Want To Dance?

Dancing rocks! It’s a fantastic social activity: an inexpensive way to meet cool new people and listen to great music. You can work off those chicken wings you had for lunch - up to 400 calories an hour. Recalling steps and patterns is great mental exercise. It elevates moods by raising endorphin levels, healing depression and stress. A good sustained session even makes it socially acceptable to sweat in public.

What’s that you say? You don't dance? That’s probably for the best. After all, some people were just born good dancers and other people, well they should probably just sit on the periphery and watch. Anyway, you need to practice and learn all those complicated moves and join some sort of club or something.

Is that true? Heck no! But if you’ve thought something similar before then you’re not alone. Dancing is Intimidating, as most of us learned at high school formals and from those intense ballroom competitions on 3a.m. cable television. Given our cultural cues, one could argue that it's right up there with dating when it comes to the contest of Looking Good, convoluted and arbitrary etiquette, and rejection potential.

Dancing is actually none of that. Dancing is simply moving rhythmically to music, often following a set sequence of steps. If we can ditch our preconceived notions about dancing, we can be free to enjoy it. Fun and confidence ensues.

If you have ever said, "I wish I could do that" while looking at the dance floor, we are here for you. We’ve been cutting the rug for long enough to know that it’s a crazy good time. What makes it better for us is having new companions to groove with. We are honored and delighted to show you what we know. Heck, you may even teach us something. So come out and play with us for some no-pressure jumpin’ and jivin’.

Still not convinced? Check out:

We believe that anybody can enjoy a good whirl but we know that many people have reservations about stepping on to the dance floor. We’re pretty sure we’ve heard just about all the reasons why "I don’t dance" and, at the end of the day, we think they’re mostly bullcrap. If we’ve missed a particularly good excuse, please let us know.

"I don’t know how to dance." Or "I need to take some lessons and then I’ll try it in public."
Everybody has to start somewhere! What better initiation than hanging out with a bunch of other novices and enthusiasts to have some fun, feel supported, get your feet wet and see if this dancing thing is for you? Afterwards, you may love it so much you’ll go ahead and pursue lessons. If nothing else, you’ll have gained some skills and confidence so you can hit the floor the next time the urge to boogie strikes.

"I’m not very coordinated." Or "I’ll step on you/get stepped on/fall down."
Getting our toes stepped on is a risk we’re willing to take and given a chance, we think you’d agree. These things happen, but never as much as you may fear. Even experienced dancers occasionally misstep, but a great night on the dance floor more than makes up for a bruised toe.

"I’ll make a fool of myself." Or "They’re all going to laugh at me."
How do we say this politely? Not to burst your bubble, but most people are far more preoccupied with their own experience then with what you’re doing on the dance floor. "How’s my hair look? Is that hottie over there watching this? How do I do that cool double turn thing again?" Besides, getting out there always makes more of an impression than sitting on your bum. A little bravery and exuberance more than makes up for a lack of experience.

"I’m a bad dancer." Or "I have two left feet." Or "I have the ‘Bad Dancer’ gene."
Partnered dancing is not something that you are born knowing. Everybody is "bad" when they start. If you’ve never tried it, or haven’t tried since that traumatic prom experience, you’re not bad: you are a beginner. Maybe you tried one kind of dancing and had a rough go of it. It could have been that the environment was intimidating or your partner was overly domineering or that you just need to try a different kind of dance. Try, try again. This time, do it in a relaxed place and bring a good attitude and we pretty sure you’ll have a whole different view by the end of the night.

"I have no rythym." Or "I am so White."
First of all, what’s up with the race thing?! Dancing is a phenomenon common across all cultures. Second, the basics of rythym can be learned. Sure, you may never play drums for The Who, but you’d be surprised what three minutes with an experienced dancer can teach you.

"The person I’d like to dance with is way better than me."
Instead of making it your problem, turn it into their compliment. Many experienced dancers will be completely flattered that you asked. You can say something like, "I don’t have much experience myself, but I really like your style out there. Would you mind showing me how it’s done?" Most likely, they’ll be delighted to break it down with you. The worst thing that can happen is they’ll say no. If this happens, brush off your ego and go ask someone else.

Getting Started
We've got a few recommendations if you're looking to bust into social dance.
 Swing

Look for a Tal Stein event. He consistently does an amazing job of having people get connected to the feel of swing dancing in remarkably little time. Swing Nite at the Atomic Cowboy or Swinging the Monday Club are great places to start. Come to think of it, Dance Impulse is an all around treasure trove for diving into swing dance opportunities.


 Salsa

Seek out Kelly Brown. His events always feature a great beginner lesson. We recommend Salsa Nite at the Atomic Cowboy on Sunday's. If you would prefer a more structured approach to getting your feet wet, an 8 week session of Salsa I lessons will serve you quite well. See Calve con chi for up to date info on Kelly's classes and events.


 Contra Dancing

The Childgrove Country Dancers is a great group of dedicated members who are uber welcoming. Contra Dance is called and follows a few simple patterns, and so has one a super-low barrier to entry. Go to one of their events, found at the Monday Club on most Sunday nights. Their beginner lesson from 7:30 to 8 will provide you everything you need to have a great rest of the night. See their schedule to plan your night out.