So, I started learning Ceroc about 3 weeks ago. It’s basically a modification of modern jive. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and easy to learn. Not intimidating for beginners (like me). However, after three classes, I was a little concerned with the footwork. There really isn’t any. This can be good or bad, depending how you look at it. It’s good, because it’s easier and you can makeup your own style. The focus in Ceroc is the moves. Notice that I capitalized it, that’s because it’s trademarked.
Here’s a video of Ceroc in action. Note: After about $25 and two two hour lessons, you could be doing this. Again, it’s easy and fun.
Anyhow, my goal was to learn more traditional dances styles. I’ve already spent too much of my life, on the dance floor, swinging my arms around like a fool. I’ve been trying to move that dancing to lower parts of my body. That’s what brings me to the private lessons. Last week I met up at one of Vancouver’s premier dance studios for a free consultation. The consultation included 15 minutes of lessons and a little chat about why I’m doing it, what I want to get out of it, etc.
This past Wednesday was my first official 45 minute private lesson. If you have not taking dance lessons before, I cannot stress what a difference it makes to have a little one on one time with a dance instructer (keep sly comments to yourself). You focus on the core steps and you have someone there to make sure you don’t learn incorrectly. Biggest problem I had with big classes, is there’s a lot of potential to learn it wrong, and there’s one thing that’s harding than learning… and that’s unlearning. If you are unsure about certain steps, they discourage you from practicing on your own. My teacher simply said, “You’ll know when you’re ready to practice certain steps on your own.” Again, don’t want to have to spend time unlearning incorrect form.
Today was my first dance party, which was preceded by a 45 minute group lesson. They really do stick to the basics, but this really helps in getting your muscles trained for autopilot. In the group class, it was similar to the style of Ceroc classes, where you’re constantly rotating partners. Anyhow… now the dance party!
So basically all the beginner and intermediate students get together for some dancing. Shy guys like myself are put in a situation where you must ask or be asked to dance. I didn’t shake with fear and I wasn’t pouring with sweat… well, yes I was, but it was the dancing, I swear! I want to get the most out of this, so I made sure I didn’t cower in a corner somewhere. Luckily, there were plenty of teachers there to come by and pull me onto the floor. I asked two people to dance, but I could swear that one of them dozed off while I went through my basic steps. Naw, everyone was pretty cool. Didn’t take too long before I could actually put a little sway into my waltz. I tried getting a little fancy with swing, but quickly noticed myself getting a little lost in the steps when I did. Stay focused! Baby steps, Jeremy.
What basic steps did I learn? Foxtrot, waltz, cha-cha-cha, single & triple swing, ramba and tango. I’m happy to say that I didn’t step on any toes. I have some slick dance shoes that are basically black sneakers w/ dance bottoms. Love sliding around on them. Best sliding I’ve had since… well… since we used to poor bottled water on the ground to loosen up the rave goo.
Speaking of “rave”, I think one of the instructors used to “party”. We had some good talks about music and DJing. Speaking of DJing, I think I’m finally getting my gear and library shipped out to Vancouver.
But I digress.
I’m addicted. I couldn’t wipe the grin off of my face the whole night. I guess I did well, considering every one’s surprise when I said I had one lesson. Though, I’d hate to think what they expected a beginner to be like. OH… I know… I have rhythm. Yay me!
What do I really want to learn? Well, the thing I always loved about swing (other than the swinging) were the steps I saw… which I guess they call the “lindy hop”? Oh my goodness. So many different types of swing. Checkout the footwork and acrobatics.
My heart beateth.