Hi. I’m Sean. This is my first experience blogging. So, a little bit about myself. I’m 24, and I live in the Boston area. I recently graduated with my MBA with a Marketing concentration from Bentley University. I did my undergrad at the Hartt School of Music, obtaining a degree in Jazz Performance on Trumpet. I knew I loved playing music, but then I discovered a new passion of mine. Namely, partner dancing. To be more specific, swing and blues dancing.
I first got into partner dancing when I saw a flyer for free ballroom dance classes in the student union during my first year at grad school. It was something I’d always wanted to learn, so I decided to check it out. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Every week, we learned a new kind of dance, including swing, salsa, meringue, tango, bachata, and more. But most of the other people there were Freshmen who were required to take the dance classes as part of a psychology course. I was the only one there purely for fun. So sometimes, the partners were less than enthusiastic about doing the actual dancing, which made it a little less fun.
Then, in March of 2012, I went to the Blues Union in Somerville with my best friend, who’d been going for 6 months or so. I’d never officially done “blues dancing”, but I figured I’d give it a shot. When I got there, there was a live band playing, and dozens of people, all dancing, and seeming to have a great time! At first, I was a little intimidated, but that quickly faded away. I realized that blues dancing is a fusion of many dance styles with an easy step pattern; it has a lot in common with swing dancing, and I was able to throw in turns and moves I’d learn in latin dances! And the culture there was fantastic. Everyone danced with everyone, and everybody was genuinely happy to dance. You could even have a real conversation with your dance partner; what a concept!
A few months later, I checked out the swing dance scene at Boston Swing Central. And as with blues dancing, it was so much fun! Everyone danced with everyone, and the culture was nothing but friendly. It was also fun seeing some of the people I’d met through blues dancing on the dance floor showing their stuff in swing dancing.
Ever since that night when I first experienced blues dancing, I’ve been blues or swing dancing multiple nights a week. It’s a blast. I’ve always enjoyed dancing, but clubs seemed kind’ve…boring, in a way. The goal isn’t truly to dance (at least in my opinion), but to get drunk and/or to go home with somebody. But blues and swing dancing is so much fun, and it’s also a fantastic way to meet some great people. Everyone’s truly there to dance. I’ve even gotten a few of my friends to come along, and they all said they had a ton of fun! And now I’m definitely an avid fan of blues and swing dancing.
Unfortunately, this kind of dancing, and partner dancing in general, has fallen out style in America since the 1950s or so. And this is due to the advent of a new kind of music. I refer, of course, to rock and roll, but more specifically, it was music of the Beatles that made partner dancing a thing of the past. And while I love the Beatles, it’s a shame in my eyes that partner dancing faded the way it has. Dancing has since changed into what is now largely seen in bars and clubs, i.e. grinding. And unfortunately, actually learning how to dance has largely become a thing of the past among our generation.
I want to try and change that, if only a little. I think a number of people in our generation find partner dancing somewhat intimidating. But it certainly doesn’t have to be. The culture of partner dancing (at least in my experience) is very open and welcoming. So in this blog, I’ll be talking about some of my experiences with partner dancing, as well as how you can easily learn how to do some partner dancing, and start having fun!