Over a month ago, I went to the Richmond Night Market. When we were leaving, my friend asked me if I wanted to come to a free swing dance lesson downtown the following afternoon. She’s been doing swing dancing for quite a few years now with the Vancouver Swing Society. At first I was hesitant because I’m a terrible dancer. I wouldn’t say I have two left feet. I’m pretty sure I have a right one and a left one. I should know, being a shoe fanatic and all. And they work perfectly fine, when I’m walking. But when it comes to dancing, they’re a little slow. I was assured that no partner and no experience were necessary, which was good since I was lacking both those things.
I decided to wear this awesome shirt that I’d never worn before. It seemed appropriate for the occasion. If I was going to do this, why not go all out?
When I went downtown, I noticed a bunch of closing signs for Sears. I’ve known for a while now that they’re closing but it still makes me sad.
One of my friends had told me that the dancing didn’t cost anything and all I needed to bring with me was bus fare, and money to shop with while I was downtown. I knew Sears was going to be one of my shopping stops while I was there.
I went to the dance lesson. We all stood in a circle and then paired up, switching partners throughout the lesson. Did I mention I suck at dancing? The people were all really friendly and really patient, which was nice.
There was a booth set up there with a DJ and they played old swing hits from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. That’s totally not my style of music at all but I guess it worked well for the dancing.
There was a random mix of people who stopped by for the lesson. Some could actually dance and knew what they were doing. Some were like me and didn’t have a clue. I remember the instructor saying “If it feels awkward, then you’re doing it right.” I really wish that applied to life in general, because then that would mean I’ve done everything right my whole life.
There was a sort of routine step that we were taught to follow. Rock step, step, step, step. That’s what the instructors announced as we followed what they were doing. There were also spins. I remember spins. I’m bad at spins. It took me a while to figure out which direction I was supposed to spin in.
After the lesson, there was just free for all dancing while the music played. I stuck around for that for a bit. It was fun and different. More and more people started to join as it went on.
I didn’t stay for too long though because I needed a break. I’m glad I went though. When people ask you to dance at swing dancing on the street, it’s less creepy than the ones who try and dance with you at the clubs. They genuinely enjoy dancing here, and there’s no groping or trying to get you to go home with them.
I decided to wear my comfortable shoes for this. I bought these with the intent of wearing them to the gym. But who am I kidding, when am I going to go to the gym?
The dancing tired me out and so I went to London Drugs to get some water. No one needs 1.5 litres all at once, unless you’re doing the grouse grind, but I bought it anyway and carried it around.
While downtown, I was handed some H&M coupons. I used them towards socks. Because you can never have enough socks.
Sadly, I found nothing that sparked my interest at Sears. Maybe I won’t miss it for the shopping, as I didn’t actually buy much at that location. I guess I’ll just miss the fact that it’s there. I wasted time shopping when I could have stuck around and danced some more. I regret that now, especially since when I walked past them later, they were dancing to Hall and Oates. I’m sad I missed that.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go attend any of the other Dancing in the Street events this summer. But apparently you can see me in the Province’s video for the event I did attend. Just briefly though, I’m awkwardly in the corner. I also think I still have the coupon they gave me for a free dance lesson. Anyone want to go swing dancing?