An Attempt At Swing / Lindy Hop ( 05 Feb 2007 )


From one that watches fairys’ dance,
Life if but a great illusion,
A poetical trance perchance,
Mingled with utter confusion.

As far back as I can remember the only partner dance I have been a part of, is that of the slow dance. Of course I have participated in my fair share of dances, that is dancing to the likes of disco, pop music, techno and somehow even managing to bluff my way to cha cha. I’ve watched my parents glide to the waltz and Uncles and Aunties do the jive, and a variety of other dances. I grew up watching Broadway musicals and have been a fervent follower of dance movies. And though I have always told myself that one day I would take up dance classes, I never got round to it. Well apart from being on the relatively shy side, I occupied myself with mainly sports like rugby, badminton, squash, soccer and so on and so forth. So when the dancing diva herself invited me to attend a ‘taster’ class for Swing I reluctantly agreed. Mind you! Guys would kill to be in her company and I am not exaggerating………ok so I am a little. But I was overcome with fear, just the thought of venturing into unfamiliar territory was daunting. So timidly I made my way with her to the Arts Cafe at the Esplanade, constantly planning an escape en-route. So when the window of opportunity grew smaller with our approach, I decided that I would explain to her that all I really wanted to do was really just sit down and watch, so that I may build up the courage for the next ‘taster’ class. With her…..RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!I found myself on the dance floor awaiting instructions from a very amiable dance instructor who goes by the name Sinclair. I honestly cannot remember all the instructions given that day, but here is what I do remember…..(apart from my heart beating awfully fast) Sinclair started by putting everyone at ease ( or at least he thought I was too) by saying that so long as you can walk….you can Dance! The class was split down the middle, boys on one side and girls on the other. He then started showing us how to do the basic which was a count to the beat of Step…Step….Hold….Step..Step Hold. Next was to pair us guys up with ladies and this was on rotation so you did not stick to one partner very long. ( I know it sounds like speed dating but No! duh? ) The guys learned to hold the girls hand using their left in a very relaxed manner forming a kind of U shape, whilst their right hand was emphasized to be placed square at the back touching the bra buckle. ( I suddenly pictured myself in my youthful days mastering the art of unhooking them, till one day I struggled with one! Turns out, as she later showed me…that the clasp was in the front ha ha) Anyhow we then learned to move using the count, and as we progressed. We learned to incorporate some basic turns all to some amazingly lively jazz music. I must say I was getting a tad dizzy with all the turns because I probably was doing it right. Also it is amazing to see all your female partners laughing when you dance with them, I really hope they were laughing with me and not at me. But looking on the brighter side, we all had fun learning it together, just that some had more fun then others.

Kate the darling dancing diva that she is…would not leave me alone. That is long enough to recover from the exhilarating, heart racing and awkward moments I had just shortly experienced even though the class had ended. She insisted I practise….practise…pracise! and offered to guide me as long as I needed or until closing. I was relieved when partners would constantly sweep her away to the dance floor as she is very passionate about dancing. Moreover she is such a joy to watch on the dance floor. I cannot thank her enough for the encouragement, support, opportunity and even memory. After all the experience was akin to having a ‘first kiss.’So how? Would I take up dance classes?

At this point I would say…….ask me again in the near future. *winks*

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