Why Swing Dancing?

Some folks have asked why I’ve taken up swing dancing.

It’s an interesting question. In part, I wanted to do a social activity. A friend who introduced me to it said it was “wholesome.” At first, I thought it kind of odd, funny even, considering that dancers constantly switch partners, but it really is wholesome.

I wanted something that was active. Writing is very sedentary. Dancing non-stop for an hour will get the blood pumping and the breath coming quickly.

At each dance, the hosts give a basic half-hour lesson and teach a special move. Some moves are more comfortable than others. For instance, one special move involved the man and woman holding each other’s hands facing each other. Then the man took her left hand and placed it on her right. Afterward, he was supposed to duck and come up within her arms and go into a closed position.

Here’s the issue I have with this move. Many of the women are short, so they have short arms. Moreover, many can be quite busty. Therefore, there’s not a lot of room for error to pop up within the woman’s arms. I would do this move with my wife (though she wasn’t at this particular dance) or total strangers (maybe) but certainly not with my friends. Seriously, are you kidding me?

As fun as these dances were, I could see that I couldn’t do a fraction of the moves. When I do something, I want to do it to the best of my ability. It’s been that way in my career writing software and writing stories. It’s been that way golfing, which is why I take lessons. And, it’s that way with swing dancing.

Another big reason I swing dance is that it’s a challenge. (What’s life without meeting new challenges?)

Kel and I took a set of eight lessons from the host of the dances. They perform the same lesson twice a week: on Thursday and again on the following Monday. We learned the basic move, turns, circles, the Charleston, the Kicking Charleston, and the Back Charleston. Beginning with the turns and circles I started attending the Monday class, too. Between classes, I practiced by myself and with Kel. Even on vacation, we’re practicing and dancing to music.

It’s coming together. We still make mistakes and laugh, but we’re having fun. We’re going to be ready for a real dance, and we’re gonna have fun!

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