach anyone “small talk,” I did experience quite a lot of it.
When my leads were more considerate and only danced more basic steps, I found myself engaged in a conversation of the present dance, past dances, and future dances.
Dancing in this basic manner, my leads were able to teach me new components of East Coast swing dance, and I was able to apply them quickly, now that I was aware of what I was supposed to do and I wasn’t being flung around the room in circles.
Overall, it was the best night out I’ve had to date! I can’t wait till I can go again and learn even more! If you have a friend that goes swing dancing and has been asking you to go with them and you haven’t yet—a. you’re missing out and b. they’re the kind of friend you want!