Rich & April Sharing a Dance at the Ventura Beach Club
by Lora Samoza & Living805
The New England Journal of Medicine recently found that the only physical activity to offer protection against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia was frequent social dancing. And by a whopping 76%!
Why? Because Social Dancing uses several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional. Difficult classes are even better because they help develop new neural pathways. Added bonus: you’ll have a great time and get in better shape in the process.
OK, you’re sold on checking out a class. But what kind? The 805 offers several styles that you can choose from.
“What keeps me hooked on West Coast Swing is that it’s a living dance that is constantly morphing and growing,” says Louise Bretz, dance instructor at the Poinsettia Swing Dance Club. “That means there is always something new to learn, and each individual dancer can add his or her own creative twist.”
And who is a candidate to learn to Swing dance? Basically, if you can walk, you can dance. “Anyone can partner dance ” she declared. “Over the years, I’ve never met a person who couldn’t.”
Plus, you’ll find the dance rewarding in many ways.
“For me, traditional swing dances such as Lindy Hop are the most physically challenging,” says Swing enthusiast April Williams.” The footwork alone is a rigorous workout and a fun way to stay fit. It’s also a magical, mental high.”
Tango, the dance of love, may look perfectly choreographed, but it is in fact improvised, says Argentine Tango instructor, Stephen Bauer. “Like many Tango dancers, my partner Deb and I were initially drawn to some of the more obvious “external” qualities of the dance. Tango seemed exotic,” he explains. “But as an ongoing practice, Tango has begun revealing ever deeper and more resonant layers — similar to those available to us in meditation, yoga, and other spiritual traditions. Tango can become more than a chance to “express” who we are, Tango also invites us to discover and create who we are.”
No matter your music preference, there is something for everyone. West Coast your way across the floor to contemporary and blues! Cut a rug to big band favorites! And spice up your life at a Milonga. As for the perfect candidate, social dancers range from their teens and early 20s up into their 80s, so come one, come all.
Where to Social Dance in the 805:
You can find Argentine Tango on Tuesday nights at Grapes & Hops in downtown Ventura, and up in Ojai three times a month — on 1st + 3rd Mondays, and on 2nd Sundays. QuantumTango.net
Group classes for West Coast Swing can be taken every Thursday night at The House of Dance in Ventura, 3007 Bunsen Ave, Suite E. psdance.org
World champion Lindy Hop dancers, Dave & Kim, teach a variety of traditional Jitterbug styles at The Ventura Beach Club on Tuesday Nights. 281 W. Main St, Ventura facebook.com/kimanddavesjukejoint
Channel Cities Jazz Club play 3rd Sundays at Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club in Oxnard. – channelcitiesjazzclub.com
Check out People who Dance for more West Coast Swing, Hustle, Salsa, and Bachata near you! jaybyam.com
The borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks offers Country 2-Step and Swing classes. borderlinebarandgrill.com
“My wife, April, and I met on the dance floor and we cannot express how much joy it brings us. I encourage you to take a social dance class series, you won’t regret it …I promise.”
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