In a move of general awesomeness, Mr. Snapper agreed to take this six-week series with me. Since this is a social dance, it helps that we'll both be able to do it socially. He also has the ass of a dancer and takes his clothes off for pay, so it makes sense that he'd at least take a few dance classes here and there.
The classes at Third Street Dance start right on time and end right on time. We got a late start and walked in moments before our instructor started the lesson. Our first class addressed posture, the basic steps, leading and following. As social and ballroom classes urge the changing of partners continuously during class, I only danced with him once and worked my way to the opposite side of the room by quitting time.
I try to be a pleasant dance partner. It took some work for me, modern woman and all, to be willing to follow. (Men, don't lead with apologies in partner dances. Just take a firm hand and guide your partner. That's what will make you stand out as a good dancer.) I still find myself trying to lead into the next step of the basic when my partner is uncertain, but at least I catch myself and stop trying to guide the dance. I look my partner in the eyes and smile, even if my partner is looking at the floor or at the upper left corner of the room for the next move. (I'm surprised how many people won't look me in the damn eye!) I danced with two ladies since there were five women without partners in class, and they led me better than some men.
Women are fierce about not rotating away from the partner they brought to class. The one swing class I stayed with Mr. Snapper the entire time was the week I was in a hand brace; I knew he would handle my injury appropriately. Some women seem to liken swapping dance partners to being promiscuous. I tried to rotate to the first man on my right at the beginning of the class and it was apparently a problem for his lady. I asked if she was rotating or if they were just dancing together and she looked at him and said, "It's up to you," as if daring him to "cheat." He didn't know what to do, tossed the decision back to her, then it was back to him, and she decided to sit that round out while I danced with her partner. We smiled, we laughed, we learned a step, then we rotated. No, I rotated; she stepped back in and didn't leave his side for the rest of the class. (You know those television episodes where the couple takes ballroom dance because she's trying to save the relationship by showing how sexy she is and her thought is to be the sexiest person in the room to him? Yeah, I think that was her goal based on her outfit. This girl hammered the instructor with questions on how to be technically perfect with this relaxed social dance; I get a feeling that it was seriously important to her, not just a fun way to spend her time.) There were four or five other couples that refused to rotate on my way to the other side of the room. I'm sure some of them will be more comfortable with partner-swapping around class five, but last night they wouldn't budge.
Let me just add for my single male readers that partner dance classes are a great way to meet women and learn how to handle them. Five ladies without partners. Five. Sure, you don't get to really engage them in conversation in the first class because you're so busy learning the moves, but you can in later classes. You may wind up with a coffee date later in the session. You may just wind up knowing how to handle a woman on the dance floor so you become known as a good dancer and ladies line up to be in your arms. Either way, take my advice and enroll in one of these classes.