I figured as one of the leaders of the Austin Swing Syndicate I would help start of our blog by writing about my personal story of how I started dancing, why I love it, and what I hope for the swing dance community in the coming years.
First, it’s time for a background story.
I still remember the first swing dancing lesson I took. It was my senior year of high school and the leader of my small group at church thought it would be fun for our little group of three to go dancing together. So, on a Tuesday night, we finished our study early and drove over to Southside Preservation Hall in Fort Worth, Texas.
The first swing dance I learned was Balboa, which was strange for a first experience. There I am, an awkward, introverted senior in high school learning the balboa, a dance where a close embrace is key. Honestly, I didn’t really like Balboa at the time (love it now!) but after the lesson a guy named Riley taught me the east coast swing and danced with me a few times. We were around the same age and it was definitely nice to have someone who knew what they were doing to dance with. It gave me a taste of how fun swing dancing can be if you stick with it, and I did!
From stories I’ve heard other people tell who are now long-term swing dancers, nearly everyone has a Riley who took the time to dance with them when they were just beginning to learn and showed them just how fun swing dancing can be. I hope I’ve been a Riley on some level to a few people as well!
Now, why do I love dancing?
Like many of you, I first fell in love with dancing because it’s fun and that’s the main reason I still dance today.