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‘Swing into Spring’ at dance workshop

In Step Dance Associates will host a spring workshop, dinner and dance on Saturday, April 9, at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

In Step Dance, will host its “Swing into Spring” West Coast Swing Workshops, and is bringing Arthur Murray’s accredited dance instructors, Bob and Cindy Long from Albuquerque, N.M., to teach both beginning and intermediate West Coast Swing. The Longs have been instrumental in developing new syllabus for Arthur Murray, and will share some exciting new tidbits of technique with us.

Some of you may remember Bob and Cindy Long from past workshops and dance camps here. For those who are new to the area, let me tell you how privileged we are to have two of the most talented and accredited dance teachers this close to us. Bob is chairman of the Arthur Murray National Dance Board, three times U.S. Pro American Ballroom finalist, three times Ohio Star Ball finalist, Championship adjudicator in all Styles, Imperial society licentiate in Theater Arts, and recipient of the Feather Award for the Most Outstanding Male Teacher in the U.S.

Cindy was four times U.S. Professional Standard champion, U.S. Professional American Ballroom Finalist, North American pro Champion in both Standard and American styles of ballroom dance, British Open Rising Star Standard Finalist, British open Standard Semifinalist, World Championship adjudicator in all styles, Imperial Society Licentiate in Theater Arts, six-time Feather Award recipient, and most outstanding Female Dance Teacher in the U.S.

After teaming up, the Longs have impressively added to their biographies in the world’s dance arena. Together, they have received the special Feather Award representing “The New Wave Spirit of Dance.” They are also Arthur Murray and North American Professional Ballroom Champions, traveling dance consultants and examiners, adjudicators for all levels including World Championships, and co-authors of many Arthur Murray dance syllabi.

As well as current co-franchisees of the studio in Albuquerque, Bob and Cindy travel extensively for professional and Pro/Am coaching, teaching and choreography, and are highly sought after adjudicators. This exceptional team is highly respected and coveted all over the world of dance. We are extremely fortunate to welcome them once again the Pagosa. Don’t pass this opportunity to learn from the best, the ever-evolving and innovative West Coast Swing.

So what makes WCS so different from any other swing dance? It has been described as the “Cadillac of Swing,” and is the state dance of California. It is a very sultry, improvisational dance, developed from the Lindy; and danced to slower swing music with a hint of blues. The man basically stays in one place while the lady moves back and forth along a straight line or slot on the floor. In theory, the lady should never step out of her slot. Her assignment is to get from one end of the slot to the other; preferably doing something stylish in the process. The man either leads her down the slot, stepping out of the slot to let her pass, or starts her down the slot, then blocks her path, forcing her to go back where she started. Rhythm variations such as syncopation, fancy footwork styling, spins and body waves can be added to create a new look to basic patterns. There are no set rules with WCS. Improvisation is the name of the game. Once you learn the basics, the dance is all yours!

Both beginning and intermediate/advanced classes will be held at the same time, as we can divide the clubhouse into two separate rooms. Registration begins at 2:45 p.m. with the workshop starting promptly at 3. The cost is $25. per person, with all proceeds going to the visiting instructors, and to pay for putting on the event.

A refreshment break (provided by In Step) will take place around 4:15, followed by more WCS until 6. Everyone will then have a chance to change clothes if desired, or do any preparations for dinner that are necessary. Anyone 16 years of age or older may attend the workshop, but the dinner and dance is adult only.

BYOB cocktails will start at 6:30 with a potluck dinner at 7. There will be lots of general dancing to a wide variety of CD music throughout the evening’s festivities, which will include some exciting exhibition dances. Deb and student David McGee are working hard to add their “Once Upon A December” Viennese Waltz routine to the roster; and Deb plans to team up with Bob to WCS and Shuffle their way through a routine to Shania Twain’s tune “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” We would love to include other exhibition dances to the list, so we encourage any dance couple who has a routine, or would like to work on one, to sign up. Just call Deb, and she will be glad to help in any way she can to get you ready. Don’t be shy ... anyone, at any level can be a part of the fun!

If you can’t make it to the workshop during the day, we heartily encourage you to come to the dinner and dance. Bring your own adult beverage, and one of the following: main dish, side dish, salad or dessert. Table settings, napkins, glasses, cups, silverware, water, coffee, teas, and hot chocolate will be provided. There is a full kitchen available, for our convenience. Plan to kick up your heels and have a ball.

Your choice of attire is optional. Comfortable, more casual clothing is best for the workshop; but there are restrooms to change in if you wish to bring something dressier for the evening. Please wear shoes that have smooth or suede leather soles, something that does not leave black marks or mud.

Stay tuned in the weeks to come for more information on the Longs and any updates. For more information, call Deb at 731-3338 or 946-1081.

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