Dancing - Insights

Quiet Obsession

Within the past couple of years I have joined a dance team and started to Dj.  I feel much more confident in my dancing and I have even started teaching dance again.   I always joke that dancing has become a "quiet obsession" of mine because I feel like I have dance friends and non-dance friends.  Each groups knows about my other activities I like to do but they remain two separate groups of friends that revolve around the activities I'm involved in.  I guess the trick is finding the balance.

Moving back to "The Big City"

Now having changed careers and moved to Denton, Texas I now had much more time to devote to dancing.  It had been 6 years since I had been dancing so it was slow going at first.  But over time I was able to pick up from where I left off and continue on my dancing journey.  

Back to My Hometown

I have now moved back to my hometown of Abilene, TX for my Job.  Now, in a small town there is just less dancing.  I was still helping out the SwingCats we they needed help but started the Abilene Swing Dance Society with Baron Smith (a recent ACU graduate) for people that weren't affiliated with ACU.  I was able to host a few events with the SwingCats but most of the time I was setting up, teaching, djing, and tearing down.  After 4 years of this I was completely burned out.  So other than keeping ASDS going I didn't do a lot of dancing during this time and stepped away from dancing to focus on personal issues and I was also forced to change careers. 

Moving to "The Big City"

So after my time at ACU with the "Swing Cats" it came time to get a job.  So when I moved to Arlington, Texas I found a local Swing venue called "The Southside Preservation Society".  It was there that I found other leads I could learn from and slowly started learning "The Lindy Hop" among other dance steps.  But personal issues lead me back to Abilene before I felt confident in my dancing.

Building Mementum

For the last year of college I was a part of the "ACU Swing Cats".  The Christian University had rules about dancing but the English professor who was now our faculty sponsor was "tight" with the dean of students.  The stipulation of our club was that we were a performance troupe and we would only have practices and not a "dance".  So we would practice to all the cliche big band music of the late 90's and early 2000's, what they now refer to as neo-swing, and we would preform "East Coast Swing" at different local events. 

"Like riding a bike"

 

After that first night learning how to dance I still wasn't convinced.  I was only 19 and to busy playing sports to learn how to dance.  So a few years went by and during the fall semester of my junior year at ACU (Abilene Christian University) an English professor that loved the 1930-1940's era wanted to start a historical preservation organization primarily focusing on the dance style of that era which was... you guessed it; swing dance.  So by this time I was much more interested in finding a girlfriend and I knew dancing was a way to interact with girls in a socially acceptable manner.  So I enthusiastically went to the interest meeting and by this time the friends that taught me how to swing dance a few years ago had all transferred or dropped out.  So after a month of brushing up on the basics I was asked to be on the teaching committee for the newly founded "Swing Cats".

"Like a scene out of Footloose"

I began my dancing experience in Abilene, TX and the year was 1998.  The "Swing Gap" commercial had just come out and swing dancing was now popular again.  My formal for my freshman year at a Christian University had a swing band (of sorts) and everyone dressed up in their best WWII period clothing.  After the dance some of my friends were from Dallas, TX and knew the basic steps to swing (but not much else).  So being in a small town in west Texas we didn't have many choices of where to go when everyone wanted to learn.  So we went to a nearby park basketball court and parked our cars around the perimeter with our head lights on so we could see.  Then we proceeded to learn the basic and that was my first experience swing dancing.

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