I love country dancing, specifically Jitterbugging, a kind of swing dancing. It’s one of the things I looked forward to doing when ever I came home, especially for weddings. Since middle school, I’ve known the basics and am able to follow a guy in semi-complicated moves, as long as he actually knows what he is doing.
A group of us were out dancing earlier this year and my friend, Ben, asked if I would take dance lessons with him. Like me, he knows the basics fine, but he wanted to get better at leading and learn a few new tricks. He wanted to practice with someone he knows and is comfortable with. I can always get better at following and picking up on the cues a guy is giving, so I was all in. His friend, Joel, teaches the class at Mixers on Wednesday before the big night of country dancing begins and it’s free.
We’ve been going for several weeks and are getting much better. I follow Ben pretty well without much thought and am better at picking up on cues from other dance partners who are more subtle. The hardest part for me is to just stop anticipating what the guy is going to do and let him direct me. It’s so fun once you do. There is no set formula for what move comes next, just them deciding how they want to twist you around. As Joel said to Ben, “if you can decide what you want to do, just have her spin around for a bit until you do.” Just make sure she doesn’t get dizzy.
Ben has the pretzel figured out, though we need to keep practicing. From time to time we still have to stop and figure out where we went wrong. The first move these guys do is the pretzel, the second move, where they exchange hands behind her back is our favorite right now, we call it the chest bump:
As you can see the pretzel, can get a bit confusing. We’ve move onto a bit more complicated moves and dips, one that threatens my nose everytime, but I don’t think we will be moving on to drops or flips soon. They seems a bit scary to me. That’s a lot of trust that the boy can catch you as your head falls to the floor. Being not such a small person has made it easy for me to avoid being flipped around in the past, and I am perfectly okay with that.
After our lesson, we usually hang out and dance with all the people who come in for the evening. It’s such a blast. Too bad it’s on Wednesday nights, which means I have to head home to bed before it get too late.
But thank you, Ben, for getting me out dancing and hopefully making me better!