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In Step Dance features full schedule

In Step Dance is hosting a month of romantic Valentine’s dances.

On Sundays, Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26, the smooth/slow dance of the month is: beginning to intermediate Waltz, and will begin promptly at 2 p.m. A continuation of the sultry Bolero will be the Latin pick and starts at 3. An intermediate West Coast Swing styling class swings in at 4, and the Country Western dance selection is Cowboy Cha Cha, slated for 5.

Slow Waltz, as we know it in most of the world today, started out with a much faster pace than we practice it today. Developed in central Europe from the Austrian couple’s dance known as the “Landler,” the Waltz, with whirling partners held, as if in an embrace, shocked polite society when it was first introduced in about 1800. It became the outstanding ballroom dance of the 19th century, however, and maintained a prominent position even after the 20th-century introduction of jazz-dance styles.

Many variations were developed in the 1900s, among them the elegant, rapidly turning Viennese Waltz. Country Western Waltz is also popular and is danced slightly faster than the smooth style. The term “waltz” comes from the German word “walzen” which means to revolve. So, find a partner you can “embrace” and join us for a whirl around the floor.

Bolero has become a favorite among the slow and romantic types, so we will continue in that mode with some new intermediate patterns. But, if you have never danced the Bolero and missed the classes in January, fear not. In Step’s classes are now designed to accommodate both beginner and experienced dancers alike. Keep in mind, Bolero is a magical combination of the rhythmical Rumba, the whirling Waltz and the tempestuous Tango.

The Bolero is so well liked in Europe that is has become the national dance of Spain. The expanding and contracting dance position makes a very dramatic and romantic “statement.” So, bring your partner and start “talking.” And if you don’t have a partner yet, come and learn the moves for when that special someone comes into your life at last.

West Coast Swing classes in January were focused on review and refinement of the basics. We will continue the most romantic of the swing dances again this month, but with a little different approach. We will teach some new patterns, but in the review of steps previously practiced, we will add more finesse and styling ideas. Remember, this is a club-style dance, where improvisation is the name of the game. There are no rules; once you learn the basics, make the dance yours. Own it!

During one of the classes in February, there will be a video of examples of WCS styles, modes and techniques performed by amateurs and professionals who have made this innovative dance their own creation. Maybe it’s time to let your creative juices flow on the dance floor as well.

Our Country Western selection for February is by special request: Cowboy Cha Cha, sometimes known as “Traveling Cha Cha.” It is a country partner dance that moves on the floor in a clockwise direction, commonly referred to as a “four-wall line dance.” It is now danced all over the world.

You may have seen cowboys and cowgirls out social dancing; this as a line dance to such country classics as “My Maria” or “Neon Moon.” There’s a cool variation danced locally that leads in with a cha cha cha/grapevine addition, and some couples have interjected their own style to the basics; but watch out, we have three other innovative add-ons to the original that will make you rock in your boots.

In Step Dance continues classes in 2012 at the Momentum Fitness 24/7 building (formally The Club) 450 Lewis St. upstairs in room 3F. It’s a lovely room with mirrors, which are a great complement to dancers. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes that do not leave black marks or mud.

Classes start on time, so come a few minutes early to register and get ready to dance. The donation is only $5 per person, per class, which covers studio rent and provides bottled water, etc. You do not need a partner and anyone 16 or older can attend.

For more information, call Deb at 731-3338.

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