Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the ‘Blue Cruise with Miss Jubilee on the Becky Thatcher’– which basically consists of an old three-story steamboat styled ship cruising down the Mississippi River while live music is played next to a nearly packed dance floor. Do I need to say more? No, but would I be me if I didn’t? Also no.
There is something akin to time-travel in this kind of event. It makes one want to pretend to be Judy Garland and say things like, ‘Isn’t this just divine?‘ or possibly just talk in scat all night long. Shoo-bop doo-wop! i just want to put on spectator shoes and red red lipstick and dance until the bell of curfew tolls for thee.
It was the first time I’ve heard Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers even if I have heard the name. There’s no wonder why they have such a following. I’m providing a link to their facebook page should you want to stay in the loop with their upcoming activities.
The only trouble on this blissful night was surprisingly for me….the dancing. I don’t know much more than a few basics of swing, and my partner knew pretty much zilch. He did do a fantastic job of kicking me a few times though, which I probably- for humility’s sake- need rather desperately. Also lesson learned, do not wear a strapless dress if you are going to be twirling under arms and dipping and swaying in any fashion. A lot of the couples on the floor seemed pretty advanced and I just felt like my ill-planned outfit and I were getting in their way. To be honest, I really enjoyed just watching and trying to pick things up for next time- you know, after my bruised knees and ego have healed. There’s something about swing to me, where if you don’t know the steps, don’t have a rhythm with your partner, you just can’t fake it.
Lo and behold, this arrived in my inbox today- a notice about upcoming swing lessons at the Grandel Theatre Grand Hall provided by the excellent Lindy Hop St. Louis organization. There are continuing lessons for those with a basic understanding of 6 and 8 count patterns followed by a basic lesson for those without experience and no partner necessary. More fun is shaping up in the form of West End Stomp at the Mahler Ballroom in the Central West End. And of course, Lindy Hop holds a swing night every Tuesday at 8:30 in the Grandel Theatre.
I’m hoping to brush up on some swing skills over the next few months in time for this: The Nevermore Jazz Ball.Have three greater words ever been strung together? Not unless it was: Food Unlimited Ballet. I would take food over jazz, unlimited over nevermore, and well, a ballet and a ball are essentially the same to me; a good time! Read more about the NJB here.
I love that this incredible form of social dance is still in style- now I just need the steps to go with the swing. Even if you, like me, aren’t very good, it’s a wonderful life! See you on the dance floor St. Louis!