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In Step Dance continues May classes by request

By popular request, In Step Dance’s Sunday group classes will continue with the same dances that were taught in May. The general consensus of last month’s dancers is that they would like more time to practice the steps presented to better set them to memory. Also, if you weren’t able to attend in May, here is another chance to learn one or more of these dance selections. Therefore, the June schedule will be as follows.

On Sundays, June 3, 10, 17 and 24, Foxtrot fills the “smooth” dance category at 2 p.m., followed by Argentine Tango (Arthur Murray style) at 3. Beginning Lindy Hop swings in at 4, while “Shuffle” (sometimes known as Swing on the Move) starts its “triple-step, triple-step, walk, walk” at 5. All classes will still accommodate all levels of dancers, so if you missed any of the sessions in May, don’t worry; you’ll fit right in and be able to learn something new.

In case you are just getting into town or missed the article for last month, let me summarize the particulars of each dance.

Foxtrot is one of the most versatile “smooth” dances, and it has been in and out of varying ranges of popularity for almost 100 years. It can be danced in a casual manner or spruced up into a more formal affair. A great diversity of music offers the right speed and feel for Foxtrot. “Red Roses for a Blue Lady” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street” are old favorites, as well as something more innovative like “King of the Road” or “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”.

Argentine Tango has also been in existence for well over a century. It has its beginnings in the brothels of Argentina by the intermixing of a melting-pot of different cultures. This innovative street dance was created by lonely men who left their native countries in search of work or fortune. Traditional polkas, waltzes and mazurkas from Europe were blended with the popular habanera from Cuba and the candombe rhythms from Africa. Finally, wealthy sons of Argentine families took it to Paris and, by 1913, it had become an international phenomenon.

This course offers beginners, and more advanced dancers, the basics in slightly different patterns as formatted by the Arthur Murray Dance Organization. The intent is to supplement and compliment, not to discredit, the fine teachings of our friend Les Linton, who originally brought and continues to teach Argentine Tango in our area.

Lindy Hop is the very first swing dance, originating in this country in 1927. Since it is both a “circular” and “slotted” dance, all other swing dances were evolved easily from it. It’s been around the world in its many different forms since then and is making another comeback.

Turning the “hop” into an easier-to-do lowering of the knees creates a bouncing action that resembles a hop without all the huffing and puffing. When mastered, the timing of 1, 2, 3 and 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 can lead to great balls of fun. Some of Lindy Hop incorporates Charleston basics, which we will cover this month.

Shuffle was derived from what folks in Texas call “Progressive Country” or “Progressive Swing,” and was introduced to Pagosa as “Swing on the Move”. It was designed primarily for competition and is called the “Shuffle” in most international dance organizations. Whatever you call this swing-timing-type country dance, it can be “shuffled” to any contemporary or rock and roll music that has a slightly slower beat. This version offers an easier basic and some different patterns that have been taught in the past. Deb prefers to call it “Shuffle” only because it’s a shorter name; nothing against Swing-on-the-Movers in general. So, if you enjoy cruising around the floor doing lots of spins, neck and waist wraps, traveling patterns and fallaways, join us for the “Shuffle” in June.

As usual, all classes meet upstairs in room 3F in the Momentum Fitness 24/7 building, 450 Lewis St., downtown Pagosa. To cover rent and furnish bottled water and refreshments, etc., the cost per person is $5 per class. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that have smooth or suede leather soles, and do not leave marks on the floor. Partners may be preferred, but not mandatory, and anyone 16 or older may attend.

Mark your calendars

In an effort to give all Pagosa dancers an opportunity to dance socially with enough room to really dance in a nice atmosphere, there will be an Open Dance Party on Friday, June 22, from 7-10 p.m. at the same location. It is for anyone 21 or older, so BYOB and a snack to share. We will dance to wide variety of CD music, and you are welcomed to bring your own favorite tunes and visiting friends or family as well.

Call Deb at 731-3338 for more information.

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