I found my way to the school by 9.45am and there were quite a few people dancing already: about 20 people, all dancing in couples. The teacher was in the middle of the floor, with one of the women dancers, showing everybody how to do a step. This dancing was a type of Swing dance, which was similar in a way to the Jive. It looked great. The music gave me a buzz and made my feet tingle.
I changed my shoes and luckily I had brought a normal pair of shoes with me because there was no way I could have danced in my clodhoppers(walking boots)! I sat down on the bench to watch for a short while but the teacher came straight over to me and I introduced myself. I told him that a friend of mine told me about the dance workshop and that I’d like to join. So he put me dancing with one of the younger guys, to see if I could dance the basics, I guess and when he saw that I could, he put me dancing with one of the spare guys who didn’t have a partner. The steps were easy enough to pick up, even though the class was given in Norwegian.
He would walk us through a step, bit by bit and then we’d do it all together as one step. Then the fun part came when we had to put it to music. The teacher was a laugh. He was a tall guy, who was also a bit of a ladies man, I thought. There was one part of a step where the ladies had to swing right in to their partner and at this point, he squeezed the woman he was dancing with and wiggled his butt when they were standing beside each other, hip to hip.
It was a good laugh. I really enjoyed it. The ladies got to move on to the next partner, every now and again. It was obvious when you got a guy who was a good lead. It makes a big difference because a good lead will guide you smoothly through the step and it flows better because of it. They were all good dancers though, the guys included. We had a lunch break at 12 o’clock and at another break then at 2pm. At this point the teacher got all the ladies to line up in a row and they gave us all a rose, to say thank you for coming. The workshop was going on the whole weekend and was organised by the local dance club which was only recently set up in the last 6 months or so. The teacher said that they were delighted that so many people turned up and that we picked up the steps so quickly.(Johanna translated this for me.)
The cost for the whole weekend was 400 NOK and even though I was only there for one day, I still had to pay the 400 NOK. Well I suppose, 52 Euros for a day’s class wasn’t too bad. You’d pay that in Amsterdam. The last part of the day’s dancing was from 4.30pm to 6pm, so I said I might as well go back, to get my money’s worth. I’m glad that I went because it was the highlight of the trip so far.
Well after the dancing class, I needed sustenance. So I went back to the Chinese restaurant Ni Hao. Then I headed over to the Anker Brygge to hear the same band who were playing there last night. They started shortly after 11pm and I saw some of the dancers coming in and within 10 minutes they were up dancing to the music. One of the dancers saw me and called me over to sit with the rest of them in the conservatory. They were all there practically, including the teacher. I got talking to a few of them and was told that the dancers and organisers were very surprised that I came to dance with them. I’ve no idea why they were surprised. Maybe it doesn’t happen very often that they have tourists joining in on their classes but they also said they were privileged to have had me there and I was chuffed. I really enjoyed the whole experience and would do it again no problem. They were very welcoming and open towards me and made me feel at home. I hope their dancing club goes from strength to strength.
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