I’ve found that the hardest part of getting into any kind of partner dancing is going that first time. After all, seeing all the people twirling around, doing all these complex-looking steps…it can be quite intimidating!
But don’t let that stop you from trying it. It doesn’t have to be intimidating at all. No matter what your level, even if you’ve never danced before, there is nothing to be apprehensive about. Almost any venue that has blues or swing dancing will offer a beginner crash course before the real dancing starts. And these crash courses are definitely enough to get you out enjoying yourself on the dance floor.
In fact, just a few weeks ago, some of my friends, who had never done any kind of real partner dancing before, accompanied me to the Blues Union in Somerville. They were a little nervous about dancing this way for the first time with no experience, but I assured them that it would be fine, and that they’d have a blast.
We got there just in time for the half hour beginners crash course, which we all took. (Even though I’ve been dancing for a number of months now, you can always still learn more about the basics!) There were around a dozen people doing the crash course, as is the case every week.
And after that quick half hour, it was time for the free dance! One of the great things about the culture surrounding blues dancing is that everyone dances with everyone. After each song, everyone finds a new partner and dances with them. I explained this to my friends beforehand, but I still don’t think they were totally prepared for how welcoming it was, and how happy people were to dance with them, being that they were beginners.
I of course danced with my friends a few times, as well as many other people throughout the night. We all had a great time. But the greatest affirmation of the evening came later, only a few nights ago. I was over at my friend’s house: one of the girls who had come blues dancing for the first time a few weeks ago. As we were hanging out with some of her friends, she ended up telling them how much fun she’d had blues dancing, and that they should check it out! She and I even ended up doing a small demonstration for her friends, which was fun. 🙂 She then told me that as soon as her schedule opens up, she plans to come blues dancing again, which of course made me very happy to hear.
So if you’re on the fence about maybe trying some partner dancing for the first time, go for it! People will welcome you with open arms (literally). And if you don’t want to go alone, bring some friends! Trying a fun new form of dancing can make for a great night out. For those in the Boston area, I would of course recommend the Blues Union’s Thursday lesson and open dance. I’ll be there!
If you have any thoughts, questions, or experiences of your own you’d like to share, feel free to post a comment! I’d love to hear what you have to say!