Let’s Dance changes class format in 2009

Let’s Dance will change the format of its dance classes in 2009.

As those who are on the Let’s Dance e-mail list have been made aware, Deb Aspen and Charles Jackson will not be able to act as our instructors in 2009 because demands on their personal time in 2009 will not leave them enough time to also work with us. Anyone who has ever taught a class is aware of the tremendous demand teaching makes on a person’s time and energy and the intense commitment required. A student can decide to skip a class if they don’t feel like attending and no one is hurt besides the student. If the teacher decides to skip a class, there is no class and everybody suffers. We will sorely miss their expertise and love for dancing and hope they will be able to return to Let’s dance in 2010. We wish Deb and Charles well.

At present, we have dance workshops with professional instructors scheduled for the first Saturdays of April, June, August and October. We are also looking for dance instructors of Deb and Charles’ caliber to take over the classes this year. As of yet, we do not have other instructors lined up so we have decided to change the format of our weekly sessions and experiment with a new approach.

Starting in January, we will meet on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. at the PLPOA Clubhouse.

Instead of working on one dance for the entire month at beginning and intermediate levels, we will work on a few steps in a different type of dance each week and not distinguish between beginning and intermediate levels. The dances will be repeated in sequence over the course of several months adding new steps each month until the full repertoire has been studied. At that point we will start a new round of classes using different dances so we will be able to work on all of our list of dances over the course of the year. Week One might be a Latin dance such as Cha Cha, Rumba, or Salsa. Week Two might be a Smooth dance such as Waltz, Foxtrot, or American-style Tango. Week Three might be a Club or Rhythm dance such as East Coast or West Coast Swing or Hustle. Week Four might be a Country Western dance such as Two-step, Waltz, or Swing on the Move (Progressive Swing). Although it is always best to start at the beginning, you can start at any time and catch up later, especially if you already know the basics in the dance being studied.

We are going to attempt to learn on our own, using dance instruction videos that Deb and Charles have made for us, along with commercial dance videos. The steps will draw on both the beginning and intermediate levels and dancers will be encouraged to try them all. It will be a communal effort and the more experienced dancers will assist the less experienced dancers as well as each other with demonstrations and advice in interpreting the dances. New dancers will always be given instruction in dance basics such as hold, frame, balance and rhythms. The instruction part of the evening will last forty to forty-five minutes and the reminder of the evening will be dedicated to a CD dance party with a wide variety of danceable music. The party will be an opportunity to practice the dances you have been learning or have already learned in the past as well as catch up with steps you missed or experiment with other steps you see at the party. Feel free to bring your own refreshments to the sessions.

The classes will be held Tuesdays, Jan. 6, 13, 20, and 27 starting at 7 p.m. The Jan. 6 class will be Cha Cha.

Watch the calendar section of The PREVIEW each week for an announcement of the dance to be studied at the next class. There will not be any charge for the classes. All Let’s Dance sessions will meet at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. There is no need to pre-register but please arrive 10 minutes early to register. Classes will start on time. Although it is helpful to register with a partner, it is not necessary as there is usually a close match between men and women and we will rotate dance partners during the evening. Wear comfortable clothing and well-fitting shoes that have smooth or split leather soles, something that won’t leave black marks or mud. Shoes with rubber soles or lugs are inappropriate and difficult to dance in. Cowboy boots are best reserved for the Country Western dances.

Partner dancing is good fun and great exercise and we are privileged to have access to one of the biggest and best dance floors in the Four Corners region. Come see what it is all about.

For more information call Jerry Granok at 731-0676 or e-mail jerrybuilt@centurytel.net.