Country Western and Social Dance classes are coming to South City Campus for Spring 2018.
With little under 30 days notice, we’ve been moved from Redwood Campus to South, provided we have enough students enrolled to run the classes. Ballroom Social Dance is having the same issue. Ballroom Social Dance classes are Tuesdays at 5 p.m. and Country Western Dance classes are Thursdays at 5 p.m. on the second floor at South.
What can these Social Dance classes do for you? This is a one credit HLA course that is designed to teach students how to dance with a partner. How to lead, and how to follow and dance floor etiquette. Additionally, there are multiple health and wellness lectures that are required for these general education courses.
Depending on which class you take, you can learn Foxtrot, Waltz, Cha-cha, Swing Dance, Two Step or any number of partner dances. It is one of the few classes that you get a hands on experience every single time. Hundreds of friendships have developed through these classes, as well as relationships and even some marriages. Not to say that we’re a dating service, but these classes seem to have a high incidence of ongoing dating.
You see, dancing is something that we do in our culture that crosses many boundaries; age, purpose, culture and experience. We use social dance at weddings, cultural gatherings, office parties and concerts. Being able to lead complex patterns or to follow them is a talent that doesn’t happen naturally. Dancers are taught rhythm, count, timing and the structure of patterns – when and how to lead or follow. Dance has evolved through the years in many ways. No longer is leading or following gender specific. I have witnessed men who follow better than many women, and visa versa. When I go to a social dance venue, as a woman, I get asked to dance more by women than by men because I know what a great lead feels like and how to emulate that.
There are many social dance activities that non-dancers are witness to that display nothing related to social dance, like Western Swing/Country Swing/Rodeo Swing. This activity is related more to gymnastics than to social dance. Just because they play country music doesn’t mean it is country dancing. There is no timing, no rhythm or technique to what you witness in this arena. It is not competed on a national level. Many venues nationally prohibit lifts, drops and aerials on their dance floors.
What most of the participants or spectators don’t know is that lifts, drops and aerials are never acceptable on a social dance floor. As a matter of fact, it is also not allowed in competition format either, with the exception of the Division called Cabaret. There are a few divisions in some genres of competitions that allow drops or leveraged moves – but the competition rules define this for competitors.
The reason that lifts, drops or aerials are not allowed on a social dance floor includes the sheer danger of dropping a partner from any distance onto a non-yielding surface with other people within arms reach that can be injured as well. There was even an article published in the Pacific Northwest about a mother who was doing “Country Swing” and was dropped, breaking her neck and killing her. Dancing is not supposed to cause injury or death. It is meant to be fun and celebratory.
Don’t worry, you won’t be learning any of these dangerous activities in any of our Social Dance Classes. Your accomplishments will be something to be proud of and something you can do the rest of your life. We hope to see you on our dance floor this semester.