I was super nervous for this evening. James and I went swing dancing in Chicago on a previous trip, and it was not a good experience for me. I danced very little and the Chicagoans that I danced with were definitely not Lindy Hoppers.
Atomic Ballroom was completely different! We started the evening by taking two classes- Advanced Lindy Hop, and Advanced Charleston. I was a little nervous considering we walking into the Lindy Hop class after it had already started, but I felt confident after quickly being able to pick up the new step they were teaching (a fancy foot work variation). I felt encouraged by both the male and female instructors. I was however struggling with the rock-step at the beginning of the swing outs (but after a gentle reminder from the lady leader I grew more aware of it.)
After the foot work portion of the class we worked on a four count hammer-lock to close with alligator grip with a rock-step throwout with an inside turn with a half swing out finish (that could be ended with the fancy foot work). I sometimes get very self conscious dancing with people I don’t know, let alone really great instructors I don’t know, but when I rotated in to the instructor he made me feel confident by saying the connection felt great, but also telling me that I needed to change where my weight was ending up. I felt good about the class, and had rotated around some great leads that I would later dance with in the evening.
The Advanced Charleston class was just pure fun. The instructors were high energy and silly (without joking around too much). We learned two variations that deal with timing and syncopation. I felt like I was getting an intense cardio work-out for the 45 minutes we were in the class.
The dance afterwords was making me nervous, because like I said before, we did not have the most positive dance experience of our lives at the last out of town dance we attended. My nerves were quickly squashed as the first three dances of the night I was accompanied by some of the leads that I met in the two classes I took beforehand. Californian swing dancing is different than what I am used to, but I kept up and the first three dances were really high energy. I also danced with a guy that was living in Irvine, but grew up in Northwest Omaha, so that was interesting.
I had some great dancing with James as well. I have found that lately I begin to go on auto-pilot and forget that there are actual moves involved in my dancing, and this makes moves fail… often. Now that I realize this, I can focus more and things fail much less often.
We left the dance at ten-ish, and I didn’t feel like I was missing out by leaving early (it was midnight our time). I felt like I had danced the night away, and solidified the new moves I had learned.
Yesterday, we practiced what we learned in the airport as we waited for my Dad to pick us up. It wasn’t as much dancing as I would like for this endeavor, but with being in airports all day, we were tired. Tonight we are going to be teaching a rockabilly lesson, then doing some rockabilly dancing at Gator ‘O Malley’s. Hopefully we will review what we learned yet again, so we don’t forget and it becomes natural.
what’s next?- phrasing and dancing….