Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Swing, Brother, Swing

Last night my friend Jacoba and myself went to our first ever swing dance class with The Swing Sesh. I have wanted to do classes for quite some time but I was always too scared to go or even to ask anyone to go with me! With some encouragement from the positively lovely Fleur De Guerre (after I said something to the effect of being too chicken to go on one of her photos on flickr) I decided 'to heck with it' and asked Jacoba if she wanted to go along with me. Luckily for me she did but couldn't make the classes until last night, so I waited until she could come with me.

They do a mix of dances in the class and last night they taught the Charleston. I left a little confused, always thinking of the Charleston as it was popularised in the 1920s with lots of twisting knees, jazz hands and kicking one's legs about, but I've since learnt that the dance has changed a bit since then (according to Gospel of Wiki). Then again, I don't know a lot about dancing and certainly not the swing dance scene so it's not surprising that I should learn something new!

This isn't just the Charleston (I also noticed a little clip of the Black Bottom - the Black Bottom sure looks like a lot of fun!) but this is always what I've pictured when I thought of the Charleston.

It was a lot of fun, at any rate, but also rather embarrassing. I haven't taken a class in any kind of dancing since I was about 13 so one can only imagine I'm more than a little rusty! I also had to touch a lot of strange men but, as I was concentrating with all my might on not falling over, I didn't really notice that much.

I was at TAFE all day so I didn't put a terribly fancy outfit together - this is one of my 'Grease extras' type outfits. I did get a couple of comments, though, from fellow students who thought I had dressed for the occassion! I had to tell them it was just my normal way of dressing. (It's not the first time someone's mistaken my regular dress for costume, though).

Scarf: op-shopped
Blouse: Living Doll
Cardigan: Cotton On
Belt: Gift
Skirt: Harris Scarfe
Stockings: Myer
Shoes: Big W

I'm pleased to say that Jacoba and I shall be returning next week and the week after and so on. Next week we are finishing the Charleston and the week after that we're apparently starting on the Jitter Bug! I'm looking forward to that.

I've also just realised that I've made it past the 50 'members'/'followers' mark!! It's a bit exciting. Thanks, again, to everyone who has supported this blog thus far. I've been having a lot of fun with it and I hope everyone is enjoying it just as much as I am.

Andi B. Goode


  1. You look great! Glad to hear you had a good time at dance class!

    It's funny how, the fear is always much worse than what is is we actually fear.

  2. I remember my first swing dance classes as being a little nerve-wracking, being passed around to men I didn't know, being afraid of screwing up, etc. But it got easier to go to class, and the swing dance community in my town was very generous and forgiving with newbies! I hope you have a similar experience. Remember, it's supposed to be fun! ;-)

  3. Oh, that sounds like so much fun! I've always wanted to learn how to swing dance, but I at I'm too chicken to take lessons and wouldn't be able to find a partner to drag along with me.

  4. Oh yay! I'm so glad you went! Keep it up and it'll get easier and easier. I love the Charleston, I wish I could do more of it :)

  5. What a sweetly wonderful outfit, one can never go wrong with black and pink! You look gorgeous, honey, and I'm so happy the you enjoyed swing dancing, taking lessons sounds like a blast!

    Best of luck with the lessons & have a wonderful day!

    ♥ Jessica

  6. Mary: Thank-you. =] That's very true - I tend to feel a bit silly once I realise there wasn't anything to be scared of in the first place.
    Nancy: Everyone seemed nice and understanding so hopefully I do have a similar experience. Thank-you =]
    Lizzy: I know what you mean - but now that I've tried it I can only urge others to do so as well. Especially if it's a class you don't need a partner for but can just take along some friends.
    Fleur: Thank-you! =D I definitely plan to keep at it. The Charleston sure was fun!
    Jessica: Thank-you, darling. =D I do love black and pink. =] Hehe.

  7. Hello ! I adore your blog and your style !

  8. Hello, St├ęphanie - thank-you! =D

  9. Yay Andi! So glad that you took the leap. Now you can perfect the art in no time...


  10. Yay, I'm glad to hear you are taking swing dancing classes! They look like so much fun... I've always wanted to try them.

  11. Oh! How fun to go to a dance! I just found one on the weekends that offers beginners classes beforehand (which is totally what I need! lol), and I'm hoping we'll go one weekend. ;)

    I love your oufit--so chic! :) I get questions all the time about if I'm dressed up for an event or play. lol. Nope, it's just my normal, eccentric, everyday look! ;)

  12. Syd: Thank-you! =D I hope to do so.
    Catherine: Thanks. =] They are fun! I hope you get to do some.
    Casey: Oh, it is fun! I hope you get along to the dance near you. And thank-you! =D

  13. hey, I just discovered your blog! love it! let me know if you want to swap links!

    I go swing dancing with my boyfriend, and i'm still kind of weird about dancing with strange men. The swing dancing scene in Edinburgh does attract some very odd characters, and once you get a bit better it can be hard to dance with guys who don't know what they're doing and don't 'lead'. It is harder for the guys1

    I've only ever done three dances: 6 beat, 8 beat and charleston. charleston is my fave i think, because it's a bit less 'led' than the other ones. No jitter bug!

    I'll stop going on about swing dancing now!

  14. Oranges and Apples: Aw, thank-you! =D
    And no worries! I love hearing other people's experiences. I'm finding it difficult to be lead, actually. Haha.

  15. oh cool, you are a leader! If I wasn't doing it with the boyfirend , I would be a leader too, it suits my temparament more I think (I'm bossy!). If I ever get properly good at being a follower, i'm def going to learn leading!

  16. I think I must be! Sounds like a good idea - I saw a swing dance couple and they were both girls and I thought it was even more awesome, in a way, than a boy-girl couple! Could be because they had cute matching outfits. ;]


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