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Joining JiveSwing – Tony Morgan

Tuesday, 29th January, 2013

When I was asked to write this blog, my immediate reaction was one of horror… I have never written anything that people might read… I don’t know who will actually read this; whether you are new to JiveSwing, an established member, or even someone who is thinking of becoming part of the JiveSwing family. Anyway here goes, and I hope you find something useful in what I have to say.

When I initially started my first class at JiveSwing, I started alone and didn’t really know what to expect having never danced before. In just a few minutes of being there, different people came up to me and introduced themselves. I felt comfortable and quickly realised these people were really nice and so helpful. They didn’t mind that I didn’t know what I was doing. They were just happy to help. It came across rapidly too that the lessons wasn’t a strict straight-faced type of learning. It was fun and very enjoyable.

At first the steps we were being shown took a while to sink in to my head… and a couple of weeks in, I found it frustrating because I was struggling to do the steps I was doing on the previous week. After about 4, maybe 5 weeks, I was picking the moves but very slowly… I was seeing some of the others in the class dance and I wanted to do what they were doing… I just couldn’t. So I made up my mind to do something about it.

I started going to a second class, the first at Brentwood and the second at Southend, and again I found the people there equally nice and helpful. I think because I was dancing more frequently and asking more questions when I didn’t quite understand, the moves started to sink in and I was picking it up quicker, but I still wasn’t leading the ladies correctly, and it felt weak.

In all this time, Joseph (the teacher), kept mentioning about the workshops and social dances that JiveSwing arrange and put on for everyone. To be honest, I avoided these at first thinking I would be holding up someone who wants to dance instead of having to put up with me. Finally I went to a social dance and had an amazing time. The more I danced with different people, the more confident I got. Yes, I was making mistakes and for me I found it frustrating as hell, but the people I danced with were great about it and helped me, and some even showed me new moves.

Tony on the dance floor at Retro Sunday in Southend, 2012.

Then I tried one of the workshops. We were learning 30s Charleston in class, and the workshop was Fundamentals II. It showed a far more in depth way to perform the moves we already learned and actually explained how to lead properly and follow properly. This workshop definitely improved they way I was leading and gave me a better understanding in what I was doing. After going to these workshops, it is very understandable that there isn’t the time in the weekly lessons to learn the steps, moves and the details of the finer points that improve our Lindy dancing. I strongly advise taking them.

Since then, I have now taken a few workshops and been to many social dances. I do feel more confident, and feel my dancing has improved a lot since those early days… lol… even though those early days was only May/June 2012. At the social dances I have met people from all of the classes and have found that not only have the people at JiveSwing been nice and friendly, they are people who are joy to spend time with.

In short… my JiveSwing experience has been brilliant and I can honestly say that I really don’t have a bad word to say.

Tony Morgan

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