Swing Dancing: the Aerials Class

Yesterday, Sam and I participated in a two hour workshop on flying through the sky on the dance floor.  It began easily enough; the teachers asked us to warm up by running around the room in a circle counter-clockwise.  I looked down at my Lanvin ballet flats, my searsucker shorts, and my linen blouse.  No one had said anything about running, but I could do this.  There were about 10 other couples in the class and as I ran around the clock, I was lapped twice.  Even Sam left me at one point.  This was not a good sign.

The next step was to stand with your partner at a point on the circle.  We were going to learn the basic jump.  Besides Sam instructing dancing coupleme from the sidelines (I’m sorry, had he taken this class before?) it worked out pretty well.  The trick is to get your bottom really high up and to stick it as far as you can behind you.  I felt like a leap frog, but by god, my hiny stuck so far out it was practically it’s own new state.  I gave myself an A.

With this accomplished we moved on to the Sidecar.  Now for those of you not in the know, a Sidecar is when the gentleman picks up the lady whom he’s dancing with and swings her up into the air and over his left hip…up into the air again and over his right hip…and then finally up into the air and back onto the dance floor.  It’s an awesome move.  I was up!  I was flying!  I was over the left hip!  I was flying!  And then Sam dropped me and I crashed onto the floor like a bag of bricks.

Now I have no idea why I did this, but I jumped up with my arms held high.  “I’m okay, I’m okay.”  I shouted to the other dance couples.  (maybe I thought I was in a movie or something)  Turning around, I gave Sam the hairy eyeball.  “Sam!”  I whispered so that the other couples who didn’t drop each other couldn’t hear me.  “You dropped me!”  “I’m so sorry, honey.” He told me with a hug. “I guess I just haven’t been lifting enough weight at the gym.”

Heedless of my girth, we eventually mastered the sidecar and moved on to the last move of the day.  Some call it the Knickerbocker, others just the Bocker, but basically it’s a full backwards somersault in the air.  This was no ordinary flip.  First I had to get myself from in front of Sam to beside him, then we had to launch me up in the air backwards…over his arm…and back onto the ground behind him without breaking my neck.  Good American fun.  So the teacher split us up into groups of three couples and at first I was happy about it.  One of  the guys in my group I already knew from Thursday night dance class and he’s a very polite 30-something man who’s really into Japanese culture.  The other couple looked normal enough until the brunette started teaching us.  I looked at Sam who looked at me.  Oh boy.

You know those people who always have something to say because as far as they’re concerned they’re an expert on everything?  Yeah, she was one of those.  I pretty much ignored her although my claws peaked out once when she told me to stop throwing my head back.  It was like the tenth ‘helpful’ comment and I was done.  “I’m not throwing my head back.” I said smiling nicely. “I’m doing a backwards somersault four feet off the ground; my head’s just going to go backwards naturally.”  About a minute later the teacher came by and told her to stop tucking her neck.  I smiled to myself, but politely refrained from commenting.  Mostly I just felt bad for her poor boyfriend who she kept correcting and correcting and correcting.  How could he stand it?

I came home exhausted, sore, and exhausted, but happier than I’ve felt in a long time.  Sam and I laughed so much swing danceyesterday and were still laughing at 10:30pm last night.  And despite his numerous comments about how much his back hurt or how I must have strong, high-density bones, I know he had just as much fun as I did.


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