September 25th, 2006


Dance of the Day - Imperial Swing

Imperial swing is a very rare type of swing dance, largely only danced in St. Louis, where it was developed at the Imperial Club. While the Imperial no longer dances swing, at last count there were still nine clubs in the city that danced Imperial. I apologize for the low-quality of the video, but this is the best I could find.

Edit: Link removed until this evening when I can browse YouTube and find another Imperial Swing example.

Incidentally, I'm reaching the end of my collection, so I need suggestions. Pass along your videos or, better yet, request something be it a style of dance, a convention (movies, competitions, social etc.), and I'll see what I can find. Thank you for your help.

Very Fast Rant

There are two types of dance lessons: studio lessons and impromptu lessons.

Studio lessons are great. You can choose the music, practice multiple times, get into the theory of the rhythm, work on styling, and take as long as you need.

Impromptu lessons leave you two to four minutes to teach the steps of a dance and then actually have fun dancing it. Corners will be cut. Deal with it. This means that certain descriptions will be innacurate as a matter of immediate practicality. Yes, bolero is distinct from rumba once you get into the styling - the emphasis is on a different part of the beat, body positioning is different, and everything past the basic move set is radically different - but in an "oh shit, how do I dance this?" situation lay off. "It's like rumba but slower and with a rise-and-fall pattern," is good enough. If the person wants to know more they can learn it later. If they just want to dance it, lay off.

Oh, and lastly:

Another kind of Bolero is the American Style ballroom dance popular in the United States. It is a unique dance style combining the patterns of Rumba with the rise and fall technique and character of Waltz and Foxtrot. The music is 4/4 time, and is danced to the slowest rhythms of the Latin ballroom dances (the spectrum runs Bolero, Rumba, ChaChaCha, Mambo). The basic rhythm of steps in patterns, like Rumba, is Slow-Quick-Quick.

From Wikipedia: Bolero

(my emphasis)