We’ve all seen it happen: a super-fast song comes on, but there are only maybe five advanced dancers in the room. Regardless, a jam circle forms, and the intermediate and beginner dancers are looking expectantly at you, begging you to do some cool moves in the middle.
Well, the first couple goes out, and it’s awesome — and the second and third couples are pretty great, too. Then someone solo dances, because there’s not a lot else we can do, and by that time a lead’s rested up enough to go a second round in the middle with a different follow.
But then there’s nothing else to do. And the jam circle suddenly gets very awkward, because everyone’s standing there clapping at…nothing.
It’s pretty much the lamest thing ever.
But last night! As soon as it got a little awkward, Michelle stepped a little ways into the circle — just enough to be seen — and looked around at the rest of us and started…the Shim Sham? She wasn’t even through the first set of Shim Sham stomps before the rest of the advanced dancers had joined in, and by the time cross overs came, most of the intermediate dancers had caught on as well.
It was easily the best jam circle in which I have ever participated. The best part about this one was that included all the dancers who knew the Shim Sham — even though the music was beyond fast, the Shim Sham is easy enough that almost every dancer in the circle was following along. And because we were in a circle, we were all looking at each other and smiling and laughing.
It was the same feeling I get when I do the Big Apple in a big, huge crowd of people — we are part of a community, and we were all sharing a special little moment.
I love the swing community.
PS — I will be updating about my goals soon, I promise! It’s just been a little crazy, since I just got back from Cumberland Shuffle. Expect to see something later today!