Welcome to Waltz etcetera
Our music draws you onto the floor gut-first. We don't play mild-mannered "dance music" that's been simplified for beginning dancers, edited or arranged to remove all the interesting contrasts and subtleties. We don't play "strict" music that's constrained to fit someone's narrow definition of a particular dance. Instead we play the real thing, the really good stuff, music with heart & soul, music that makes you wanna just dance without worrying about fancy steps or how you look. What a relief it is to stop worrying about how you look!
So our music is often ambivalent: hey, we could dance cha-cha to this, or one-step, or even hustle - let's mix it up! We encourage dancers to mix styles and genres, for partners to work and play together to create something that perfectly fits the song that's playing, just making it up as you go. Just don't block the traveling lane, eh?
- Dance 7:30 pm every Monday including holidays
- A thriving community of experienced partner dancers and a few adventurous beginners
- About half waltz, half etcetera: blues, swing, nightclub 2-step, Latin...
- Open role dancing embraced - we encourage everyone to dance both roles
- $10 per person; we dance at the Lake City Community Center
- Drop-in class right before the dance, 6:30 every Monday: Partnering & musicality, $10
- Also Musicality Lab, 1st & 3rd Sunday afternoons, 1 pm in Ballard
- Dancing weekly since 1999, and we get a good turnout, 50 dancers or more every Monday
- We're friendly to humans of all persuasions, unpretentious, and noncompetitive; come dance with us!
Monday night class, ongoing: Partnering & musicality
...aka How to be a great dance partner
- All levels welcome! This class is aimed at experienced dancers, but adventurous beginners have tried it and thrived. This is about the real heart of partner dancing: not moves, not technique, not tricks & tips, but surrender: surrendering to the music and letting it shape everything about your dance, and surrendering to your partner, following your partner no matter which role you're dancing at the moment. That's how you connect.
- A new kind of dance class. In this class we focus on becoming one of those dance partners who just feels great to dance with. Someone who doesn't fret about moves or how the dancing looks to the imaginary bystanders. Someone who just dances with you beautifully, the way the music says to dance, doing everything possible to make sure you both have a great time.
- Being that kind of partner has 2 key elements: partnering skills (creative collaboration) and musicality. Yes, dancers have to learn moves; moves are dance vocabulary. But knowing lots of cool moves does not make anyone into that partner you just love to dance with, just like a big vocabulary doesn't make anyone a good speaker or writer. It takes strong partnering skills and musicality to be that kind of dancer, and that's what these classes focus on, rather than moves. You can learn moves anywhere.
- Moves vs. musicality. If you have good musicality, you can use any kind of move you like; you can make anything musical and enjoyable, including the simplest of steps. If you're lacking in musicality, your dancing will not be delicious, no matter how many fabulous moves you know, or how showy & cool your styling.
- All of those delicious partners are great at following! The partners who feel great to dance with follow the music, and they also follow their partners, paying very close attention to what their partner's doing and adapting their dancing to that, even when they're leading.
- Responsive and adaptable: that's how those great dance partners feel, whether leading or following. They respond and adapt to everything: music, partner, changing situation in the room. No matter what happens, that kind of partner adapts and turns it into enjoyable dancing.
- Everyone in these classes learns both leading and following skills, because that's what you need to be one of those partners. They know both, and they use them all the time, whatever role they're dancing. In these classes we dive deep into what makes good following and what makes good leading, and everyone gets better at both.
- A wide variety of music: partnering and musicality are universal, and we use all kinds of music in these classes. Musicality means really letting the music in and moving within it. The song you're hearing isn't just some dance - waltz, swing, cha-cha, whatever - it's a unique song with a life and rhythm of its own. We focus on building the core skills to dance to any music, anywhere.
1st and 3rd Sunday afternoons
Twice a month we offer a 2-hour Musicality Lab. Alternating teaching sessions with open dancing sessions, we really dive into musicality: dancing with your partner inside the music, not just executing moves with the music as a backdrop. Musicality makes dancing delicious; nothing else does. Our experience teaching Musicality Lab over the past few years has given birth to our new Monday night Partnering and Musicality classes.
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