On Friday night I had the opportunity to meet up with some fellow ballroom students and go out dancing. It’s something I haven’t done in quite some time. And it is very different than going to a lesson.
We went to a local studio that offers a ton of group classes and has open dancing parties too. It’s something I don’t get working with a free agent instructor, to get to practice following different dance partners. Also, although some clubs exist or some bars have dancing, they aren’t always the most safe or comfortable places to practice unless you specifically go with someone.
Luckily, the stars must have been aligned because the schedules of three different people permitted a meet up: me and Randall and Ivonne. Randall had been to the studio before but it was my first time. The space was large and it was only $5 to be able to dance. I will say the music was a little old-fashioned, but it was still a good time.
It was an interesting experience for me. I was glad Randall came along not only because he is my friend, but because we are both improving over time, and it is fun to get to dance with him and practice. I feel pretty safe with him…he’s not going to injure me or anything, and trust me, this is one possibility. Some of the dancers are out of control and could even be dangerous. Randall, on the other hand, has a very nice lead, not overly strong, but very clear. Plus, I think we know a lot of the same moves. When it comes to the steps I know, I’m pretty limited to bronze level material. Some steps you can follow even if you don’t know them if you stay in a frame, but if the man leads you to an open move and you don’t know the step, it is pretty difficult.
I mostly danced with Randall but one intrepid dancer invited me to do a Foxtrot and a Viennese Waltz. I never even asked his name, I realized after the fact! But then again, he didn’t ask me mine either. Social dancing is funny like that. You just end up moving with someone you may not even know and sometimes it works. I did get lost a few times and we had to reset. Oh well, it was about practicing.
I don’t know how it is for others, but I’m a bit wary in these situations. Sometimes the dancers think they know more than they do, or they are used to being a big fish in a small pond. It is interesting to watch the different people, how they move, how they interact with one another. I certainly don’t like being forcefully led, or of the male is controlling rather than inviting. Also, you can’t know how someone is unless you dance with them. Some people seem creepy, though, but I have resolved that it is rude to decline an invitation to dance unless I feel it is unsafe. I would still give anybody who asked me to dance at least one try.
I used to get worried and want to dance every dance all the time. It was nice to go this particular time in a group and I felt much more relaxed about the entire thing. It was fine to watch or to dance. I didn’t particularly care which activity I did, though I did make sure to reserve at least one Rumba with Randall.
All in all it was a pretty fun night…better than sitting at home in front of the idiot box. I think we will go next Friday too. It is good to get out in the dancing community and meet new people.