last i was taken along to a ballroom dancing class. quite willingly really, i was interested to see what it was all about including the technique, culture, rhythms and any simularities or differences to swing dancing.
we went to a relatively small studio (that seems to operate every nite of the week) and i did a beginners class. it was held in a hall along side two other classes and loud music blarring from the stereo. i spose i cant really complain considering that it was free but i honestly couldnt hear a thing that was going on. but quite a generally enjoyable experience. everyone in the class seemed to be picking it up ok and having a pretty good time. there was no nice introductions to the other students i noticed but those who were keen to make friends made themselves known.
i have to confess that it has been quite some time since i attended a dance class let alone one where i was a beginner in a whole new style. i found it relatively confusing actually. and remembered what it felt like to be tripping over my own feet again.
we stayed for what is called "the circle" where all the dances learnt in the previous class are done in a rotating circle that includes all other students at the school. it's a nice way of bridging the gaps between beginners and everyone else and building communities. i made some nice friends during this phase (and also discovered which ones didn't like participating in such activities).
next was social dancing which went for approximately 2 hours. social dancing entails of much of the same stuff that swing does except (yes the girls can ask the boys too) each dance is dictated by the music played - no making it up as you go along. and despite being a follow- heavy nite (typical) i got quite a few dances. some nice friendly leads showed me many new dances that i hadnt learnt before and some that i had. it was interesting what i discovered about the way i was learning. i really needed to know about the counts: 'how many beats is this step? 6count?' i also found myself much less comfortable with remembering rhythms and realised my reliance upon pure following. it wasnt untill the end of the nite that i found my groove though. and i was able to feeel the dance through my partner.
i suspect i'll go back again this week. my only reluctancies were to do with:
-the focus on certain styling that i might find waaay too over the top for my tastes. like wrist gestures, high chests and chins, pointed toes etc etc. (would i go so far as to suggest that it is "too feminine for me"?)
-while there are something like 8 styles and 38 dances to learn i fear that while i have very little interest in learning any styling that is suggested, i would find it eventually abit boring (?) ..for lack of a better word.