Messin’ Around And A Scene Lesson

The first two months of 2012 has just blown right by hasn’t it? So apparently Montreal had one of its warmest winters in recent history this year. Good news for me, bad news for planet earth. Actually, I should say that it was great news for me since I got away not buying a winter coat and instead stayed devilishly stylish all winter long with my faux-leather jacket and NY Yankees baseball cap.

I am a firm believer that everyone in the world learned how to do the mess around, all conflicts and wars would cease immediately. A couple of weeks ago at Nuit Blanche in Montreal, I witnessed Alain and Lunou teach what seemed like thousands of people a couple of swing dance moves and the ol’reliable mess around. Now, if you’ve ever taught a beginner swing series before, the mess around is pretty much a tried and true way to get some laughter and lessen the anxiety all around from the students. Magnify that image by a thousand and I’m sure you would have super impressed like I was.

Canadian swing cities should take note of what is working in Montreal in terms of the promotion of swing dancing. The big dance swing dance schools (and there are a multitude of them), pretty much have their lower level classes PACKED because the dance is so embedded in the culture and arts of the city. They think big and plan long-term.

What’s also neat is that if you teach for one of those swing schools, you pretty much have free entry to each of their dance events. Not only does this encourage advance dancers from each school to actually go out social dancing more, but it shows the newer dancers what could be possible if they took some lessons. Everyone wins. Dedicated dancers will be less sad when looking at their account and the scene wins because there is a constant stream of young, enthusiastic dancers replacing those more “mature” dancers who start tapering off.

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