This past weekend, I did a lot of swing dancing. And it was awesome.
On Friday, I went to the weekly swing dance at Boston Swing Central, as per usual. The live band was Phil McGowan & the Easy Winners, and they did not disappoint. They played a great variety of tunes that got everybody up and dancing, which was great. They were also joined for a couple of songs by the lovely vocalist Jan Marie, which was of course a treat for everyone. 🙂 This is them playing last year:
Much to my delight, there were also a lot of new faces at the dance. I think there was a Groupon for Boston Swing Central last week, hence the higher than usual number of newcomers. I always enjoy dancing with new people; after all, a lot of the fun of social dancing is getting to meet new people! It’s really cool seeing people being brought into the joyful fold of swing dancing. During the dance, a trio of newcomers (though I don’t think they were new to swing dancing)
gave me one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received. They told me that I was the best lead any of them had ever dance with. I was flattered, to put it mildly. I still have much room for improvement, and certainly know plenty of leads who are better dancers than I who were present at the swing dance. But I guess it just goes to show you, if you get a good grasp of the basics, that’s half the battle!
So suffice it to say, I had a great time at the dance. But I wasn’t done swing dancing for the weekend. Not by a long shot.
The next day, I went to my first ever swing convention: The Boston Tea Party. It was held in the Marriot in Newton, MA. I did the one-day pass for Saturday. It was a bit expensive, but it ended up being worth every penny.
Most of the day was taken up by various workshops you could attend either on lindy hop or west coast swing. And that’s what I was counting on. I’ve been swing dancing for almost a year now. I’ve been meaning to learn how to lindy hop for a long time, but just never got around to it. Until now. (If you don’t know what lindy hop is, check out the amazing dancers in the video below):
The day started at 10 a.m. I of course headed straight for the beginner lindy hop room. I was a bit nervous that they wouldn’t cover the basics, since the convention had technically started on Thursday evening. Fortunately for me, the did indeed cover the basics. Each workshop lasted an hour, and we learned a ton of stuff, from how to do the Charleston to how to “swing out” in lindy hop. In total, it was four hours of workshops. It was tiring, but it was worth it; I finally know how to lindy hop! That being said, I of course am no expert, but I figure: one step at a time. 😛
So to my fellow swing dancers: swing dance conventions are awesome. Go to them. I know I plan to. I definitely want to do the full weekend for The Boston Tea Party next year. 😀
There were actually some people who were trying swing dancing for the very first time at the convention. And they seemed to be having an absolute blast. So if you are interested in seeing what swing dancing is all about, and you’re willing to spend a few bucks, a swing dance convention could be a great way to do it!
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!