Dancing seems to have got popular once again. The ‘hip-hop’ youth of today can earn ‘big up massive respect’ from the rest of ‘da gang’ by body popping and flinging their arms around in a style similar to dance troupe Diversity – essentially they’re all just doing the Robot from the 1980’s, but they weren’t around then so I won’t judge them.
I must admit I do like ‘throwing some shapes’ on the dance floor and I always think I look pretty cool, although I imagine I look more like I’ve just mastered ‘dad dancing’. As much as I like waving my limbs around in a club or at a wedding, organised sober dancing is very much out of my comfortable zone.
I’d been invited to learn how to dance in a 1930’s fashion and was quite nervous about attending my first Lindy Hop class. I knew Lindy Hop was a form of partner dancing so I was expecting to make a complete fool of myself in front of a group of coordinated dancers.
At the start we were split into two groups, Leaders and Followers. I was really hoping to be a follower and just copy someone else, but being a man I was told to learn the leader’s moves – bugger! Once we learnt the basic steps we were told to find a partner and instantly I forgot everything we’d just be taught as, once again, I was too busy in my head worrying how much of tit I looked. I partnered up with a friend who I knew was also a complete novice and hoped we’d just get through the evening without anyone noticing, however after three minutes my plan failed as we were told to switch partners and to my horror I realised eventually I would be dancing with every follower in the room.
The second partner I had didn’t seem to know what was going on either so this filled me with a bit more confidence, but as I was supposed to be leading I imagine it was mainly my fault that we both got completely lost. Another dance partner seemed really unimpressed by my complete lack of co-ordination, I think she was expecting me to be a bit more Frankie Manning, founding father of Lindy Hop, but instead I was a bit more like Boris Johnson at a disco – I apologised profusely. I must admit I quite fancied one of girls I was forced to dance with and every time I partnered with her I turned into an awkward bumbling idiot, bit like Hugh Grant in one of those many films where he plays an awkward English prat – I’m not sure my moves impressed her in the slightest.
By the end of class I actually quite enjoyed myself. Despite still having no idea of any of the steps, I came to the conclusion if I smiled enough nobody would notice my legs were in a giant knot.
If you fancy dancing around in a retro style with a load of strangers, then I’d highly recommend visiting: http://uptownswing.co.uk
ON TO THE NEXT NEW THING…
P.S. I apologise for my attempt at ‘street talk’ at the start of this post.