Midsummer Nights Swing photo by my friend Jerry
Swing dancing at outdoor venues like Midsummer Nights Swing often presents many opportunities to dance with random strangers who are hanging around the sidelines of the dancefloor. As a leader in particular, you often have your pick of ladies clearly itching to dance. I’m not particularly good about asking strangers to dance at big public venues like this, unlike my buddy Effervescent who really lives for that sort of thing. But I think it can be useful for a social dancer to do this for a number of reasons:
- It makes you a better leader. (Sorry I can’t speak for the followers.) But as a leader, dancing with someone who has probably no background at all in lindy hop or swing really forces me to be as clear and attentive as possible.
- It’s a great ego boost. The person is invariably blown away by even the simplest moves that you lead, which helps you feel good about your dancing.
- You might convert someone. The scene always needs new blood to stay vital. So by giving a non-dancer a fun experience dancing with you, you might inspire them to start taking classes or coming out to other swing nights.
- You might learn something. Just because someone might not be a swing dancer doesn’t mean she is therefore a bad dancer. You could learn a lot by dancing with a hustle, tango, or ballroom dancer.
- It might actually be fun. If you go in, thinking that you are "doing your duty" you might miss out on a really fun dance. No, it will not be the ultimate expression of pure lindy, but it can be just two people goofing around and enjoying each other. Which is awesome.
I’m going to try and keep this in mind as I go to more public dance events this Summer.