So after a month of classes and braving the rain to go to a dance event, does this mean I’m officially a member of the Orlando swing scene? Hard to say. I’m pretty sure once I’ve traded in my cheap-yet-wonderfully-slippery Target flats for some real suede-bottom dance shoes, I’ll know I’ve arrived.

But regardless, I’ve been taking a basic swing class with Flyin’ Footwork Productions for the past four weeks and enjoying it, and I really did go to my first dance last night. About four people in last week’s class managed to talk me into going out to the dance, and they were right: it was worth it.

It was a good night, with a live big band playing 20’s/30’s era jazz. Honestly, it is about getting out there and dancing and practicing, but just being there watching can be just as much fun. The atmosphere, the great music, the fun vintage costumes, and some insanely talented dancers were pretty much worth the admission. Once things really got going, it felt a bit like stepping back in time, really just so darn cool.

But here’s the thing I’ve learned in the middle of this little swing dancing experiment: the people who love it, really love it. And the love is kind of contagious. Everyone I’ve met so far has been super-nice and supportive, and really… it’s hard to feel bad when you’re dancing the Charleston, even in a corner by yourself. I thought it would be intimidating, and sometimes it kind of is, but I’m enjoying the learning way more than I thought I would.

I didn’t dance a whole lot, but when I did, it was so much fun and so freeing, it just made me want to learn more and get better. Just a few months ago, I couldn’t even picture myself attempting something like this. But you get out there on the floor, you suck, you laugh about it, you get better, and you have fun. That’s all there is to it, really.

As I was leaving, someone from my class was questioning me to make sure I actually did some dancing and didn’t just sit around and watch. And another commented, “Hey, you’ve gotta come to these things. We’re your family now.” And it made me smile, because I thought maybe I really could belong to this.

Wallflowers can dance too.

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On a side note: my sister was asked to dance a bit more than I was. I’m still giving her grief about it. Because that’s what big sisters do, y’know.

But it’s okay, I’m not bitter. Really. ;)

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YouTube bonus! In an effort to find a good Charleston video example for this post, I stumbled across this little gem again. Haven’t seen it in a while, but it’s pretty rad… gotta love Daft Punk + retro dance moves!

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