Kick Butt Blues

Kick Butt Blues was truly…kick butt.  The last couple of times I’ve danced blues I haven’t really enjoyed it, but this time I truly enjoyed the experience, which was a very pleasant surprise.  I decided to go in order to have something new to write about for the blog and I didn’t really think I was going to enjoy it all that much.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a better follow than the last times I’ve tried blues or what, but I found this time to be lots better.  I’ve always enjoyed watching blues – it’s generally a very sensual style of dance and quite dramatic, in its way.  When done properly, there’s a smoothness and flair, I suppose, that’s fun and really engaging to observe.  I arrived a little earlier than my friends, but I got asked to dance by several leads nearly as soon as I did, which was really nice. And the leads were all very good, which is icing on the cakes.  Some of them I knew from swing – of course, there’s always lots of crossover between swing and blues.

The music was a little quiet, but I was told that the crowd was larger than normal, so there was that.  They had a different DJ every hour and they were all pretty good – no complaints on this end.  The space is pretty small and intimate, but it was enough room for all the people there.  The dance floor was full enough to feel lively, but there was space to twirl a bit and you didn’t have to worry about hitting or stepping on people every time you move. Also, Kick Butt is a coffeehouse and bar (that hosts lots and lots of events) so it’s easy to grab a beer, coffee or various foods and drinks during the dance. (I’m informed that the peach smoothies are exceptionally fresh.)

I spent more time working on getting a smooth, nice feeling to my dance and paying attention to how my feet and legs looked than I normally do while dancing, which is a benefit of blues – generally, there’s lots of time to complete movements and you can really get into them.  I spend less time worrying about completing the movement and spend more time trying to perform it the way I would like.

It was $5 entry and it was definitely worth it.  I also fond a nice chair in a corner with my friends – I was pretty tired – and had a nice balance of dancing and sitting out. (I swear eventually I’ll get caught up on my rest.)  I’ll be going again.

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Generations of dancing

I’m in New Mexico visiting various relatives of the grand variety – I have relatives on both sides of the family clustered around Albuquerque. My grandmother’s (incredibly long-lived!) family lives here, and for the past couple of years we’ve travelled up here once a year and I stop off to visit other grandparents. My grandmother, the one I travel with, used to go out dancing to big band music every week and have herself a ball – pun intended. (Some of the stories she tells!)

 
Anyway, she’s around 87 and she doesn’t move as easy as she used to but she still loves to listen to big band and old country music. She plays a music program on Friday nights on the Rural Channel (?) and she turned that on tonight. They started playing “When Two Worlds Collide” and on a whim I went over and started dancing with her. I started off leading, but I’m a really terrible lead, so she took over and we danced around the living room a bit. (She complimented me on my dancing, which was nice!) Anyway, Grandma was dancing around and said, “I’ve still got it!” We only shuffled around a bit, but she was, surprisingly to me, a very competent lead.

 
It’s awesome to have skills that translate so nicely across generations! Earlier I had been putting contacts into cell phones and impressing everyone with my “Techno-skilled grandchild” routine, so I’m always grateful for the skills that aren’t specific to the younger generations.

 
Oh! Also! I just found out that my grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter worker! How cool is that!