Thursday, May 06, 2004

"It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that..."

I've been taking swing dance classes almost continually since September, from Tom and Debra, the king and queen of swing in the DC area. (At least that's what they tell me.) Their classes are always packed, and those who take the later advanced class often take it over again in case they missed something the first time. At least that's how it was with me. Until recently.

You see, these two swing kids don't settle for the garden-variety East Coast "six-count" style, nosiree Bob! They teach the Lindy Hop, made popular at the Savoy Ballroom in the 1930s. It's a great style of swing, if you got yourself a partner who knows it too. I'm not always so lucky. (That's right, girls, even me.) But give me a few more six-count moves under my belt (or my feet, as the case may be), and I can make any woman make me look like a much better dancer than I really am. So I'm taking a different approach this month, out at Glen Echo Park. Donna Barker has been teaching for a long time, and I remember her from my contradancing days...

"7 - 8 pm - Intermediate Swing: Building on the basic concepts, dancers will experiment with new footwork patterns and more advanced 6-count moves. Additionally, students will learn 8-count moves and how to move between the two figures. Other emphasis on musical interpretation, improving connection and building repertoire..."

Yeah, that's the ticket. Maybe four Thursdays in May should tide me over until I'm ready to face Tom and Debra heading into new and uncharted dance frontiers (whew!). In the meantime, I should be ready in time for Memorial Day weekend, when we all go down to the Mall and relive the 1940s with "The Greatest Generation."

So I'll just get my dancin' shoes out again, and see if I've still got it -- whatever "it" is.

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