Attend at least ONE dance outside of class and actually get up and dance Country Western at least three times (Ballroom, Salsa, Tango, Lindy Hop, hip hop, et cetera do not count). Write a 500 word computer printed paper describing your DANCING experience. Write about what you observe and experience as a dancer, and most importantly what did you learn. Include the date and location of the dance. This is not a log of your alcohol consumption, romantic conquests, or car problems. Acceptable dance events includes OSU Country Western Dance Club events, Ag dances, rodeo dances, fraternity /sorority dances, Eagles in Albany on Thursdays, Silver Spur in Salem (21 and over), weddings, home town bar dances, etc.
You may also put on your own country dance in your dorm or house. Invite some friends over, give them a lesson on how to do the dance, put on some music and have some fun.
Sample Dance Experience paper
Dancing at the Silver Spur
On Friday December 1, 2006 I went to the Silver Spur in Salem with a friend for a night of Country dancing. I had been there a couple of times earlier that fall and knew more or less what to expect.
The Silver Spur is located at 1821 Silverton Rd NE (503- 371-1911, http://www.kxpc.com/silver_spur.htm ). Salem is a hard city to navigate, and after taking the Market Street Exit we zigged and zagged our way over to the club. It’s located behind the Country Coral, which is a hard core country bar (drinkin’, smokin’, spittin’, and pool), and you have to drive through their parking lot to find the Spur. We got there a bit before 7 PM to try to avoid paying the cover charge ($4?), but we had to pay anyway as there was a live band there that night. There are lessons for couples dancing on Friday nights at 7, usually 2 step or West Coast Swing. There are line dancing lessons on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
We settled into a table near the dance floor and chatted with the regulars. My partner comes to the Spur fairly regularly and knows a lot of the dancers. The dance floor is in the middle of the ground floor, about 20 by 40 feet, and is surrounded by a railing. There are tables around the edge and also above on the second floor. There are hard used pool tables up there, too.
The lesson finally got started around 7:30. The instructor, Ron, was pretty good. He taught some basic West Coast Swing and some syncopations. There were about 8 couples and nobody changed partners, so you really need to bring someone to dance with or get lucky finding a partner for the lesson. At the end of the lesson the DJ played some West Coast tunes so everyone could practice. There was a fairly long break as the band did their sound check. Fortunately there are good Oregon beers on tap.
The band finally started up. They were pretty good and did covers (Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn, etc.) and originals. There was very little Cowboy Swing, and those that did had a fairly limited number of moves. I didn’t see any single time swing (ballroom swing). People mostly danced 2 step, West Coast, Cha cha (about half the people did “free style” as in ballroom style cha cha), Schottische, Waltz, and Night Club 2 Step) Some people also did “movie dancing” and just rocked side to side as they smooched. There was a wide variation in the skill levels from total novices staring at their feet to well practiced couples. A lot of the people did not look “country” and seemed more like they just enjoyed many styles of dancing. There was also a lot of line dancing the filled the floor with women and men. The DJ or band leader would often announce what the dance was, and even counted off the start of the Cha Cha.
I danced mainly with the woman who came with me. Other women I danced with followed pretty well. Most of them were used to starting the 2 step on the “quick quick” so I had to shift gears mentally. Sometimes it was a bit confusing trying to decide when I wanted to start my leads, but messing up is half the fun. As I looked around at the other dancers I tried to borrow some of the patterns being used that might have been familiar to my partner.
I had really gotten spoiled dancing in Corvallis and the San Francisco bay area relative to smoke free bars. By 10 pm the Spur was filled with haze and my throat was hurting. I was glad I hadn’t brought my leather jacket in.
We left about 10:30 as the bar was getting crowded and rowdy. A younger crowd comes in later and has a good ole’ time. I enjoyed the dancing but wouldn’t bother to go up more than once every couple of months. There is a lot to be said for dancing locally and saving time and gas.
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