It’s fair to say I’m not a natural dancer. In fact, I’m not a natural at anything that requires decent hand-eye coordination. So starting swing dancing classes at Brixton’s Electric Social was a risky move.
During my first session, I was acutely aware of this. I fretted over missed steps and my erratic, if enthusiastic, spins.
But – and this is the thing about swing dancing – once the music starts, it’s hard to keep worrying for long. The big-band tunes make you smile and give it your best shot. It won’t necessarily look good to a spectator (least of all in my case) but that, I hope, will come with time.
The basic steps are straightforward enough that a first-timer can have a good go. And the ten or so regulars are friendly, welcoming and happy to help newcomers (and there are more of them every week) to, quite literally, find their feet.
A couple of months on from my first session, and I’m hardly an accomplished dancer. But I’ve grasped the basics: I can tell my rock step from my triple step and I can manage the ‘sweetheart’, a potentially awkward move that leaves you arm-in-arm with your dance partner. I’m told there are swing dance club nights across London, with live bands to dance to. Perhaps this should be my next bold move…