Dance Classes and Sesame Street - 060524

Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
To live in the presence of great truths and eternal laws, to be led by permanent ideals - that is what keeps a man patient when the world ignores him, and calm and unspoiled when the world praises him. ~ Honore De Balzac
Instead of thinking about where you are, think about where you want to be. It takes twenty years of hard work to become an overnight success. ~ Diana Rankin
The second law of Newtonian Lindy Hop, Momentum: a Follower set in motion, will continue to stay in motion, in the same direction, until that motion is changed by the Lead. ~ Joel Plys, Swing Dance Instructor

The swing dance workshop was great and the party a lot of fun.

You know how children loved Barney, but adults wanted to pull out their hair and scream, "just shoot me", whenever Barney came on. A lot of beginning dance classes are like that for people who are already at a higher level.

Sesame Street is different. Sesame Street is two shows in one. Something simple for children, and something entertaining for adults, with funny jokes, inuendos and quality singing and dancing that goes over the heads of the kids.

During the beginner Lindy Hop lesson, the teachers, Alison and Joel Plys, did an interesting thing, that reminded me of Sesame Street.

They taught the Lindy Hop, 8-count basic, for an hour. At the same time, they went over specific techniques for each step of the basic. They gave so much information, that the class was good for beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers, even though they only covered the basic pattern. Each person could take what they were ready to receive.

In our classes, a lot of our advanced dancers show up right at the beginning, yet we never know how many beginners will be there. We try to do the same thing, and make the beginning classes, as enjoyable for the advanced dancers as for the beginners.

There was one woman at the swing party, who could dance fine, but because she was so nervous, she was overly concentrating on what steps she was supposed to take. Normally in any kind of dancing, counting is helpful, but she was so focused on counting, to the exclusion of everything else, that it was impossible to dance with her.

So I told her, to relax, have fun, enjoy herself, and that I was going to make up steps, so her counting would not help. I told her that since I was inventing steps, the only thing that she could do was to stay loose and do whatever felt right. After that she did great, and we had a good time.

We have to do more of that too and allow ourselves to do what feels right, at least when dancing to the beat of the music.

Thanks to Izzy Shniadoski and the Swing Affair, the South Florida swing dance club, for hosting a great event. You can find their information at

Thanks to Alison and Joel Plys for their excellent instruction. You can find their information at

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