Category Archives: Uncategorized

Handshake Protocol – Asking to Dance

I was at work answering phones and was thinking about the ways we initiate conversation or say phrases before tackling the reason for this communication. Some people mean, others are just their form of acknowledgements. It’s another type of handshaking. In other words, it’s how we initiate communication before we can exchange information (the lead/follow aspect of the dance).

Handshake of two glossy characters

We also do this (or we should) at social dances. Use your words – “would you like to dance?” Perhaps even “would you like to follow” or “would you like to lead?”

Please don’t be like my friend (who I do appreciate) that comes in with big eyes, palms down, arms upraised.

begging-dogOr that person that silently only offers their hand.

outstretched-handIf the person is deaf and maybe you know them, this could be ok.


But do consider your words. I understand there might be shortcuts in play if you know the person, but it’s nice to be asked and it’s nice to ask. It sets you up for a good social dance.

The Case For Engagement

crosswalk-groupOriginally, this post was going to only be about social media, but that’s only one part of the interaction equation. Here at Swingin’ Denver, we like to engage our community through social media, namely Facebook, and in person at events with host or co-host. It’s our way of creating stronger social ties that, in turn, keep others engaged in our community. Continue reading

Evolution of the Black Coffee Routine

Late last night, Nicholas Tran from ASU tagged me on this video of Sarah Winch leading the ASU Swing Devils in the beginning of my “Black Coffee” routine. You can see Nicholas Tran on the left side.

First of all, well done on breaking it down and teaching it to the students. I actually watched this when I woke up at 6:15am. Boo early mornings! Yay to fun videos!

Anyway, I wanted to share how the Black Coffee routine came to be. Continue reading

Whose Students?

I recently had a brief conversation with another local instructor about who could claim a student. Come to find out, there are many swing dancers that take classes all across Denver. We’re creating addicts! Continue reading

New Students – What Should You Know?


Where’s the music? Big thanks to Aric Dunn for his work putting these Spotify playlists together.

Where are the class recaps? Here on the SwinginStyle YouTube channel. Or here as they feed into the Facebook YouTube app.

Where do you go social dancing? Check out this awesome Swingin’ Denver calendar of most community events. Another great resource is the Colorado Swing Dance Facebook group.

What if you’re hooked and want more classes? You can check out the Swingin’ Denver classes or refer again to our calendar and the Colorado Swing Dance Facebook group for other classes around town.

Saying “Yes, in my Backyard”

I first started swing dancing regularly at a Kansas City ballroom studio. Back then, it had the only all-ages swing dance venue. Eventually, I got immersed and even started teaching at this studio. That is when I discovered how fortress-like ballroom studios could be.
Continue reading

It’s The Little Things

I have a confession. I have a compulsion to correct written errors, such as grammar, punctuation and spelling. It drives me crazy when I see professional events or bloggers that want to be taken seriously publish materials rife with errors. Even I’m disappointed in myself when I see that on published materials.

Seth Godin recently encourages people to write how they talk. Afterwards, check your work for the small things. It’s jarring to read “its important” or “encompasin” in materials I should take seriously. Hold yourself to a higher standard and others will follow.

Finding the Jitterbug Spirit at Camp Hollywood

Answering what is jitterbug spirit is akin to asking why I enjoy Camp Hollywood so much. Each year I come away measuring how much social dancing I did. And, in recent years, I measure a supremely low number yet I know I still had fun. There’s a euphoric sense that what happens at Camp Hollywood cannot be replicated anywhere else. That is the Jitterbug Spirit.ray-hirsch Continue reading