New in Town… goes dancing

Saturday, 26th September 2015

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Dance Workshop Photo
Dance Workshop Photo

I went to a beginners Jive dance lesson at the Dance Workshop. Outside of ceilidhs at weddings this was my first dance class since school. Back then, I remember lessons were either traditional (read embarrassing, or awkward), or modern (read teenage boys jumping over one another). I can’t say I enjoyed them much but, like grapefruit (not a fan), you should return to things to see if your tastes change.

As it happens I’ve developed a love of dancing since school, moving with a careless abandon alongside your friends is fantastic, but stepping into a lesson is a different matter…

I went with my partner Katie and friends Lizzy and Tash. The teacher, Sylvia was friendly, patient and encouraging.

To start, we learn a rock-step and move to the side. Later there are turns, spins, and kicks. It’s great, but I struggle with it. I see what Sylvia does and don’t quite manage to translate it to my own body. I can compare it to speaking a foreign language, there’s something at the core, I lack the literacy, but I enjoy engaging with the words, I like the steps but I need someone to remind me, I require Katie to say one-two. If not I’d just be standing there saying bonjour and stepping right when I shouldn’t.

I like that it was difficult though, I’d happily work really hard to get good enough to be able use the dance on a night out. Of course I’d love to be a natural, to pick this up quicker, but then I’d also love to jump 10 feet in the air from a standing start, at least jive has some linear learning potential. As Sylvia explained everyone gets it at different speeds. The class is fun and it’s great to learn something with my girlfriend, who is patient and full of humour as we adapt the traditional leader-follower partnership for the 21st century version.

By the end of the class, which flies by, we’ve all had fun, and I feel vaguely competent. Slower than the rest and a bit bashful because I’ve not been able to whisk Katie around as I’d have liked but I’ll happily step those steps again for my own good but also for Katie, maybe more so for Katie. I’ll be back, one, two.

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