Swing Sampler class begins this Thursday

Thanks once more to everyone who came out last Thursday for our dance! Swing lessons are starting up proper this Thursday in Willy’s Pub:

  • 6:30-7:30 Swing Sampler
  • 7:30-8:00 Free Dance
  • 8:00-9:15 Beginners Jitterbug

Every few weeks our Sampler class will bring in a new instructor, who will teach what they are most passionate about in dance, what they feel is most important to learn, their favorite moves, or more — anything is fair game. The first instructor of the semester will be Aramis Martinez, who many will recognize from late-night Ballroom and for his unique blend of styles. In his class we will be exploring unusual leads and different methods of finding connections with your partner. In his words:

One of the best metaphors for social dance is conversation — conversation whose tools are body and soul in addition to sound and word. Since there are as many ways of communicating as there are dances and dancers, learning more ways to communicate allows our conversations to become more playful, more intriguing. Melding different modes of communication also makes one a better dancer, which ultimately leads to more and more fun:

Tango displays passion through an upper torso connection and subtle technique. Whether open or closed position, blues relies on pulse and musicality and moves stolen from anywhere and everywhere to pour out one’s soul. Lindy hop relies on tension links to bounce energy and momentum between partners, while ballroom styles can rely so much on compression you could incorrectly guess that tension isn’t fun in ballroom. Salsa and cha cha can look as if tension does all the talking, yet just as often they utilize soft, highly visual leads as an invitation to play. With improv styles the limit is set only by your imagination.

During these classes we will talk about what we are saying in our conversations with our partners and how we say it: connection, frame, musicality, technique. We’ll play games, we’ll build a open and supporting environment, we’ll work on the advanced technique of listening to each other and responding as we dance. We experiment with different ways of talking to each other and explore the common threads that underly all of them. Any point of contact, or even no point of contact, is fair game if the conversation engrosses your partner.

Aramis Martinez is an alumnus of Rice’s Physics and Astronomy department and is a former co-president of RSDS. He began taking lessons during the era of “Can you lindy to this?” and considers RSDS his home scene. Upon his first visit to the Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club, his funky, distinctive style attracted notice, and he was promptly integrated into Houston’s unique intersection of blues/lindy/westie/tango dancers. He now cross-trains in multiple dances, travels for exchanges and workshops, and has most recently been learning Texas two-step and West Coast swing. When a blues moon is out, beware.

RSDS discounts for the Houston Tango Festival!

This week (Thursday Jan 22- Sunday Jan 25) is the 2nd annual Houston Tango Festival held in our beloved student center.
RSDS is co-sponsoring the event and therefore RSDS members get special discounts to attend the festival.
Here are the discounts:
(1) Early bird pricing for RSDS members at the door for all full passes (this included the 50% off for students and additional 20% off for RSDS members)
(2) 20 Free Spectator Passes for the Friday night milonga.
(3) 50% discount on a-la-carte prices for milongas and individual classes.
(4) Free Milonga passes to RSDS members who volunteer 3 hours of their time at the festival. Those interested in volunteering should email Diana at dianacan@earthlink.net by noon on Thursday.
In addition to these discounts RSDS will subsidize $20 for the first 10 RSDS student members who purchase a full festival pass, full milonga pass, or full day pass.

If you are interested in a Free Spectator Pass for the Friday Milonga, email me. First 20 people to email get the passes.
If you are intending to purchase a full festival pass, full milonga pass, or full day pass and want to receive the RSDS subsidy, email me. First 10 people to email and then prove purchase of a pass at the festival will receive the subsidy.
Info on the prices and schedule of events for the Houston Tango Festival can be found at http://www.houstontangofestival.com
This is a great opportunity to learn Argentine Tango! Please, RSDS members take advantage of this Festival!

Swing Dance Kick-off

Thursday night Swing begins this week, and we want to start the new semester with a bang. Join us for a free dance in Willy’s Pub with music provided by the wonderful Hailey Hinson. All are welcome, from beginners to advanced dancers from the community. If you’ve never been out with us dancing, this is a great opportunity to see some social dancing in action.

Hank Hauffe and Natalie Weber, the Beginners Swing instructors, will be there and will be happy to show you some moves. We’ll end the night with a short beginners’ introductory lesson, and encourage all seasoned dancers and RSDSers to stay to help out any beginners.

Please pass the word on to any dancers you know!

WHAT: Welcome-Back Swing Dance
WHERE: Willy’s Pub, basement of the RMC
WHEN: Thursday, January 15th. 7:00-8:30. Intro lesson follows.

Stay tuned for a syllabus of the beginners’ class this semester, and of a list of the advanced outside teachers we will be bringing in. See you Thursday!

Argentine Tango starts Jan. 14

Welcome back everyone!

Ballroom, Argentine Tango, and Swing lessons all start next week (see the Class Schedule for more info). Tango is doing things a bit differently this semester… here’s the details:

  • Tango will be held off campus this semester. Don’t worry; it’s not far. The Rice Graduate Apartments (1515 Bissonnet) are ten minutes walking north of campus, or the shuttlebus that says “Graduate Apts” will take you straight there. There is limited parking in front of the building, or you can park on some of the surrounding residential streets. This means:
    • We have more space!
    • We get to use the new surround system audio there.
    • No parking fees!
  • We have an intermediate class. This is especially for all those who took Indre’s class last semester. We’ll continue where we left off (with some review, of course!)
  • Classes will run in cycles of five weeks each.
    • Whew, less weeks to commit to!
    • We’ll learn new things in each cycle, so feel free to take both.
    • Hey, if you like the first cycle, bring all your friends to the second. =)

See you next week!