So it was my brothers 22nd birthday, ordinarily your first assumption of a Saturday night in Brighton might not be a hot, sweaty room filled with jazz and swing dancers. I’m not fantasising here, this is really where we ended up.
My first experience of swing dancing was at the Green Door Store, located just under Brighton’s station. They have a Blues night every Sunday and, yet again with my brother, we went there and by the end of the evening we were all trying out what little swing dancing moves we knew.
Same dance, different club, completely different atmosphere. The Loft in Brighton was where my brother had decided we would go, I’d been before for a Camera Club night but this was an entirely different species.
On arrival I have to admit the £10 fee was a bit of a low blow but we persevered, handed over our money and climbed the flight of stairs that gave no inclinations as to what went on within. Two thirds of the way up and the heat hit me, it was exactly like that moment when you arrive on holiday, exiting the airport, the automatic doors open and you go from air-con to heat wave. This was a different kind of heat though as the condensation on the mirror directly in front of me proved.
A few times I had someones elbow in my chest and a few trodden on toes but my main problem had to be my outfit. I was so envious of all the women in their 50s swing dresses, they must act as fans because I don’t know how they all remained in there without going outside for a quick rush-of-cold air break, I was in and out every 5 minutes, and that is not an exaggeration. Next time I am not wearing trousers, that would also be my best piece of advice for anyone thinking of going.
Although the draw back of the heat, the music and the dancing was incredible. Maybe they should consider a new venue, or investing in some proper air conditioning, more than one fan in the corner is going to cut it. I wasn’t expecting everyone in there to be such professionals, it was invigorating, we watched everyone and picked out moves that looked fun and tried them out. Improvising with whatever we could pick up was fun but nowhere near as much fun as it looked to pull off the moves they all did. We all definitely felt out-of-place when a specific song came on and everyone (except us) started dancing a routine impeccably in time. At the time I was unaware of the lessons that went on prior to the night, which must have been the creator of such dances. Once aware, I want in.
I’m investing in a 50s dress and the lessons because all I can say after the experience is it really is a swing thing!
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