Dusting off the Dance Shoes

It happened.  After about a year of saying I really wanted to start dancing again, I finally did it.  I’m talking the choreograph-ical, organized, social, group movement type of dancing here, not bouncing and popping and dropping on a sticky dance floor in some strobe lit room (though God knows I enjoy that from time to time as well).

My friend Grace stealing the spotlight at a previous dance evening. ©Guy Orr

Turns out there is an abundance of social dance groups in Grand Rapids!  I know a couple people in one group in particular, so I decided to check out Grand Rapids Original Swing Society as my first step in the Alissa-Re-Entry-To-The-Dance-World project.  These swingers(wait a sec…..??)  meet every Tuesday and the group has developed quite the casual following over the years.  (I say casual, because there was quite the range of attendees, from serious dancers to highschool kids looking for a place to hang out.)  In the Summer, they meet outside, smack dab in the middle of downtown GR at Rosa Parks circle.  This is how I originally found out about the group, actually.

It’s un-surprisingly hard to ignore a sudden flood of legging & weird shoe wearing young people all congregating at a concrete circle and swinging around to music.  (Full disclosure, most of the guys don’t wear leggings; talking about the girls here.  Leggings or bike shorts are basically the standard under-skirt gear. Now you know.)  I had stopped by the swing dances a couple times in the past but never long enough to learn much of anything and never with anyone who knew what they were doing, really.  Swing is much better when you have a good partner. Obviously.

So I was ready to dance but a tiny bit apprehensive.  The group was at a random indoor roller skating rink, there was a swing-dance-appropriate dress up theme, I needed to wear shoes I could dance in, and I really had no idea what I was doing.  Turns out that the rink was easy to find, a dress I bought in Hungary on my semester abroad did the trick nicely, the shoes I selected were fine for a couple hours, and my friends were fabulous about teaching me the basics and encouraging me to dance with a few random strangers as well.  🙂

Pretty sure I’ll be back.  There were lots of random people I didn’t get to dance with yet, and I have a lot more to learn…. Lindy anyone?

One thought on “Dusting off the Dance Shoes

  1. Oh, I’m so jealous! I haven’t been swing dancing in forever and I miss the GR people 😦 I’m pretty sure the Lindy is the most amazing thing I’ve ever learned to do with my clunky ‘ole two feet. Have a blast for me, will ya?

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