4 Problems I Have with Social Swing Dancing

When I’m not watching movies with the Husband, Skyping with Jen, watching American Horror Story or reblogging Disney photos on my Tumblr (sarcasmismyotherlanguage.tumblr.com, in case you’re wondering), I’m often swing dancing. I love the big band music, the style and the fun it brings. However, there are a few things I do have an issue with when I slip on my Keds and hit the dance floor…

One of my signature dance moves.

One of my signature dance moves.

1. Skirts that twirl a little too high
This one’s for the ladies who love to strut that vintage style at swing dances. I myself like to slip on an A-line skirt and some red lipstick every once in a while. If there’s one thing I hate it’s when I forget to do a “spin test” before heading out the door – where you spin in your room in front of a mirror to make sure you’re not showing off your underwear as well as your dancing skills. This is more of a personal issue because those vintage skirts are just so damn cute!

Short skirt

2. Dancers that take swing dancing way too seriously

Swing dancing is supposed to be three things – fun, social and easy going. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s dancers who can’t take it when their follower misses a step. An eye roll, a heavy sign, an overcorrection, the stern silent treatment – all of it. Don’t do it. Dude, calm yo tits. Mistakes happen in all dances, and the best kind of dancers are the ones that know how to laugh and still make it look good.

serious

And Followers, don’t think you’re getting out of this one. I have seen my fair share of Followers who are guilty of the eye roll or impatient correction with a Leader who is learning. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing this for 2 months or 6 years, don’t be a douche bag.

judging you

3. Judgmental and rude dancers

I did swing dancing in NYC for about 4 years, stopped for 3 years while the Husband and I moved around with the Navy, and have been hesitant to get into the Southern California swing scene. The biggest reason why? Judgmental and rude dancers. The cliques of dancers that hang out in the corner and only dance with each other. When you do ask one of them to dance, they make you feel like they’re doing you a favor. They won’t speak to you during or after the dance. Once it’s over, they rush back to their group without much more then a “thanks.”

sit with us
The worst isn’t even trying to ask one of them to dance – it’s the hate and judgment those sitting on the side point out about everyone else. Why are you trash talking about other dancers? That’s just mean and hurtful, and discourages newbies from wanting to learn. I noticed that it tends to be those who have been dancing for a while, which is a big reason why I prefer dancing with those who are new to the swing scene. Just be a nice person, and don’t hate on anyone.

done talking to you

4. The Creeper

Every dance has one. The one guy (or girl) who thinks it’s ok to be hands-y and a little too close because you’re dancing together. I danced with one guy who spun me around and lead my hands to go around his neck – fuck no. It was disgusting and I immediately stopped dancing with him, told him that was not swing dancing, was completely inappropriate, and walked away. Don’t be afraid to tell someone off for trying to take advantage of dancing. Swing dancing is a great way to express yourself, but you should never feel uncomfortable while dancing with a partner.

the creep

The point I’m trying to make – just don’t be an asshole.

rainbow cake

This fellow blogger also shares some of my issues with swing dancing, and expresses some valid points. Check out his article here.