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In Step Dance offers Spring Fling workshops

In Step Dance is offering something brand new and exciting in April.

Join us for an Introduction to Quickstep that will give you a head start when national champions Bob and Cindy Long visit Pagosa once again.

This time, they will be teaching Beginning Quickstep and Intermediate to Advanced Cha Cha in the upcoming Spring Fling workshops scheduled for April 21.

Come to In Step’s Sunday classes and learn one of the few ballroom dances that was born in our country. Quickstep has evolved from 1850s patriotic marching dances to modern, fun-filled lively versions of Foxtrot & Charleston combined. It is re-emerging as one of this decade’s most popular ballroom dances, as it takes hold in dance venues all over the world. ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” has showcased some of the most entertaining routines in history, igniting an attitude of playfulness in couples dancing. Join Insteppers as we endeavor to learn the basics, and join in the fun.

Our Latin pick of the month will be Cha Cha, also in preparation for the long-sought after Long’s expertise. This class will focus on taking the beginner and the intermediate dancer to higher levels of footwork and technique, so it would help if you already know how to “cha-cha-cha” the basics.

Hustle fills the spot in our Sunday’s classes swing division, and has an amazing history. Latinos and Gypsies in southern Florida originated the Hustle. They were street dancers looking for some way to bring the hot influence of the Latin rhythms to disco music. It is a fusion of Swing and Disco that began in the 1970s, and is usually danced to disco music written in 2/4 or 4/4 time with a strong bass beat. Unlike its predecessor Rock & Roll, disco music is not performed by a live band. Instead, people dance to music played by disc jockeys. It was the Hustle, danced in discotheques equipped with colored lights and mirror balls, to this style of music, that brought partner dancing back into voque.

There are many different versions. Double Hustle refers to three people (usually one man and two women) dancing the New York style. The Line Hustle, as indicated by its name, was not a couples dance, but done singularly in a line. It was one of the versions represented in the movie “Saturday Night Fever” with John Travolta.

The Rope Hustle was actually a variation of the Merengue, but with the couples connecting themselves with small ropes. Because it was almost impossible to maintain the tension needed for leading, this style didn’t grow in popularity.

The Street Hustle is a freestyle partner disco with little regard to exact footwork or timing where anything goes, borrowing steps from every conceivable dance, including spectacular lifts and drops. The American, Continental and Tango Hustles are now extinct as they merged mostly into what is now called Nightclub 2-Step’s “traveling right turn”.

Then there is the Swing or Sling Hustle, which resembles the swings and even has a rock step in it. This Hustle can be danced as a “spot” dance with no fixed orientation to the room, (as in East Coast Swing); along a “slot” (as in West Coast Swing), or in a slightly rotating “slot”, making up its own characteristic.

There are no rock steps in the modern version, the 3-Count Hustle. This dance has evolved from a “one, two and three” count to the “and one, two, three” to better accent the “three” and make the steps smoother. The 3-Count Hustle is the version of the day, and the one we will be studying in April.

April’s Sunday classes will finish up with Country Western 3-Step, the dance that fills in when the music isn’t quite right for the CW 2-Step, Polka or CW Swing. It sometimes incorporates a Latin flavor, and can be danced to songs like: “My Maria,” “You’re My Jamaica” or “I Just Wanna Dance With You.” Many of the popular line dance tunes would work; as well as songs in which you would ordinarily dance Swing on the Move or Shuffle.

Most of the patterns you already know in 2-Step can be transferred to the 3-Step with just learning new timing in footwork. Its triple-step, walk footwork turns into more of a shuffle, and may be more manageable on a crowded floor. Come and see how easy it is to dance the 3-Step to some of the cowboy dance moves you already know; and we will explore moves designed especially for 3-Stepping.

So, in a nutshell, April classes will meet upstairs in Room 3F at450 Lewis St., and are as follows: Beginning Quickstep at 2 p.m.; beginning to intermediate Cha Cha at 3; Beginning to Intermediate Hustle at 4; and Beginning CW 3-Step starts at 5.

You do not need a partner and anyone 16 or older may attend. The donation is only $5 per person per class, which covers studio rent and provides bottled water and refreshments. Classes do start on time, so please come a few minutes early to register and get ready to dance. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that have smooth or suede leather soles and do not leave black marks or mud.

For more information, call Deb at 731-3338, and keep watch in subsequent issues for more details on the upcoming Spring Fling workshops.

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