Did I really just go jive dancing? More importantly, did I just enjoy it? Did I take up plenty of space on the dance floor, spinning my partner about? Was I really energetic? Confident?
It’s such a stark contrast to my behavior right now. The Steven who will contently sit in front of a computer for hours watching anime or playing games seems completely different from the one who will walk up to a random lady and ask her for a dance, full of eagerness rather than nervousness.
Coworkers had convinced the other intern and I to join them for a twice-weekly jive dancing night held at the oddly named ballroom The Corn Exchange. Not really a ballroom, really, more like a large auditorium with a sound system and big fans that kept the temperature to a barely tolerable level once we started dancing. There were plenty of chairs, and a bar outside. The two regulars didn’t drink and dance, but considering I was more eager to dance the last two times I had alcohol, I figured that a little insurance would go a long way.
Placebo or not, I was enjoying myself. I didn’t shake or feel nervous. My partners’ levels of experience varied, but they all great fun to dance with. They all danced the same moves a bit differently, and I’m sure my style varied as well. I tend to extend my arm fully when moving my partner around, I felt like I was bouncing a lot, and I always seemed to maneuver us in a clockwise direction during freestyle dancing. But nothing was set in stone: you can do the moves however you want, as long as you and your partner are on the same page.
The biggest lesson? The man leads, and the woman simply follows. The man decides where the dance will go and signals his intentions to the woman, while the woman waits for cues and reads the body language of her partner. I was told this early on and it felt a bit unnatural and pushy, but it was necessary, and by the time the lesson was over and a coworker had taken me onto the dance floor I had no problem with it. It was expected and appreciated.
Only qualm? Prospects are slim when most of your partners are old enough to be your mother.
No pictures because I didn’t want my camera jostling around while dancing. Given the lighting and the speed at which we were moving though, I doubt it would have amounted to much if I did bring it along. To placate you, I bring you an honest to goodness Royale with Cheese.