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Monday, May 28, 2018

SuperListenMode: 1st time learning Blues Dancing


SuperListenMode: 1st time learning Blues Dancing

Was trying out this workshop too - which is a contrast to solo dancing! 

Slow, intimate partnered dancing. 

People were generally friendly, talked to some fellow "follows" and talked a bit with "leads"/partners when we first met at the start but then I just went into focused learning mode ;P It helped me getting over the initial discomfort and nervousness though...as I was nervously going alone!  

Interesting: there's fun playful improv collaborative elements depending on the connection you have with your partner, 
a lot of working with your partner non verbally with movement [otherwise verbal works], 
got comfortable not caring if I gave eye contact or not as it's a "you're in tune with your partner and the music" kind of thing 
and it was a lot of the "lead" creating/inviting/closing space and the "follow" accepting or not accepting it. 


Insightful how there's so many ways people like to dance - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't work with a partner and that's completely fine. Most people seemed to be enjoying it a lot from people of many backgrounds!


I made mistakes and usually I get the chance and get it right in subsequent attempts...but with every new partner change, it's challenging to figure out what the new person wants to do. Not that comfortable with lots of people breathing down on me and sometimes the height difference means I'm awkwardly hugging a shoulder or trying not to get my face slammed into their upper arm/shoulder - not comfortable. :<


Appreciated partners who smiled with me and went with the flow in the present along with me than those who dominated and kept trying things without much clear anticipated non verbal warning. Consequently we bumped into knees and toes got stepped on as either they went for it or I didn't catch on with their cues...which is fine and normal - you just keep going with the rhythm. There's no "wrong" way to dance as long as both are respectful and having a good time with the music together. 


Still one time I got lifted into a move because of the height difference, they were forcing it and I collided into them...laughed it off but it didn't feel great. :( Difficult to keep in tune with the music later on as I just kept focusing on figuring the next new person, not bumping into people and learning the next new harder move. 


I super appreciated Blues Dancing and learned a lot about partnered dancing. I would prefer private classes with one partner and/or partnered with someone I know whom I don't mind close embrace with in the future. Then I can focus on getting in tune with my body's movements, on the one trusted partner and on the music rather than the chaos of group social dynamics. Not worry about learning and adapting everything again with each new person. 

Or if they're going to force me to move how they move. Eep. :(


Getting *that* physically intimately close with lots of partners who are strangers with different individual motives and rhythms [introvert overload!!], 
and not feeling like I'm in control and stuck in following/mirroring mode [even when you shouldn't be!]. I wasn't really in tune with a lot of people there. 


Let's say I felt mixed afterwards as there were good intimate fleeting moments and uncomfortable awkward or painful ones. Afterwards I didn't feel like I had fun [pretended I did when I was asked as I was still figuring out my thoughts], I didn't get to know anybody and so I felt more isolated and disconnected than ever. I realised that social Blues dancing isn't for me right now. :')


Gosh afterwards I still felt the pressure on my back due to some partners being forceful, dominating and decisive with their direction, pushing/dragging me where they wanted me to go while I struggled to keep up...I won't miss that part! Or my feet starting to blister. :0


But hey. Stressing I learned about and enjoyed the rare moments of just hugging someone you trust, dancing slowly with the sensual music and going with the flow without caring about technique accuracy or other people. It's a magical, special experience when you and your dance partner are on the *same* wavelength. <3