It is very quiet in the house just now. Rosie is still fast asleep in her bed. I have no idea where Johnnycakes is (I often don’t), but if he’s here he’s likely fast asleep as well. The load of laundry I started a bit ago is swishing and tumbling in the basement. I’ve eaten my breakfast (leftover Chinese), and am about to get up and make my first cup of tea. Or maybe coffee. I haven’t decided. Either way, it’s good to sit here in the chair by the window, with the sunshine streaming in, and the branches dancing in the breeze beneath the clear blue skies above. In a little while, after the wash is done cycling and the supply of hot water is secure, I’ll go take my shower. Today is Sweetness’ wedding day, so around noon most of the family (including The Duchess and 007 who drove in from Philadelphia last night) will be piling into The Jesus Van to head north to attend. We all love Sweetness very much, so it’s a special joy for us to see this day come.
This past Wednesday night was swing dancing. Wednesday night has meant swing dancing for me pretty much every night for the past six years, so this is nothing new. However, what is new is how much fun it was. You see, our local swing scene has been struggling for a while. I won’t go into details, but basically a lot of the more experienced dancers have gotten very burnt out, a lot of the newer dancers haven’t stuck around, and it’s turned into the kind of situation where you end up spending way more time standing around talking to your friends than you do dancing. I tried to fight this for a while, but I felt like I was the only one, and after a while even I got tired. There was a lot going on in my life, sometimes my health was not good (it’s hard to be enthusiastic about dancing when you’re having trouble breathing), and well, whatever. To make a long story short, we needed something to change.
Recently Dove decided that she was going to Do Something about this. She decided to start with adjusting her own attitude. The reason she comes to the Wednesday night dances, she decided, was to dance. So she needed to get out there and make her dances happen. This meant inviting everyone to dance, even the new guy who was going to forget to lead, the guy who never asked her to dance back, even the one guy who smells kinda funny. We talked about this new attitude together, and I decided that I was willing to give it another try myself. So last Wednesday we made it a competition. We were going to dance with every single guy there, and the first girl to complete the set won. And you know what, it was really fun! I danced about three times as much as I usually do, I had a couple of good dances and no actively bad ones. I even got a couple of the new girls sitting shyly on the sidelines to go ask some of the guys to dance too. The energy Dove and I were putting into the dance seemed to spread, and before you knew it, even people who almost never dance were dancing. (Long John, who never, never asks me to dance, actually asked me to dance. I was a little stunned.) It ended up being one of the most fun Wednesday nights I’ve had in a very long time.
The other part of Dove’s plan to revitalize Dayton swing dancing is to see if she can resurrect the monthly Saturday dances. When I first started dancing we had big dances on the first Saturday of every month, but after a while attendance started to dwindle, and then about a year and a half ago (I don’t remember exactly when because by that time even I had stopped going) they were dropped. However, Dove has been working hard on giving them another try. We’re starting this December with what we’re calling Swing In The Snow on Saturday, December 3. So far people are really responding, and it looks like it’s going to be a great time! So if you’re not doing anything on December 3, why not come and join us? No partner or dancing experience required, just come ready to have fun!
Want to help spread the word?
Download the full size flyer: Swing In The Snow Flyer
Four to a page for easy distribution: Swing In The Snow Flyer – quarter size