I danced my first steps in May of 2005 thanks to my girlfriend at the time. She had taken a series of group classes and was enjoying it enough to sign up for the next series. It occurred to me that if I was going to keep seeing this girl, I had better learn to dance as well, or she was going to be going out dancing without me. When she signed up for the level 2 classes in West Coast Swing, I signed up for the beginner classes in both West Coast Swing and in Salsa.
Much to my surprise I found I enjoyed dancing and soon became passionate about West Coast Swing. Once I learned the basic idea of lead and follow, I was hooked. At first I took classes 2 nights per week. Then I started going to dances, which soon meant dancing all weekend. As I got more serious, I began taking private lessons regularly which helped my technique a lot. To learn to dance well, this is essential as there are so many aspects to this dance that just can't be taught in a group class. I also realized I needed a dance partner, someone as dedicated as I am to practice with. My instructor encouraged me to take private lessons from other teachers as well so I did. Pretty soon I was out dancing almost every night.
Along the way, I took classes in other dances: East Coast Swing, Night Club 2-Step, Cha Cha, Tango, and Blues, to name a few. I even tried belly dancing which incidently taught me to move my body in completely new and foreign ways. I continued to take salsa lessons from an excellent teacher who focused on lead and follow techniques. But always, my focus was on West Coast Swing.
I started traveling to West Coast Swing events in other cities, often going to 8-10 per year. At these events, I would attend workshops, watch the pros dance, enter competitions, and dance till the wee hours for days. I never failed to come back a better dancer.
A few year ago, I began to teach and perform. I found I learn choreography very slowly so while I enjoy performing, I don't do much of it. Teaching, however, is almost as much fun as dancing and so very rewarding. It can be so exciting to see your students "get it", and having fun.
So here I am today trying to share my passion for this dance with all of you. I'm still dancing most days. Please dance with me.