Dance like no-one’s watching – the buzz of dance
I mentioned back in October that I’d started dancing again. I love to dance.
As a child, I did ballet from the age of 4 to 16 when I had to give up due to having school on Saturdays, a few years of modern dance (because tap clashed with brownies – although I think I’d have been a better tap dancer than modern). Apart from school dances, a few ballroom lessons before our annual ball, and clubbing at uni, I didn’t dance again until just after getting married. I found some salsa classes at our local arts centre and I was hooked.
Unfortunately my OH doesn’t dance and won’t try it. But with salsa I didn’t need a partner, everyone rotated round the class making it more sociable and better for finding people to dance with when we went to salsa nights. I loved the technical aspect of salsa – we had teachers who were sticklers for technique whether it be footwork, timing, body position or isolations and tension. So it gave me a brilliant grounding in having a go at Ceroc.
Ceroc’s a franchise teaching and providing dancing in modern jive in the UK but also internationally. The ethos is all about social dancing and getting anyone up and dancing, and they’re really proficient at doing so. While I loved salsa, the freestyle aspect of salsa was scary – there were different types of salsa beats (on1 and on2, plus cuban style), and I found it quite cliquey at freestyles even after 2 1/2 years of experience.
With ceroc, because of my dance background I picked it up really easily, could transfer all my existing partner dancing skills and knowledge and could really let myself go a lot more than I’d ever done previously with my dancing. Plus I got to dance to all my favourite contemporary music, not being stuck with latin beats all the time. Everyone was really friendly and I danced 3-4 nights a week being involved as a taxi dancer and demo at 2 of the venues I danced at.
Dancing right up to 8 months pregnant (well, 1 or 2 dances at that stage, the rest was mostly chatting!), it was a shock to give it up after N was born. It had been my plan to at least go back to freestyle events but it just didn’t happen. Lots of friends then took up other activities or no longer danced so there wasn’t the peer pressure for us all to go back again.
After 5 years, an independent modern jive company opened a new venue near me. In the past I’ve been less keen on the previous venues they ran. The dancers were mostly a lot older in demographic, and I just didn’t feel the slickness of Ceroc was there to make new people feel so integrated despite the similar set up. But I couldn’t miss out the chance to get back dancing.
Thankfully the once a week slot is working out well with the OH knowing that’s my night to go out, and N’s used to me rushing bedtime on that day before heading out.
It’s been a bit hit and miss with the standard of dancing and numbers of people to dance with, plus the demographic is still older (even though I’m rapidly approaching 40). We need to get some younger blood in who’ll get hooked with dancing like I did and stick with it for years.
The first week was great. With a free first night of course everyone would turn up, including lots of my old friends I used to dance with. Fast forward to the first week back after Christmas and I was worried that the numbers wouldn’t be sufficient to keep it going. But this week there was not only a good number turning up, but every single dance I had during the freestyle session after the classes was a lovely dance.
Usually we have a female teacher, but last time the teacher was a guy who was always out on the floor dancing. It really made a difference to everyone sticking around to dance, and my dance with him was brilliant. He even complimented me on my dancing twice which was lovely after not really being back to dancing long.
A week later and I had a change of venue and change back to ceroc. The Tuesday nights are a different format with only 1 intermediate class followed by longer freestyle. It was perfect for me, I enjoyed the class which was more challenging, and the music in the freestyle was more my thing – slower, more rhythmic and more expressive dancing than all being upbeat tracks.
There was a good quality of male dancer there, and every dance I had was enjoyable with several being up there with some of the best dances I’ve had. It’s great to be able to switch round venues – a chance for me to catch up with a couple of people I’ve not seen in 5 years, and new dance partners to dance with. I was definitely on a high driving home afterwards.
I’ve not yet made it back to full freestyle events yet. These are evening dates where there’s sometimes a fun ice breaker class, and then djs playing music til late. These are the best because as a woman, you get to simply follow the moves the man is leading, and get to dance with people you don’t often see.
I keep saying I’m going to freestyle, know that the OH would be in to keep an eye on N, but when it comes to it I don’t go. It’s so much easier to make that first leap back to them when you’ve got a friend with you. And even though I know the dancing isn’t an issue, there’s still the walking in and getting started. But end of the month there’s a big event and I’m aiming to be there if I can get back up childcare.
The last couple of weeks I definitely felt the buzz and adrenaline rush of having perfect dances, maybe not in ‘the zone’ that I’ve experienced at dance weekenders in the past, but real ‘grin on your face’ when the music ends. And that for me is so much what dancing is about.
If you’ve never been social partner dancing before, I definitely recommend it, whether you go as a couple or on your own. Search for ceroc or modern jive and you’ll find plenty of venues up and down the country, and don’t worry about starting out knowing nothing. Most people haven’t danced before, but the set up is such that there’s always taxi dancers around to help out beginners…and by the end of the night you’ll be able to dance through a whole track.
Have you ever danced before? What type of dance and have you ever tried social dancing?
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Years ago I had a stab at ballroom dancing and while it was fun, it wasn’t really me. I admire anyone who can keep up dancing because it does take a lot of stamina (even though it might not always look like it does). #pocolo
Definitely stamina. I always think I’m dancing for 3 hours of an evening, but when I check my fitbit it ends up only being 45 mins-1 hour of actual high activity. I like to think it’s because I’m gliding gracefully rather than stomping, but it’s probably because I need a rest every few tracks! Thanks for stopping by Carol.
I’ve never heard of this before! sounds like fun.
I had took ballroom and Latin lessons once, and I have to say I absolutely loved it. I did leave in the end though as I found the whole ‘partnering’ aspect really weird … having multiple strangers hands all over me during a class felt a bit peculiar! – clearly I am way too up-tight for such things!!! ha ha 🙂
Partner dancing definitely needs you to let loose a bit and not be self-conscious. It’s unusual to swap round partners in ballroom/latin classes. Round here, you dance on your own if you’re a girl and go on your own because most people go in couples. That’s why I didn’t continue. No point dancing on my own and I didn’t want to lead all the time.
Sounds like you’re really enjoying it, as it’s really coming across in this post. I’ve heard of ceroc as a dance style/thing but didn’t really know what it was, so thank you for filling me in. I’d love MOH to do some dancing, I mention it every time Strictly starts but he just looks at me as if to say “are you mad, woman?” 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #PoCoLo
My wife also stopped dancing when our son was born. But I really encouraged her to get back to it last year because I knew it was something she loved. Plus, it’s always good that she gets some ‘me time’ at least once a week 🙂
I’ve never really partner danced before! I have always done(and still do) ballet! I’m obsessed and live for my lessons each week, I just think it’s so amazing. I’ve never done much partner work though, so the thought terrifies me! ahaha It’s so amazing that you’ve picked it back up and been able to transfer all your previous partner experience!!
This sounds great – I love Salsa – and other dancing too, but the local class to me had to close 🙁 I really need to see if there are any more, I really enjoyed it. Kaz x
It’s great that you’ve found a hobby that you really enjoy, and one that will keep you fit too!
It’s great to get back into a old hobby! I used to dance but haven’t done regularly in a few years. I think when I am back in England I will look for classes again as I really miss it! Glad you are having fun and I hope that one day you persuade the OH to join in 😉
I remember reading about your dancing before – I’m glad that you are still going!
I used to have dancing lessons growing up, but managed to damage my knee so I had to eventually give it up, but every now and then a good boogie is called for x
That’s a shame. Exercise can be so damaging
Fantastic! Go you! I took ballroom dancing classes for years until I injured my foot/ankle and had to give it up. I loved it so much. There’s no better feeling than dancing a good tango with a decent partner! 😉
Fab. I’ve only done a few ballroom/latin sessions, but without a partner it’s a bit pointless because there’s no switching round. Shame injury stops so much….yep, decent partners make you feel totally lost in a dance bubble
This sounds fab! I’m glad you’ve got back to dancing again! I don’t really dance but its something I would love to do!
I love dancing… Hayden makes me dance more than I liked really like too BUT it is fun when I’m not tired LOL
I would love to go to some kinds of dancing class, that would be awesome.
Great post hun
This looks like fun. I would love to do some more dancing.
Oh wow, this looks and sounds so fun. I bet my Mam would love something like this… Unfortunately I can’t dance at all! I have no rhythm!
I’d love to try a dance class but up until now I haven’t had a chance, it seems to be great fun and I must say watching modern jive or similar is always so enjoyable! x
It’s so hard trying to find a class that fit – either the style, teacher, or just time. If you enjoy dance it’s worth trying to find something though.
aw sounds like great fun and no I can not dance only hen I’m drunk but it’s great to dance around I agree its good for you
When I am having a bad day, I put my favourite song on and turn it up loud and dance like no ones watching. It always makes me feel better!
Where do you go in Banbury!? I used to Modern Jive but after it shut I am not sure where does it anymore? Thanks!
Ooh hello. I used to do ceroc – Banbury, then Bicester, then Kidlington/Oxford/Chipping Norton. Now Jive+ is is Chipping Norton on Mondays so I’m going there as it’s the closest.
Ah – was hoping Banbury had started up again! It is good fun though!
I would love to dance but I wouldn’t have the guts or confidence plus I am a bad dancer! Give me a drink and I will be fine though haha
I love to go out dancing although with 3 little ones I don’t get to very often now. Keep it up!!!
I have two completely left feet so always admire people that can dance. It sounds like you have it in your blood and so nice to have a long lasting hobby x
You should try it. An awful lot of people think they have 2 left feet but with modern jive you’re just stepping, and they aim to get everyone dancing by the end of the evening – at least 3 or 4 moves taught, but most followers are able to do more than that dancing with more experienced leaders.
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