But I won’t leave my friends behind ;).
So, over the last few months, my group of pals and I have been going to a great swing dance venue in San Diego, Dance For 2. On Friday nights, they offer swing dancing for a few hours, then turn it over to blues music for the rest of the night. For a little on top of admission-price, one can take a beginner lesson for either dance style, or both, and I have taken the swing class each time we’ve gone. The first couple of classes I wasn’t a huge fan of the instruction, but I was slowly improving each time. My goal was to be comfortable enough with the basic steps that I could make it through a whole song when joining up in the dance hall.
Last night, I got there :).
The last time we went, for the first time I began to finally feel comfortable enough with the steps that I didn’t have to think about them so much. One of my friend-partners commented during an early lesson that she could see me figuring out what steps to do next, just by looking at the obvious concentration displayed across my face. The funny thing is, last night I saw the same thing on one of MY lesson-partner’s faces, so I get what she was saying now. It’s tough being the lead as a beginner, because not only does one bear the responsibility of leading one’s partner, but one also has to remember what the heck the darn steps are in the process ;). Of course, I can imagine how tricky it can be to simply follow, too, especially if one’s partner isn’t fully competent.
After a few weeks’ break, I took the lesson again last night, just for the refresh, and I was very happy to find that I got right back to where I was the last time. I wasn’t thinking about what steps came next, it had all placed itself well enough into my muscle memory that I could just go with it and lead. Please don’t imagine that I’m some swing-pro, or anything… I’m just doing the very basic steps, but by golly I’m finally comfortable enough with it that I’m having fun!
The best part, though, was that I felt at ease enough with my skill-level to finally ask a stranger to dance. Most everyone in the dance community whom I’ve met is pretty cool — if I approached some babe who really knew what she was doing and told her I was a beginner as I asked her to dance, she’d likely still be game. What I really wanted, though, was to be able to approach the women who were NOT being asked to dance. Each time we’ve gone, I’ve seen a few gals who end up just sitting by themselves, unasked for a dance, either the entire time or most of it. Maybe they’re not the hottest, prettiest, thinnest, whatever-est, but it kinda breaks my heart to see them not out there having a good time… because that’s why we’re all there. So, last night I was feeling good enough about my skills that after I left the lesson and chatted with my friends for a moment, I spotted one of the gals from the lesson sitting off by herself and approached her. It seemed like she’d come there alone, so I asked her to dance, and by golly… we danced. I made a mistake or two, and she had some hiccups, but it felt really natural and it was fun to be out there just comfortably enjoying myself. Plus, not that I’m Brad Pitt times Super-Dancer, but I was happy to have been able to let a gal have a nice time out on the floor who otherwise might not have.
So, in other words… I can’t wait to go back! 🙂