Thursday, November 08, 2012

to be a rock and not to roll

i'm really enjoying my dance class. we're onto our last dance of the semester, swing. i feel like i've learned "swing" at least three official times and i still don't know which is which. and the jitterbug that we learned in country dance last fall doesn't seem that different, either. the downside is that, if a girl asks me if i know how to "east-coast swing" i likely won't know which one that is. the upside is that a lot of the moves are pretty similar, so once i get the appropriate rhythm down, i'm good to go.

one of the biggest things i've learned about dancing the importance of your dance frame. as a guy, it's my job to lead. i need to choose the steps and moves to do but then also communicate that to the lucky girl as well. that requires a little bit of tension between the two of us. my hand on her back can give some indication, but a lot of it comes from where we hold hands.

if she's so stiff and unwilling to move, obviously that's a problem. it's just as much of a problem if the opposite is true; if there's no resistance in her arm and she passively lets me move our hands wherever, the whole thing is mushy and there's no way to communicate. no tension, no play, no fun.

but when there's a little bit of tension in her arm and also her posture, so that my pushing or pulling to the left or the right shows where we're doing, she doesn't just follow but keeps up with me. if you can find a partner like that, dancing is a dang lot of fun.

and i think i found a couple of girls who will be good partners for the swing test.

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