‘’We are fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.’’
Every day we discover new things about each other and continue to surprise each other. Our newest volunteer Laura surprised us with her passion for swing dance and her will to teach us a little bit of her devotion to this dance style.
“Swing dance” is a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1940s, with the origins of each dance predating the popular “swing era”. During the swing era, there were hundreds of styles of swing dancing, but those that have survived beyond that era include: Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and Charleston. While the majority of swing dances began in African American communities as vernacular African American dances, some swing era dances, like Balboa, developed outside of these communities.
She tried to show us simple steps of this dance but most importantly she made us feel the dance and enjoy these moments with each other. After we learned the basic steps, we tried dancing with partners and it was quite challenging but once we got the hang of it, it was really fun. We’re not the easiest crowd to work with but Laura managed more than well.
Swing and jazz goes hand in hand and during our dance lesson we could not stop moving even if we didn’t know what we were doing. And I guess swing is more than dance, it’s a way of feeling and letting go; letting go of fears and judgment and being completely free.
That’s how we should feel every day- with no fear and completely free.
Article by Daina Laizāne