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Sharing | Just DANCE!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

As I near my first year of membership at the Riverwalk Athletic Center I've come to realize something: since I began last February I missed out on all the "fun" of dealing with the busiest month of the year at the fitness center: JANUARY!

The place has been SWARMING with new & old members and it's been a challenge to get on my favorite equipment (stationary bikes) and into my Spinning classes. Last winter I could just show up for Spinning class...no problem! NOW? I learned the hard way this past Sat. that you have to sign up no sooner than 24 hours in advance of the class because there just AREN'T any no-shows or empty spots you can take advantage of. While I'm pleased to see so many folks tuned into working out I have to admit to more than my share of grumbling over "sharing"...lol!

So now? I've got cell phone and e-mail reminders to SIGN UP for those classes! Hoping to get to two Spinning classes each week instead of just the Sat. and add Monday too...although there are other times, they just don't work for me (5:30 A.M.? forgeddaboudit!).

Swing Dance: I did better than I thought I would @ Swing Dance last night. It's been a month or so since I'd been there. Felt like I had Alzheimer's: basic stuff like "inside" and "outside" turns...? Um, yeah, did those once upon a time...! At least it comes back to me a little more quickly and I'm hoping to have a way to remember: hold my partner's hand up over her right shoulder for the outside turn, left shoulder for the inside turn.

The hardest part? After the initial 45 min. lesson where partners swap around a lot and the lesson is over the dance floor opens wide up and anybody can dance with anybody. So it's up to me to take the plunge and ask someone to dance. Such a simple thing. The club does a wonderful job to promote a VERY laid back, accepting atmosphere. People of ALL ages, sizes, dressed to the nines or jeans and t-shirt...yet inside I'm a jumble of doubt and self-criticism and have to PUSH through that crud to just "ask". Nary a rejection EVER on that dance floor...! I've seen myself at times just be a wallflower without asking a single person for a dance, yet refusing to leave because I know I want to be out on that dance floor just like everyone else!

Last night I was successful in asking for a dance four times. A good night! Hoping for better ones yet to come! To be able to just tune into my natural love of the music, the rhythm and just DANCE!

I'll share again for the benefit of those living in the Southern Tier:

The Southern Tier Swing Dance Society


"Our main activity is a weekly Tuesday night dance, which is held above Rexer's Karate Academy on Washington Avenue in Endicott. The beginners lesson goes from 7:30-8:15, open dance starts at 8:15 and goes until 10:30. All of our events are smoke- and alcohol-free and are open to all ages. We also sponsor live band dances, and our members present a number of swing demonstrations at various local events.

There are several varieties of swing dance that our members like to do. This includes: Jitterbug (East Coast Swing), West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, and Hustle. Our music selections are designed to support this swing dance mix. You will occasionally hear a Cha-Cha or a Waltz, but almost all of our music is aimed at one or more forms of swing.

It is not necessary to know how to dance to attend our dances. We hope newcomers will join us and we provide a beginner Jitterbug lesson at the start of each dance. Dancers can take our beginner lesson as often as they like, and indeed, it is helpful to beginners to have more experienced dancers in the class. We encourage our dancers to become more advanced by taking swing dance classes elsewhere, and we provide information on outside classes and workshops that we are aware of, including those in other towns, such as Ithaca and Syracuse.

It is also not necessary to have a partner to attend our events. We change partners during our classes, and most swing dancers like to dance with many different partners in the course of the evening. We strive to create a friendly atmosphere, where dancers of different levels feel comfortable mixing and asking others to dance. Also, in the swing world, it is common and welcomed, for women to ask men to dance.

Dress is very casual at our events. We ask people to bring clean, soft-soled, non-marking shoes to both protect the dance floor and facilitate your dancing (especially spins and turns).

We ask for a $3.00 donation for admission. Most of the money that we collect goes for the weekly rent for our dance location. Our other expenses include insurance, CDs and tapes, equipment, advertising, and the expenses of our other events. All of our events are organized and run by VOLUNTEERS, and no one is paid for her/his S.T.S.D.S. work."

No smoking, no drinking, just folks looking to have a night of good, clean fun!

I also hear great things about the Salsa Music Appreciation Club in our area:


I plan to check 'em out once I get this Swing Dance down better. I don't want to confuse my dances just yet...lol!

And here's a suggestion for those of you NOT living in the Southern Tier: You may have similar organizations in YOUR community to check out! Google it!

And just DANCE! :-)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This sounds like so much fun! I never took a dancing class, should give it a try sometime.
    2276 days ago
    The dancing sounds like alot of fun! That is one of my favorite ways to exercise emoticon
    2279 days ago
    Glad you got a little skiing in before it all melts again. This has certainly been an odd winter with the temperature fluctuations.
    2279 days ago
  • LUVS2BIKE101
    Wow! What confidence! Such a great feeling to succeed in stepping out of your comfort zone, isn't it?
    2280 days ago
    Hi Don,

    I think your Swing Dance club is terrific. So much fun and experience in a healthy environment for so little money. If I lived there, I would be asking you to give me a twirl every chance you are free.

    After watching the homepage video on your club's website, I am wondering if Rock n Roll dancing is a type of Swing? See http://www.footlooserockers.c

    Scootergirl in Oz
    2280 days ago
    Thanks for the reminder! My BF and I met at our favorite club, but as you can imagine over several years we hardly go anymore. (We joke: "Why? I'm not looking to pick someone up anymore!"LOL) But we went once rather last minute and had a BLAST dancing for hours. And I noticed I wasn't out of breath and feeling like I would pas out anymore! How's that for fitness. emoticon

    emoticon these two need to be dancing! emoticon
    2282 days ago
  • JLITT62
    So much easier to be female. I'm sure there are gals asking guys, but it's still expected to be the other way around. Kudos to you for conquering that fear!
    2282 days ago
    Dancing sure burns up the calories fast, good job in keeping moving and having a blast while you're doing it. We have a place similar to what you've described here, my sis used to go regularly, but I'm a big chicken with two left feet.

    About your gym being overcrowded...give it till mid February and it will be back to normal, sad but true. So many ppl make new years resolutions and by Feb they give up.
    2282 days ago
    I have been reading about "contra" dancing, not yet available in my town but apparently very popular in the bigger cities -- all inclusive too.

    Don, you are clearly just a very very nice person (and also handsome I could add) that it's impossible for me to believe people would not welcome your invitation to dance. Really!!
    2282 days ago
    Way to go, Don! That sounds like SO much fun and you really put yourself out there going out of your comfort zone and asking people to dance.

    2282 days ago
    Good going on the asking!

    I appreciate your comments on my blog. For many years, I have tried different ways to get into the vegetarian act. Have done lacto- and ovo- in the past, so really do understand this new choice. One of the SP coaches likes flexitarian, which works for many and I called myself that for a number of years too! Whatever works works and so going all out is just where the progression had led me. For the time-being, anyways.

    I do love your blogs! The Fat Trap blog was interesting and, I must admit, kind of grieved me for a few days. I'm okay now, really. The truth sometimes hurts and I do hate fighting with the weight!!! But it's the way it is and I am making much better choices now than I ever did before SP.
    2283 days ago
    SWING DANCING?!??!!?

    Sounds like you had fun!
    2283 days ago
    We actually have a salsa club in Pittsburgh that does this every week. My husband and I have only made it to one (pesky nursing/travel schedules), but it's an amazing time.
    2283 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2283 days ago
    Sounds like a fun time! I give you a lot of credit. I'm more the wallflower, even at weddings.
    2283 days ago
  • FRECKS96
    Awesome! I did a little swing dancing in clooege and loved it. I should check it out sometime.
    2283 days ago
    Awww this makes me miss Swing - I took classes in high school! There's a place near me that does a similar weekly thing...perhaps hubs and I should start going!!
    2283 days ago
    Wow - that sounds like such fun. I love music and I love to watch people dance and always wished I had the grace. There may come a day when my feet actually are capable of all those fun things. At the moment a nice walk would be nice. I so miss them. Hopefully by spring I will be able to walk a distance again.
    2283 days ago
    You make my heart dance!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2283 days ago
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