By Michelle de Carion
Five years ago, a friend invited me out to swing-dance in downtown Chicago. Though I'd dreamed of learning to dance as a kid, watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers twirl about, I was honestly terrified and had never taken a lesson. She assured me, "Come anyway. You'll learn."
My first night out, I took a beginner class and danced with a bunch of different people. They were all kind, understanding, and also willing to show me new things. At the time, I didn't have money for professional lessons, but I went to the weekly dances anyway, met some amazing people, and in no time I was becoming a pro. I threw myself into the swing scene and learned as I went.
Five years later, I'm now helping run a swing dance in Fort Lauderdale, and I hear people tell me the same thing I told my friend when I started, "I'm a terrible dancer." "I've never taken lessons." "I have two left feet!" But the truth is, if you really want to swing-dance, you can. With time and patience and a lot of passion, you'll be doing swingouts and Susie Q's in no time.
Cutting the rug can enrich your life in so many ways. So here are eight good reasons why swing dancing is for everybody.