What is Swing Dance?
Story By Cliff P. Jr Mires:
I loved growing up with the Jitterbug style in my dancing life. I did not have shoes or dance shoes, I wore cowgirl boots, they were comfortable and you moved about the dance floor, short stepping to and fro. A person did not need a partner, although if you did you were lucky and you loved the twirls, the dips, the scoots. You and the rhythm and tempo were one and all you knew were you were having fun.
Then you were able to learn, slow motion at first, how to loop around your partner without ever letting go of his hands and then after your loop, how you would end up at his side and begin to twirl again alone or together.
I came back to my hometown last year and have come back to a no-dance town; dancing is only found 60-70 miles away somewhere. You don't know these people, they aren't your friends (yet), so you are reticent to say Yes to a dance request, because then you do see your dance shoes, because you're looking down and you are stiff in your manner, there is no gliding, there is no smooth slide to the side. You are aware of your surroundings and you are acute to the sounds and how the tempo and rhythm of the song has changed several times in your time out on the dance floor.
Then, you get asked for a dance by the same person and then you become a little less stiff, and by the third time dancing with your partner, you have the beginnings of the feeling of what you had when you were growing up and this seemed as natural to you as being born into a family of dancers, or your extended family, your friends. By the time the place is closing, you are as loose as when you were dancing with your friends and family back home: Slide-glide, scoot-boots, and you're having fun...again...just dancin'.