I write articles all the time…in my head. Apparently they only make it onto my blog when I’m encouraged to do it for others. Here’s another article I wrote for the dance newsletter.
You didn’t think it was possible and you didn’t see it coming, but somehow swing dancing has become routine – and not in the fun Jitterbug Stroll routine kind of way! Don’t worry! Many dancers hit a bit of a dry spell at some point in their life but there are ways to break free and find the complete enjoyment you experienced in your early days of dance. Let’s talk about a few ways to help you stay engaged in a hobby that you really do enjoy!
- Liven it up with something new! Sometimes we get in a funk because we feel like we’re doing the same old, same old. If you’ve been a hardcore Lindy Hop dancer until now, why not broaden your horizon (& your dancing skills) with something new? Add some Balboa or Charleston to your repertoire. Or learn a completely new dance; how about Tango to inspire your blues?
- Get involved! We come to dance and to interact but we also come together to form a community. Get more out of your swing dancing experience by giving more. For instance, become a volunteer at the studio helping out at the door or at other special events. Ask about taking on emceeing duties for a Monday Night dance. Look into becoming a local DJ to share your music with your community. You might even look into visiting a Thursday night recording of the Swing & Blues radio show on soundFM.
- Join a troupe. Yes – you! Look into local dance groups or create your own. Performance work brings a whole new exciting aspect to the dance. Many dance studios have troupes that are for appropriate for different level of dancers, and you will be trained so you’ll master all the moves you need! You don’t have to be an expert either to create your own group, you just need a love for the dance, a few ideas and a good dose of determination. Grab a few friends and you could be ready to perform in a few months’ time!
- Travel! Sometimes to break out of the doldrums we just need to see a fresh face or two. There are always dance exchanges going on throughout Canada, the United States and abroad. Just take a look at the Yehoodi Calendar. Dancing with new people encourages us to explore our dance and allows us to learn more about the dance and ourselves. Visiting different venues in strange cities is a wonderful way to see dance in a different light. Traveling doesn’t mean you have to go far either! If you’re looking for something different, try visiting another Ontario city like Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston or Ottawa!
- Take a break. On occasion, taking a break really is the best thing to do. We often need time to reflect on our dance and what we’ve learned and what it means to us and skipping a few dances, or a few months of dances, can be refreshing and revitalize our spirit. Dancing doesn’t have to be your everything; it can fit in nicely with work, family obligations and other hobbies and activities. When you are ready to come back, do it with pizazz and try dressing up for your first dance back. Everyone appreciates a snappy dresser; your friends will be excited to see you back and newcomers will be pleased to find a new partner too!
These are just a few examples of the many ways to find inspiration in your community and to keep dance a fun and vibrant activity. If you feel you’re in a bit more of a slump, take a look at Rebecca Brightly’s wonderful post, “When Lindy Hop Isn’t Fun Anymore” in which she describes how to recognize the cause of your slump and suggests ways to fix it (and yes, there’s overlap with our list). Have more ideas of your own? Visit the Hep Cat Hoppers Facebook group and share your opinion!