Thursday, October 25, 2012

Project Fear Less: Go Dancing Alone

There's a lot going on in my gritty little town.  It's a bit of a shame that I've grown up here, but never really developed a healthy night life, because there are so many interesting events and locales to visit.  Not among the least of these are the amazing hullaballoos organized by the Triangle Swing Dance Society.  Basically, it's literally tons of people of all levels of swing dance ability who congregate to have absolutely ridiculous amounts of fun dancing and learning and meeting people.  Problem is, when it's 6pm on a Saturday night and the dance starts at 7 and you can't really think of anyone to call who would actually come with's a little bit of a stretch to work up the nerves to just freaking go already, and damn the torpedoes.  So...that's what I did.  Minus the torpedoes.

More pics after the jump!

My GPS, as it is wont to do at inopportune times, decided to hate me when I was about 10 minutes away.  This got me a little nervous, as a little red dress is not generally the best attire for being stranded on a dark and unfamiliar road.  So, I defaulted to Navigation Method B: start following another car and hope they're going my way (it generally works better when you're near where you need to go and it's a well-populated event in the middle of nowhere, which was the case here).  It worked!  I found the place, which was a random church in, as aforementioned, the middle of nowhere, surrounded by cars and with the sweet sounds of swing music pouring out of the open windows of the large community room.  I followed some people carrying honest-to-god professional dance shoes (*erk!*) into the hall, got my pretty paper bracelet, and walked in.

Ladies, if you want a serious ego boost, go to a swing dance.  I didn't sit out a single dance except the few that I just had to go get water during, and even then I got asked for a turn around the floor nearly every time I returned from the break room.  And it wasn't just that I looked really kind of super cute.  Everyone dances with everyone else.  Old hats make it a point to grab any and all newbies they see sitting on the sidelines.  For that matter, gentlemen, if YOU want an ego boost, you need to go as well - there is not a single lady there who will decline your request to dance.  And if you're a lady and want to dance with another lady (or a guy and ditto), I saw a lot of that going on as well.  Basically, every single person there is joined by the absolute euphoria that good dancing can give you, and they all want to share it with everyone else.

And then I went again the next week and did it all again.  And I'm gonna keep going.  And ALL OF YOU should come with me at some point.  Behold:

I don't even remember that guy's name, but he's a trip and a half to dance with.  Anyone at the TSDS events who sees a freakishly tall fella with some insane dance moves, tell him I sent ya.

Sometimes you have to concentrate really hard on what you're doing...

...sometimes you get to rest for a minute...

...and sometimes you lose track of what exactly it is that you were trying to do...

...but always, always, it makes you smile.

And FYI, the old guys are nearly always the best dancers.