Take note of the labels for this post. It's been a long time since I've been able to label anything Dancing, S. Too long.
We arrived at the fixed-up-after-Sandy Jones Beach around 8. Just in time for the instructor to stop teaching and let the music play. She came down off the stage to mingle and dance. S and I walked around to our usual spot and found a lot of extra space because the bleachers have not yet been installed. The extra space was nice to have so we could stand to the side and do ministeps in trying to pick up the dances they were doing. We jumped in on one dance called Toes and did our best to remember it. Oooh, we were rusty. It's a dance we've done so many times, but there was one step we just couldn't get right. We managed to get our way through.
Basically, all the other people who dance in between the instruction are the people in the instructor's classes. She mentioned maybe twenty times that she had her cards up on stage if we wanted her contact info and we could find her on Facebook. She also pointed out the two banners that showed her information. Good plugging. But I'd appreciate more teaching.
However, I don't appreciate shame teaching, which is part of her style. As she teaches, we hear, Oh I see you there faking it or pointing out people that are having a bad go of it. She sometimes rags on her students, but they know her, so it's all in fun. The worst of it was when a man was clearly there only to please his date (wife? girlfriend?) and he went to leave the floor after the first few steps because he was stumbling pretty badly. She called out from the stage, Don't you leave! I see you! You can't leave! You're new, so I won't get on you too much!
Umm, one of those things is not like the other. The calling him out and making him stay on the floor is the opposite of not getting on him too much.
He managed to stay for that dance, but then found a way to sneak off the floor for the next and stand to the other side, where S and I usually wait. His date stayed out on the floor, dancing, and then he joined her later on, in the back, where he probably wouldn't get called out.
Despite the crazy amount of room without the bleachers, S and I were magnets for dancers who kind of knew what they were doing but didn't know completely. That meant we were up in their space and they were up in ours because of hesitation and not moving in the right direction. At one point, it looked like a very tall man was actually dancing with S as her partner because he wedged himself between his row and our row, between the two of us. Every time I moved over to make more room, the space would be filled by other people. It was humid and gross out, so more people in close proximity was the opposite of what I was trying to do.
After learning a new dance, the instructor told everyone to make rows that face each other. Oh no. We were dancing a contra. That means your line goes one way and the line facing you goes the other, and then when you do a certain turn, you go towards the line in front of you, pass the people, turn around, and face them in the other direction. The people we were facing knew what they were doing but were having trouble with going left when we were going right. Somehow they winded up maybe a mile away from us so when it was time to turn and switch places, we were pretty much running to keep in time with the music and get past them. It was quite the workout. Next time, I told S, we should be opposite each other because the girls in the two rows in the back were high fiving each other whenever they switched places.
There was another break and then some more teaching. Then the instructor put on The Cupid Shuffle. This is the main dance S does at work. She can't escape it. It's pretty simple, too, because for the most part, the lyrics tell you what to do: to the right, to the right, to the right, to the right. to the left, to the left, to the left, to the left. Now kick baby kick baby kick baby kick. Then you do a mini paddle to quarter turn. Very simple. The dance floor got a jittery energy because everyone seemed to be in the groove, having fun, and no one was being shamed.
During the evening, we saw some of the regulars we remembered from the last time we were there. We also saw the Catholic sisters from Jean's class and that made it feel like home. No Jean however. Sigh.