Dancing Up And Down the West Coast

I can think of few activities that have more health benefits than dancing. Just Google “health benefits of dancing” and start reading. If the physical benefits of dancing still don’t appeal to you, then how about this: dancing makes you smarter. Click here to read for yourself.

I can also think of few activities that span the generations better than dancing. Ok, I admit that most of our dance experiences have put us among the youngest on the dance floor (and we’re soon to be 50), but just recently we dropped in at the Century Ballroom in Seattle to find a couple of hundred swing and lindy dancers, all but a few much, much younger than this nomadic, travel blogging, empty-nest dance couple. That shouldn’t have been a surprise: young people have always danced, just not the kind of dancing we’ve been learning lately.

Swing Dance at Century Ballroom, Seattle
A Couple Hundred Swing Dancers at Century Ballroom, Seattle


Wrapping up the blogs of our time in Palm Springs, then, we can’t move on without mentioning that we enjoyed a few weeks of lessons and social dancing. If anyone asks us, “So what did you do in Palm Springs for nearly 7 weeks?” we’d have to answer first, “We took dance lessons.”

It’s been a while since we’ve taken lessons (our last lessons were actually in London back in October of last year), so we decided it was time for a refresher. And while we were on the west coast, it seemed appropriate to learn something new, namely west coast swing. Not only did we learn the basics of this dance, we learned another dance altogether, nightclub two-step. While we like the former, we love the latter, and we hadn’t even heard of it before we arrived in Palm Springs. Nightclub two-step may just be our new favorite dance. After swing, that is.

We’ve gotten pretty good about finding dance opportunities in our travel. Check out this website, this one, or just Google for your destination city along with “dance studio”. Before we arrived in Palm Springs, we had already penciled into our calendar some local social dancing events. It was at one of these dances on our first Sunday afternoon in Palm Springs that we heard the name Phyllis Bloom, who wound up patiently enduring our rustiness and our tendency to cut up during lessons and somehow managed to teach us two entirely new dances, not to mention about a dozen or so new elements to dances we already knew. Phyllis, if you’re reading this, you’ll be happy to know that most of what you taught us has stuck.

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Your Travel Blog Hosts with Dance Instructor Phyllis Bloom


Let me insert a plug for Phyllis here: if you find yourself in the Palm Springs area and you have any interest or curiosity in learning some real dance, do yourself a health (and smartness) favor and take a few lessons from Phyllis. We’re certain you won’t regret it. Email Phyllis at PhyllisBloom@verizon.net.

To wet your blog appetite a bit, from Palm Springs we’ve headed north to Seattle. On the way we stopped in Sonoma, Crater Lake, and Portland. We worked up a sweat with all the “kids” at the swing dance in Seattle (we must not be too “square”: we both got asked to dance by some great young whippersnappers). Now settled in Salem, Oregon for a couple of weeks, we’ve already gotten in some dancing, and as I write this, we have dance lessons on the calendar for this evening with a local instructor. She was quick to point out that she learned nightclub two-step from the guy who invented it. Well, tie us up and make us foxtrot.

It’s fair to say we’ve danced up and down the west coast, but the dancing doesn’t stop here: in just a few weeks, we’ll be jumpin’, jivin’, and wailin’ at the European Swing Dance Championships in London. It might just be time for us to learn a little lindy.

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