Let's say that you're new to this whole partner-dance thing.  Or maybe you've done some tango/lindyhop/westcoast/whatever, but never blues, for example.  It sounds interesting, and you love blues music, but what is blues dancing really like?

A good place to start, of course, is to check out our Blues Dance page (or whatever dance your first workshop is in).  If you watch the videos, it won't take you long to realize that there are a lot of different movements that all get the name blues.  There's turny-travelly stuff, there's hip-shaking, earth-quaking stuff, and there's everything in between.  Sometimes it's silly, sometimes it's sexy, sometimes it's fierce, and sometimes it's just sweet.  There are, however, certain things that bind all these dancers and moves together, and this blog is to give you an idea of what you might be able to expect from a basic workshop.

1. We'll start simple: walking.  Now, you probably think you're pretty good at this (and you're probably right).  But every dance has is own style of moving around the floor, so we're going to talk about a few ways to do that, and make it look and feel like a specific kind of dancing.

2. We'll explain some of the history, and show you what different styles look and sound like.  That way, you can sort out what you see in the many good (and not-so-good) videos on the internet.

3. We'll go over basic lead-follow skills.  Just like walking, each dance has its own way of partnering, and also more ubiquitous techniques.  We'll help you figure out what's going on in the partnership.

4. You'll dance with lots of people.  We believe in the social part of social dancing, so you'll get to rotate and dance with many, many people.  This does a few things:
   A. It makes you  a better dancer.  Your partner might know you psychically, but other people won't.  Let's just say this keeps you honest.
   B. It helps you meet new people.  How many people from your yoga/zumba/tai chi people do you know by name?  Probably less than you'd like, right?  This is face-to-face time with other awesome people.
   C. It lets people come and participate who don't have regular dance partners.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have someone they can drag- I mean invite- along to their activities, and we love being inclusive.

5. You will make mistakes, and it will be ok.  Try an experiment right now: find a friend, and ask them to stand in front of you, then step on your foot.  You'll notice that really, it's not a big deal.  Now, a stiletto heel on a bare toe, that's no good.  But front-of-foot on front-of-foot- just say oops, laugh, and move on!  Everyone at a crash course is a novice, and everyone's there to get better, and have a good time.

6. You'll learn a couple of fancy moves, to impress your friends (and yourself!).

7. We will be expecting you to make those mistakes, struggle with rhythm, feel self-conscious, and then, eventually... get better.  I personally have been teaching dance for nearly a decade, and have never had a student who didn't improve a bunch.  Honest-to-goodness, I wouldn't lie to you.  You'll get better, and probably have a pretty darned good time along the way.  Of course, you have to have a little patience with yourself.

It's basically just a really good time- everyone's in the same beginner boat, everyone's got an open mind, and your instructors will be experienced, fun-loving, patient professionals who are there to help you fall in love with dance.  


07/15/2011 02:49



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