This is part of the Dancer Spotlight series to show how someone got into dancing and how dancing fits into someone’s day.

I first met Kristin at Fish and Farm Fridays, where her lovely smile and welcoming attitude caught my attention. Growing up, Kristin loved vintage fashion: “I used to raid my Nana’s closet and take her dresses from the 50 & 60s. I loved my grandfather’s big band music.” Yet Kristin described herself as painfully shy. “I’d never want to dance, never mind if people were watching me!”

Four years ago, she finally mustered the courage to search for swing dance lessons. Still too shy to take a group class, Kristin contacted Nathan Dias for private lessons. She fell in love with Lindy Hop from the first lesson, but it still took a whole month before she felt brave enough to join the group classes at Cat’s Corner. Kristin has never looked back: “Learning Lindy Hop gave me such a welcoming community.  I’d never experienced that in my life. It literally changed my life.”

Now, Kristin dances as often as she can, averaging 3-4 times a week, but her favorite day to go dancing is Wednesday. She feel like Cats Corner is home! “After work, I pick up my daughter from school, we head home to make dinner and I get ready for the night,” says Kristin, “I couldn’t possibly only dance on the weekends. In San Francisco, we are a bit spoiled with dancing and live music available nearly every night of the week.” When not dancing, you may find Kristin hiking in the redwoods, backpacking, and bringing people together by planning events — dance and otherwise.

On this particular Friday, Kristin danced at two places! Before heading out, she dressed up in bright yellow to feel more cheerful and enthusiatic. After dancing at Fish and Farm from 6:00pm to 9:30pm, Kristin went to Oakland for the grand reopening of Dancers’ Den and danced until midnight. What a night!!

When asked for one word to describe what dancing means to her, Kristin chose “Joy” –Pure, unadulterated joy. “I have a picture from a showcase I danced in with a partner. I’d only been dancing a year. I was so scared to perform I forgot the choreography I planned. In this picture my eyes are closed but you can still see I radiate joy. If you watch swing dancers dancing you’ll see broad, goofy smiles. We can’t help it.”

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