Celebrating Swing!

I was walking home from the gym, bemoaning the absence of fun during my workout. The monotony of the treadmill and the constant readjusting of my earphones made the seconds drag by. The regular speed of the mill kept me in a hamster state of mind even though Alicia Keys tried to convince me of an empire state of mind. As I meandered through the back alleys of Cape Town, keeping my hopes up for some opportunity to experience life, I heard a band calling to me…

The Delft Big Band had summoned me with just their warm ups. At first, I thought it just might be the fact that they were really loud but the rhythm was captivating and I found myself doing something crazy. I was making my way up the steps to find out what was going on. Anxious that I might be intruding some fancy private event in my sweaty gym clothes, I approached the reception with caution. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. Met with an enthusiastic smile, I was encouraged to actually attend the event, starting in the next hour.

The opportunity was too serendipitous to pass up. Stepping out of my comfort zone was something I had been wanting to do for a while but I had no idea how/what to do, until the swing party was delivered to me by the Universe. I can’t dance to save my life but I wasn’t going to let that stop me at that point. In my panic to make it on time, I managed to choose the tightest pants I could find and only realized how I looked when I got there. I persevered, determined to have fun despite my concerns about my image and I wasn’t disappointed at all.

The party was in full swing when I arrived (only slightly late) and no one paid attention to my skin tights. One would’ve thought that the dancers were choreographed but watching a little longer, the individual partners were all in their own little worlds, dancing like no one was watching. Twirling and stepping, it was difficult to keep up with the steps so I took to being a wallflower until a damsel took pity on me and attempted to teach me a few basic steps. Needless to say, I was horrendous but I had so much fun being horrendous that I decided, one day, to take the offered classes for people like me every Tuesday night at the Boogie Back Dance Co. Youngblood, 70-72 Bree. Who knows, maybe one day I won’t have to rely on the treadmill but actually do swing, Charleston, lindy hop and blues to keep in shape.

We were also treated to dancers from various countries who didn’t seem to break a sweat while getting the heart rates of the rest of us up, beating with inspiration to learn the moves and best of all; an unexpected display of traditional African dance totally switched up the night and brought us back to the Motherland. The different cultures were effortlessly brought together in the language of dance which we’re ALL able to express in some way. Tight pants or not.

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