I couldn’t decide on an appropriate thread to report that my birthday turned out to be the perfect time to sign my husband and I up for an introductory dance lesson at the closest Fred Astaire Dance Studio… so here is your new thread for all things related to dance.
Some fast facts:
There are also Fred Astaire studios in Canada, and this is where I went over 10 years ago for lessons with a former bum boyfriend who didn’t pay for any of it (I was in lessons for 2-3 years while still in university)
If I was still in university I guess that’s closer to 15 years ago (yikes!) but muscle memory is real
The standard line-up of dances taught is consistent across international borders and includes Rhumba, Swing, Cha-Cha, Tango, Foxtrot, and Waltz
Husband was quietly anxious about doing this whole thing but he did really well and I’m proud of him for signing up with me
Instructors all have heavy accents but they’re all super cute and friendly
Dancing without actual dance-specific footwear is a lot more difficult than you would imagine
* I forgot to eat lunch yesterday and didn’t really feel all that well for the lesson - I sweated profusely (which is normal for me) but then I also threw up (not on the dance floor but probably would have been had there been any food in my stomach at the time)
Things I need to figure out now:
How to not sweat profusely all over the instructor every week
Where to get appropriate dance shoes on the immediate (I had to order these from Europe while I was in Canada but I’m willing to bet the U.S. has more options)
To reduce the chance of sweating you’ll have to wear as few clothes as possible. I think your husband wouldn’t mind you dancing naked, though you would still have to wear shoes so you wouldn’t be completely naked.
Update: It is just as hard to order (real) ballroom dance shoes as I remember. I’m giving https://us.movedancewear.com/ a chance to send me hopefully a little better quality than Amazon/China shoes and without a 30+ day wait like the rest of the internet (stay tuned).
Also of note - ballroom dance shoes have to be so tight on your feet that you may have to get the shoes stretched out just to wear them. So I’m going with my sandal size (6.5) instead of the more comfortable (7.0). HOWEVER, I also wanted to make sure that the front of the shoe was adjustable - limiting my options to a select few.
This wouldn’t be my first choice (price seems too cheap to be very good) but if it makes it here before next class should be worth it…
I’d like to learn how to breakdance. As it stands, given enough alcohol, I’m simply an untrained practitioner.
I suggested dance lessons to spouse, got a slapdown on that one. I suggested cooking lessons (they like to cook/bake) but that got declined. I feel like maybe something about someone telling them how to run their kitchen was maybe the objection. I’m gonna circle back to this one, I did a cooking lesson years ago as part of an industry event, and it was a lot of fun.
For now, the two of us are going to a sewing lesson together today. woohoo?
When we were at the age of going to Bar/Bat-Mitzvahs our synagogue held a dance class. The instructor taught us the “funky” and the “soul” and a number of other moves, and when kids did a good job he called them up on the stage. I don’t think I was called up at any time. It was back at the time when breakdancing was popular, so when he yelled at us to breakdance, we would spin on our butts. (The actual move is to spin on the back, but that would have presented an injury risk.)
if you’re looking for social dances and you’re experienced with following directions, see if you can find a Contra Dance. It’s like a mix of square dance (partners) and English line dance (long lines). You and partner perform a series of moves with another couple, quite like square dancing but with more variety to the moves, and then you and partner pass by the other couple who passes by you, to meet another new pair and repeat the sequence again.
Quite fun, you do get sweaty, but the cool thing is that it’s accessible for all ages (i’ve danced with 80-year-olds and 20-year-olds), pretty open to gender swapping (several times I’ve seen men dance the women’s part and vice versa), you usually don’t stick with the same partner all night, there’s loads of eye contact and hand-holding (ooooh baby!!!) , it’s as much effort as you want it to be, and the music is usually fiddle-based folk/bluegrass style.