I have had Thing 1 in draft since April 17th, so apparently I’ve been doing this a lot longer than I remember… This week is my 5-month jive-iversary, so I think I can safely say that Thing 1 is truly in progress.
I have wanted to learn to jive for a number of years, ever since I went to a family get-together and saw how effortless and fun it looked. I am categorically not a dancer – as my friends will testify – although sometimes I will prance about in the kitchen like a prat, it’s not what anyone would call stylish. I have never taken a dance class before (forays into burlesque do not count, as they mostly involved striding about in heels, which isn’t really dancing), so I was a little nervous about doing this. But, you know. You only get one first chance to stamp on the feet of many strangers, so why the hell not?
I gym in Kingston, for my sins, and at the start of this year was thoroughly sick of it – so I was pretty happy to discover an advertisement for Everything’s Jumpin’, who are running classes in the very area. By some stroke of luck they run on a day I would have to be in town anyway to gym, so what a marvellous excuse.
It’s now been 4 months, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I totally love it.
Lead & Follow
Before I started I was pretty sure I’d be no use at following a lead, or doing anything a man – let alone a stranger – asked me to do. It is, in fact, very, very easy. With a little verbal instruction, I’ve learned cues for various spins, turns and kicks, and can (almost) execute them correctly. Sometimes to my partner’s surprise. There are, of course, still moments where I stand uselessly on the floor, having been released at an angle I’m not used to and having 0 clue where to go next. There is also one guy in particular who I’m pretty sure makes it his mission to throw in something ad hoc and totally peculiar just to see my face. Only once so far have a made something of it, and I’m still learning the golden rule of ‘blag it’. But when there are cues, and I know how to follow them, it’s pretty fun – and feels quite smooth – so I’m now just glad I don’t have to make up the dance moves myself and there are some rules involved for safety!
There’s a lot of spinning involved in swing jive, and although I was forewarned that I might feel sick or dizzy, so far I’ve mostly got away with it.
Most of the time I wear these:
Half the men there have amazing dancing shoes, so I got carried away and bought these:
So far they just hurt, so I’ll be working on that!
There’s a lot I could say on this topic, to be honest, and some of it might come up elsewhere – but for now: pretty much everyone I’ve met at the classes has been lovely. There are a few amazing dancers who go, and even then when I mess things up they laugh along with me. I feel really comfortable, and happy, and to be honest – a lot more confident.
More later. Let’s just get this post out!
And finally – a video of the class – I’m in it somewhere but I won’t tell you where.