Come Out Swinging (SugarSwing Dance Club)

Happy New Years everyone!

I trust your holiday season has gone over well? Hard to believe that another year is in the books. In my current world of marketing day-to-day retail, after the planning and preparation in anticipation of Boxing Day sales, everything that happens after the 26th of December is gravy anyway, right? That, and I scored a massive haul of blu-rays from Boxing Day deals, *cough* *60+ movies* *cough*.

Seriously though, when it comes down to it, I have personally never been one to get too excited about the traditions associated with New Years Eve and what comes afterward, but since starting this blog last November, I have begun a process to make some changes in my quirks and idioms. And as I also want to motivate you in whatever ways that I can dear reader, I’ve decided it is appropriate for us to think about resolutions!

I will start this off by highlighting one of my own resolutions.

As I mentioned in my introduction post, I have always held an interest in dance, and one of my objectives with this blog is to write about dancing when it makes sense to do so. That and I will also participate in some dancing myself on occasion to inform my art and simultaneously challenge me to grow in health and social skills.

Because I keep my ear pretty low to the ground when anyone talks about the arts, and hanging out with actors like my brother and his ilk affords lots of those discussions, I recently learned about a very neat little club that hosts both dance events and classes. After a little research on my part and some gentle prodding from my brothers supercool lady friend, I took advantage of an opportunity about a week ago to go investigate this dance club for myself.

SugarSwing Dance Club, currently located at the Sugar Foot Ballroom at 10545 and 81 Avenue (but will be moving and expanding in the first few months of 2015), is operated out of a converted church building and is a fascinating little space. Those of you who have been will know what I am getting at, and to provide colour to the rest, this place is set up perfectly to maximize the dance floor and so the hosts have capitalized on the existing building structure to separate the coat room and bathrooms for optimal floor space. If you come early enough to an event, you can pay a little bit more to get a short education in whatever the dance theme of the night is. When I visited on December 27th, I spent $12 and arrived at 8PM to learn the basics for the Lindy Hop, which I think is $2 more than cover for those 9PM folk that would be ready to mingle right out the gate.

Learning about the history of the Lindy Hop while testing out the dance moves simultaneously was worth the price of admission alone. The Lindy Hop is an american dance that was born out of Harlem New York in the 1920s and 1930s as a social dance and evolved from many other dances – mainly based in Charleston, breakaway, jazz, and tap. One of the little anecdotes I enjoyed most though was that this dance is improvisational and kind of pokes fun at traditional ballroom dancing. This idea is most prominent in the loose handholds and the acrobatic routines that can happen on the fly.

Now I didn’t learn too many moves, which was probably for the best, as this was my first time trying the dance, but I got the basic instruction in the rock step, the triple step, and a few spins and turns. It was a lot of fun, and I am definitely going to come back again soon. I just need to decide when to sign up for the classes.

What are your artistic resolutions for the year? I want to hear about them, so please leave a comment below or send me an email, and maybe we can try something out together this year! Collaboration is always a fun way to make art happen!

Also, as I will do from time to time, and I may have promised this already, but I want to make random connections between different types of art, and so I couldn’t help but think of The Offspring when I was editing this post, because I love them dear reader, and I think they have some very powerful lyrics.

So here is a snippet from their song, Come Out Swinging, which doubles as both motivational advice for the New Year and tips for when you are out swing dancing. Think about it.

You brace and hold it all inside

It’s more than you can stand
No one around even tries
Tries to understand

Don’t turn away, don’t turn away
Come out swinging
Come out alone
They’re in your way
But as long as you’re swinging
Strong then you’ll get by

And on that note, pun intended, that’s all the theories I have at this time. Please let me know what you think, and subscribe if you like!


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