I’ve been working on solo jazz for a while, although not as intensely as I’d like to. I’ve also started to explore other dances a bit more. If you know me at all, I’m not really all about learning salsa to improve your Lindy Hop because frankly they are completely different dances in movement and attitude. I dance Lindy Hop because I like it and if I would have liked salsa I would have started dancing salsa. But that is a different rant for another time. However I think learning other "cultural dances" can really open up your horizons. Dances with their own culture and scene, like the Lindy Hop scene are most appropriate.
I’ve been taking flamenco lessons for a few weeks now at my college and I really enjoy it! It’s kind of like tap dance with more restrictions and rules and pain. I have taken "jazz" class at my college last year, but it was terrible. At one point the teacher said that she was choreographing a "combination" but she hadn’t picked out the music yet. Whaaa?! That is another rant all it’s own. It did not feel like dancing. Flamenco feels like dancing because it comes from a naturally evolved dance not from something that was packaged for the entertainment of the rich and famous. Our teacher taught us a step (much like the mambo step that’s in the middle of the Tranky Doo) and then he asked us if we knew where the step came from. Everybody was like "Spain?" The true answer was Cuba. Much like Lindy Hop, Flamenco also evolved from different countries and other styles influence flamenco. I love that kind of organic progression of a dance. That evolution is why we have Lindy Hop and Balboa, and Hip Hop.
So if you’d ever want to take other dance classed I’d suggest tap, first and foremost because so much of it is in Lindy, African dance, flamenco, or basically any other cultural dance. You’ll feel very at home.
But ultimately if it’s not fun, don’t do it anymore no matter how many people have told you that it will help your dancing.
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