The other type of dancing I've done since arriving here is Swedish folk dancing. There is a student group called Philochoros, which has a really good reputation and has been around since 1884 (and a bit earlier, under a different name). They are offering beginner classes in Swedish folk dance, and after looking at the list of dances (Schottis, Hambo, and Polska, oh my!), I knew I had to go. Luckily the classes are available to everyone, not just students.
I was surprised (really really surprised) to see how many people showed up. There were easily 50-100 people, in a hall that was ideally sized for maybe 30. I was also a bit surprised that the class was a true beginner class; most people who came seemingly never danced any type of dance before.
I love seeing that there are people interested in dancing, and especially interested in a type of dancing that I highly esteem. I also love that it is young people who are interested in folk dancing, which I wouldn't typically expect. What I don't love, is that a group of people new to dancing, who are in a small hall, don't have a sense of the idea of steering a path in such a way as to avoid major collisions with other dancers. Oddly enough, this bumper-car style was not necessarily restricted to the newbies. I may have once been dancing with a good dancer, who may or may not have been one of the instructors, and one of my legs got so far left behind because we rammed into another couple. Hypothetical situation.
Needless to say, the dancing I've experienced has been leaving me feeling somewhat unfulfilled. To be fair, I think the majority of the time during the class I was really enjoying myself. It just doesn't take many negative parts to leave a sour impression of the whole.
Next week we are in a different location, so here's to hoping it is larger. I'm also hoping that maybe the class size will start to dwindle as the term goes on. I don't like being selfish, because I'd prefer to always want to expand dancing as much as possible, but if the environment isn't ideal for it, we just have to do the best we can.
I also really want to stick it out until the eleventh class for the Salta Hunden. How will it be compared to Dartmouth's version of the Salty Dog Rag? We just won't know for ten weeks!
Dancing in Sweden, pt. 1