Swing, baby, swing…

Tonight was my first swing lesson at the Century Ballroom on Capitol Hill. That meant I had to bail out of a very fascinating conversation with a couple team mates and battle traffic into Seattle at 18:30 today. I must say it was completely worth it.

This idea first came to me when, a bunch of my friends took a few couple's swing class at Bellevue Community College. Of course, since I'm one shy of being a couple I wasn't really invited. Now both Tara and Denise (the better halves of two of the couples) were still happy to show me all the swing moves they learned in class. However, the end result of their informal lessons was that I really wanted to go take classes myself. Thus tonight was the first of five classes for "East Coast Swing 1".

As expected, the class covered the basics. First, the instructors taught the triple-step basic (triple-step-triple-step-back-step). Next, we did the follow's outside turn and the follow's inside turn (I'm mostly making up these names since I don't remember exactly what they were called from class). Finally, we mixed it all up together. So, tonight was mostly all review for me.

However, every Wednesday night it's open floor swing night from 21:00 to 24:00. So, I stuck around for the "quick lesson" thinking I might as well cram as much learning in as possible. That's where I learned a cool looking new move where the lead does a turn (which I knew already) but instead of catching the follow with his left hand (as I learned it) he catches the follow's hand with his right hand. Then with a quick tug the lead brings the follow back and turns her around with a spin. It's very snazzy looking and works well at high speed. As I found out later, the move doesn't work out nearly as well on slow songs.

I ended up staying for a couple hours beyond class just swinging with various other people that showed up for the open floor dancing. I've also decided that I'm going to have to work my way to the lindy-hop (sometimes called West Coast Swing or 8-count swing) since all of the really good people were doing that and it looks a lot more intricate than the 6-step swing I'm learning now.

Anyway, it was a good time and I'm already looking forward to next week's lesson. If you're ever in the Seattle area and are looking for a great dance location, check out the Century Ballroom.

Okay, time for bed. I promise my next post will contain far more technical content.


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