So I was looking over the previous entry, and yikes! it’s long. I’m going to offer both my apologies and the excuse that I was sick when I wrote it, and therefore perhaps not in the best frame of mind for self-critique. It’s a nice overview of the weekend, but in the future I will offer up bits and pieces at a time.
On Mondays I’ve been going with a friend, Kaitlyn, to the OSU Swing Club
meetings, which involve two lessons and a social dance, all free and open to the public. They’re a lot of fun, although the attendance does tend to peter out quite a bit after the lessons, leaving a much smaller group for the dance.
It’s neat, and a tiny bit horrifying, to watch the brand new dancers. Neat, because there’s so much enthusiasm, and it’s really great to watch people laughing at themselves and having fun as they work to learn this new skill. It’s a little bit awful, though, because as one watches, one becomes unavoidably aware that EVERYONE starts out looking awkward, with bad posture and poor lead-follow connection – so at one time, that was me.
The active members of the group do a great job with the club. In addition to organizing some interesting classes, they are now making an active effort to make newcomers feel included. In fact, as a regular attendee, I was turned down for a dance by a friend because he felt like he should dance with the new people. I am particularly appreciative of this because when I first showed up to dance in Columbus, it was the least friendly scene I had approached. Everywhere else I had danced – Oberlin, Cleveland, Pittsburgh – had been very friendly and not only had folks asked me to dance, but they went out of their way to say hi when they saw me again and made some effort to remember my name. The entire Columbus scene took months and months to learn my name, and they never asked me to dance. So if the club is going to make an effort to reach out to newcomers, I am fully behind that, and I don’t mind being turned down in support of it.