When you first arrive at 8:30, there's a lesson for beginners. Hello! That would be me.
You find a partner and give a quick French self-introduction. Bonsoir, je m'appelle Dana. You try to explain to your new friend that you don't actually speak or understand much French, and you're also not a great swing dancer. (At this point, he is most likely already wanting a new dance partner.)
Then you turn your attention to the guy on stage who's giving instructions. You don't know exactly what he's saying since he's speaking French. But. You keep your eyes on him, watching every move he makes. (At this point, you sound like a stalker.) You do your best to mimic his movements.
You attempt to dance with your partner, giggling the whole time and doing your best not to step on his toes. After about 3 minutes, you rotate right to the next victim...err partner, and the process repeats.
Since there are more women than men, you give get out of the dance circle and give someone else a chance to dance. :) This gives you time to watch all the other couples and take a quick video...
(This song was in French, but most of the songs played at the club are actually English...and are also more upbeat!)
After the lesson is over, you get a chance to practice what you've supposedly learned. Naturally, the more you practice, the better you get! If you're lucky, you have a great dance partner like my host dad to make you look good. And you also have a nice guy volunteer to take a video of you dancing...
You find that swing dancing (or "rock n' roll dancing" as my host dad says) is a lot of fun to do, and you get hot quickly! When you want to take a break, you can watch the people who are regulars at the club show off their complicated moves...
Maybe--just maybe--one day you will be able to move like that!
So this is what I have to look forward to in just a couple of hours from now, when I go swing dancing in Le Mans for the very last time. For the past month, Wednesday nights have been a highlight for me because I love to dance. :)
Tomorrow is my last day in northern France before I travel to the southern part of the country, and I'm looking forward to going to an elementary school; I'll be teaching the kids about Thanksgiving, as well as some English songs. Should be fun!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow, everyone!