Posts Tagged ‘blues fusion’

In the last month and a half, I have fallen headlong in love….

with a new hobby.

Blues fusion dancing, to be specific.

I will give a practical definition of what that means to this beginner dancer (by which I mean, take my definition with a grain of salt). Blues fusion is a partner dance (mostly), but it is a lot more loose and less defined than any other partner dance I’ve tried. And you can incorporate styles and moves from many other partner dances, like the various types of swing, or tango, or salsa, or even waltz. Someone told me the fusion part means you dance mostly to modern music, but also not always.

I know, it’s all very indefinite and fluid. That’s probably part of the reason why I like it. (There’s also a lot of history behind it that I am not entirely clear on, which I suspect might elucidate it further.)

A good friend of mine started blues dancing sometime last year, and she told me about it, and I put it on my list of things I wanted to try sometime this year, because a.) I love dancing, b.) it was possible my ankle might actually survive the experience since it had been doing better, c.) trying new things (and new dances!) can be lots of fun, and d.) I love my friend. So at the beginning of February, when we were chatting on the phone, I told her I wanted to come. And she said great, come over to my house on Thursday and we can carpool.

Thus, a passion was born.

I knew right away, too. The room was crowded with strangers, and I had no idea what was going on, having never attempted blues fusion before (or even really having a clear idea of what it was). I was wearing jeans, which were too hot, and socks because I didn’t have appropriate dancing shoes, which meant I was in constant fear of my feet being stepped on. I forgot to bring a hair band. I told every person I danced with it was my first time blues dancing, in the hopes they’d be generous and forgive any massive blunders I might make. I tried to follow my partners, and sometimes I failed. By the end of the night, my calves were screaming and my ankle was basically okay.

And it was glorious. Completely rush-to-the-head, fill-the-heart-to-the-brim, this-is-exactly-where-I-want-to-be glory. When I say I fell in love, I’m not being facetious. I fell HARD. Even with the uncomfortable bits, the “I don’t know what’s going on” and the “so many strangers in one place while I’m feeling super vulnerable” and the “I’m making a lot of mistakes” bits.

So I went again, and this time I didn’t tell everyone I danced with that I didn’t know what I was doing, and I tried to relax. That was it, my one goal of the evening: to relax into this new activity and new space. It was hard. I loved it all the more for the challenge.

And then, dear reader, I ordered shoes.

Canvas dance sneakers (shown) and character shoes, to be precise.

Canvas dance sneakers (shown) and character shoes, to be precise.

I knew. I knew I was in love. I knew what I wanted. My wonderful trainer/body worker was on board. My ankle was, surprisingly enough, continuing to cooperate. “You’re very committed,” my friend said to me. And I laughed, because of course I’m committed. Commitment has never been a problem for me when I know what I want. “Is there a boooooy?” another friend wanted to know. I shook my head and laughed again.

Why, Amy? Why are you so passionate about blues fusion?

I love the dance. I love moving my body in time to the music, and I love working on controlling my body. I love getting stronger. I love the endorphins. I love pushing myself. I love losing myself in the motion and the rhythm and the focus.

I love the unspoken physical communication between me and my partner. I love watching, and listening, and feeling, and making art with other people. I love learning. I love getting dizzy.

I love to play. I love to experiment. I love to express myself and my moods through dance, whether grace or flirtation or exhilaration or absolute silliness.

I love (yes, I’m going to admit it) that I finally have someplace to wear all the adorable dresses that up until now have been hanging forlornly in my closet, unworn.

I love the community. I love how friendly people have been. I love sharing my joy in the experience with other people. I love the kindness of the leads who give me feedback and help me improve. I love the passion for dance that is on constant display.

Why have I fallen in love? Because blues fusion makes me feel one hundred percent ALIVE. And that, my friends, is something worth giving my heart.

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