I was interested in Disco Dancing long before Saturday Night Fever had
even come along. I made it a point to sign up for every dance class I saw advertised.
night I showed up at Stevens of Hollywood for a Courses a la Carte Disco class.
(Courses a la Carte was a predecessor to
Leisure Learning). It didn't take me long to decide the
instructor, Ms B Brady, was the worst dance teacher I had come
across to date. This is an opinion that never
changed over the years. Let me add she was the
only mediocre dance teacher I
have ever come across.
That same night, I did something very disrespectful.
Out of boredom, I began to
show another student a line dance I had learned elsewhere. Although at least I kept my
voice down and tried to be inconspicuous, I admit
this was awful behavior.
To my surprise Ms. Brady came over and said,
"That is a pretty neat dance you are doing; will you show the rest of the class?"
I did not realize she had been watching. More than slightly ashamed of myself, I did what she asked.
I taught the
entire class my line dance.
I never returned to that class. I was
way too ashamed of myself to ever go back.
Nevertheless something very important came from that
night. I got to view a Whip
demonstration. The owner of the studio, Mr. Lance Stevens, and his wife Cliann
performed the Whip
in front of our class in an attempt to drum up interest for their
upcoming Whip class. I was very interested.
I had never
seen the Whip before and thought it was fascinating. Little
did I know the Whip would someday
become the love of my life.
Through a series of events, six months later I signed up for a
Whip class at this same location based on my memory of that single demonstration.
Stevens was impressed by my dancing. Amazingly,
he came up to me the following week. He said
his Disco instructor had just quit. Would I like to become his new Disco instructor?
I did not hesitate for a moment. I accepted on the spot.
This was the enormous break that launched my dance career.
I do not know
whether Mr. Stevens fired Ms. Brady or she quit
like he said, but I realized I had taken
this same woman's job. The irony was inescapable.
FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD
Three years later I am now a dance teacher out on my own.
Stevens of Hollywood was two years in my rear
view mirror. One Friday
night at my new dance studio, I was teaching a Beginning Western Swing class.
those days we taught Circle Turn
in the first week of that class.
I had a new couple in my class.
They had not taken my previous Twostep class. They struggled quite a bit. I assumed they
hated me since nothing I told them seemed to make any sense. I was a little frustrated
Then to my surprise, at the end of class this couple came up and said
they really liked my class but were confused about how I danced the Twostep. It seemed to
them that each of my steps traveled forward. Well, actually, yes they did! This
revelation seemed to boggle their minds.
Seeing their confusion, I asked, "So how do you do the Twostep
?" I frowned as I watched them. They had been taught to go 1 Quick forward,
feet together on the second Quick, backward on the first Slow and in place on the 2nd
Slow. Their dance was sort of forward - together - back - forward. But when you looked at
it, the overall effect was they only actually advanced on first Quick!
backwards step on the first Slow was a killer.
Out of four steps, only one step advanced down the floor!
After watching them I grimaced and asked, "Gee, don't people ever
pass you on the dance floor?"
The young lady started to cry (yes). She blurted out painfully, "Do
they pass us? People pass us all the time! Even worse they run into us!
I yell at Jeffrey to go faster but they still pass us!"
solemnly, crestfallen at his inadequacy. He shuffled his feet nervously.
He had a serious
hangdog look about him.