This is the third in a series of Dance Spot posts highlighting different places to go dancing.
Dance Spot: Stanford Lindy Project Price: Free Time: Saturdays * 11:30AM - Beg & Int Lessons * 12:30PM - DJ'ed dancing Location: In front of White Memorial Fountain ("The Claw") outside Stanford Bookstore
On Saturday, I joined the Stanford Lindy Project for an afternoon of Swing dancing at Stanford. While they’ve been on Saturday nights in Hacienda Commons by graduate housing during the school year, they’ve migratedto Saturday afternoons in front of the fountain by Stanford Bookstore this summer.
This day’s dancing started with a class with Yonglu and David at 1pm. We first went around the circle introducing our names, what we’re doing this weekend, and our interest in dancing. Some people were starting out new and learning the basics, others were focusing on partnering, while I wanted to learn lead.
For the class, David and Yonglu led us through a series of exercises to help us build up to the eight count Lindy Hop Swing Out and Lindy Circle. These novel exercises were very fun and broke down the different kinds of movements into easy pieces for beginners to learn. David and Yonglu were also great at giving each student individual attention and feedback, so I can work on specific improvements.
The class went a bit longer than orginally planned, until 2:30pm. At that point, we switched to social dancing and were joined by several experienced dancers. As I danced with both men and women, I was pleasantly amazed by how most people are able to flexibily switch between the roles. When I ask for a dance, my partners would often ask if I want to lead or follow, and sometimes we’d start with one role and switch halfway through the song.
We danced until around 3:30pm, when the DJ announced that we were having our last two songs. After the music ends, some of us continued chatting about dance, food, and more. Before parting ways, we exchanged facebook contact info and gave each other high-fives for the fun dance!
More about the exercises
We first started with rock-step, side-step, then repeat on other side. Then we formed lines and shuffled left and right. Finally, we put them together into: rock-step, shuffle, which turned into rock-step, triple-step. This was followed by some partnering exercises where follows step in-place until the lead signals a direction. Finally, everything was put together into teaching the Lindy Hop Swing Out.
Throughout the class, we often switched roles to better understand our partner’s experience and figure out how to do our typical roles better. When I got home later, I taught my husband Lindy Hop using the same exercises. In the past, I’ve struggled on how to teach him such as complicated dance, but he learned successfully with these exercises.
UPDATE: New pictures from August