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.