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Julie tiny dancer newsletter

Dance Connections Newsletter

May 2024

WEST COAST SWING CLASS

I appreciate those that signed up for the West Coast Swing Class.  I had a lot of fun this 6 weeks. I am putting it on pause for the time being in order to support the class in New Braunfels.  

 

Roxanne has been teaching a beginner class for the last month on Mondays at 6:30pm. She has 2 more classes and you can drop in for $10 on the 13th and 20th.  Located at the American Legion, 410 W Coll St, New Braunfels.

 

I am considering taking it over when she goes on vacation.  I will keep you posted.

 

Also, please reply if you are interested in learning the pattern for the International West Coast Swing Flashmob?  The sequence has been released for 2024, and the performance has always been in September in the past.  I’m looking to rally people together for a possible class.  

 

My Dance Origin Story Part II:  (getting a little personal)

I gave up dance at 20 when I got married.  I had my first child at 21.  My husband didn’t dance and I was overwhelmed with parenting little ones and there was no access to my dance hobby where we lived.  I got rid of my shoes and put my music CDs in a box so I wouldn’t be reminded of what I was missing.  

 

10 years later, I was depressed after putting everyone else first and neglecting my own needs.  Even though I didn’t recognize at the time that I was disconnected from myself, I used my need to cope with my husband’s chronic unemployment as my reason for seeking out the San Antonio Swing Dance Society on Wednesday nights.  I would read my kids bedtime stories and put them to bed and race to the other side of town to participate in the social.  I couldn’t get there early enough for the lesson, but playing on the dance floor was the highlight of my week.

 

I had forgotten everything I knew in my teens, which ended up being to my advantage as I learned to rely on following instead.  A shy, quiet girl who lived in the shadow of an outgoing charismatic (but secretly bitter and depressed) husband, I faced my social fears and met strangers.  It was a good way to get my feet wet because there was little expectation to talk with a partner while dancing, and it was only a 3 minute connection before each song was over.  

 

I was invited by the group to go to Monday Night Swing at Sam’s Burger Joint at the Pearl.  (This tradition had been started years earlier and, unfortunately, ended the year before covid due to long term lack of support.) I’d never been to a bar before, having grown up in a strict religion and tied to my kids when I became of age.  I felt like I’d gone back in time, except the dancers were now adults of all ages rather than high school kids.  The place was small and the floor was uneven concrete, but the energy was friendly and exuberant.  Everyone danced with everyone else and I never sat down.  I had the time of my life, even though my husband was not happy with me when I came home and poo-pooed my time out. 

 

I couldn’t justify two nights to myself, so I would alternate weeks.  One week I would go to Sam’s and the next week I would go to the Swing Society Social.  A friend soon introduced me to west coast swing and we found out that a new group called the Alamo West Coast Swing Club had just formed.  We showed up and I was hooked. But how could I pick just one night between three dance options?  

 

Each week I chose one option but eventually, the West Coast Swing Club won.  I loved dance so much, my husband agreed to let me apprentice at a dance studio so I could help our family financially.  Despite the agreement, I got a lot of push back from my family for not being home.  And I was severely judged by church members who believed partner dancing was for romantic purposes only.  When my marriage finally collapsed, my church community blamed my participation in dance and I felt ostracized.

 

 ...and the dance community became my new family with open arms and acceptance.

 

To be continued…

 

BAND SPOTLIGHT 

 

Band: Hot Texas Swing Band (link) – Country and Swing

It’s no surprise that I heard this band first at Sam’s Burger Joint.  Many bands play different styles to accommodate different venues.  When I first heard HTSB, the venue was swing, so I didn’t even realize they played classic country until years later when I saw them at an old country dance hall.  They even have different band members for different venues, depending on if they needed brass instruments or a steel guitar.  

 

When I was in charge of booking bands for Braun Hall, I asked them to come to accommodate the country dancers as well as the swing community in an attempt to expand the demographics.  Unfortunately, neither crowd was familiar with the band and the name of the band turned off the country dancers while the twang turned off the swing dancers so almost nobody showed up.  Again I was met with skepticism when I booked them for Alamo City Swing Revival, but this time the band was to play strictly swing with no twang.  Now they are a favorite at ACSR and whenever the band sees me or other members of the swing club at an old country dancehall, they include some swing to accommodate us even though that venue is for country dancers.

 

Hot Texas Swing Band is based in Austin, and, despite the drive from San Antonio, my favorite place to see them is at the HEB Central Market Westgate.  They play every kind of music there and the food court seats tons of dancers with a medium floor near the stage. We get to dance swing, country, Latin, and ballroom. They do it all!

 

 Hot Texas Swing Band will be playing at the following:

  • Wed May 8th (tomorrow) at Gruene Hall, 6-10pm

        1291 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels

 

  • Fri May 10th Central Market Westgate, 6:30-9pm

        4477 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, 78745

 

  • Fri May 10th Central Market Westgate, 6:30-9pm

        Central Market Westgate, 4477 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, 78745

 

  • Fri June 14th Central Market Westgate, 6:30-9pm

        4477 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, 78745

 

  • Fri July 12th Central Market Westgate, 6:30-9pm

        4477 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, 78745

 

  • Wed July 31st Dripping Springs Community Librarye, 6:30-9pm

        501 Sportsplex Dr, Dripping Springs, TX

 

  SWING!  

Alamo City Swing Revival (link) (ACSR) Mondays 7pm-10pm. San Antonio Fire Fighters Banquet Hall 8925 W I-10 Frontage Road. Acswingrevival.org

$7 members/$12 guests DJ nights;

$15 member/$20 guests Band Nights

May 13: Lamplighters

May 20: DJ night

May 27: Sockhop with the Mo-Dels

Classes this month: East Coast 1, Shag 1, Solo Jazz

 

Gruene Dance Hall Gruene/New Braunfels

Wed May 15th & 29th, 6-10pm The Georges

 

Blues Break Fri May 17th 8-11pm. San Antonio Swing Dance Society will offer a blues dance every third Friday for $5 located at Bright coffee 1705 Blanco Rd. 78212

 

See you on the dance floor!

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