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Friday, January 12, 2007

Dancey Goodness

I went to the first class of the 5 week series on Party Dances of the 50's and 70's last night. First, we took normal East Coast six-count swing, then we broke it. Changed the feet, made it bouncy, walk backs instead of rock steps, changed the hands to a left hand push. It hurt my brain, but the dance itself is just so much fun. Then we worked on Chalypso, which is a bouncy, hands-free, fifties version of the cha-cha. Oh lordy but it was fun. And you know the song "Love is Strange"? Apparently chalypso is what they danced to that song in a 1957 episode of American Bandstand. I love going to Richard's classes because beyond being the best social dance instructor I've ever met, he's also a dance historian, and spends a ton of time examining old footage to figure out what was really happening then. Then he manages to convey how much work he's done to get you here without bogging the class down with a tedious lecture. Instead, he just keeps you moving - bouncing! - along to some really fun music. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series.

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