So You Think You Can’t Dance? Advice for beginning two-steppers at Sundance Saloon.

Dancing at Sundance SaloonSo often I hear folks telling me they can’t dance, so why even try. Or they’ll come to Sundance Saloon and take one lesson and give up. But it doesn’t have to be that way! I truly believe everyone who can walk can two-step, because I’ve seen it happen again and again with “hopeless” cases. Give it a chance, and the rewards are great.

To help you along I’ve compiled ten advice tips for beginning dancers at Sundance Saloon

1. Be patient with yourself.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sure there are a few talented folks who somehow grasp the concept in one lesson. But for us normal folks it can take weeks or months before two-stepping even begins to feel natural. And don’t compare yourself to folks on the dance floor who have been doing this for twenty years. They’ve been doing it for twenty years!

2. Count out loud.

I don’t know why newbies resist this suggestion. It really helps. Let your dance partner know you are a beginner and have her help you count! When you are starting out it is nearly impossible to two-step and carry on a conversation, so don’t even try. Try counting instead. True fact: it took me six months of dancing every week before I could talk and dance at the same time. Six months!

3. “Everyone is looking at me because I can’t dance.”

No they’re not. And if someone is looking at you, it’s probably because he’s thinking “how adorable.” We spend so much of our lives trying to get noticed! You want to be noticed! More visibility = more dance partners = more fun. Don’t stand in the shadows behind the crowd.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Sundance Saloon is a friendly place. If someone asks you to dance, say yes (it’s OK to tell him you are a beginner). Don’t be afraid to ask someone else to dance. I know, it’s terrifying. But the more you get out on the dance floor, the faster you’ll feel comfortable in your boots. Force yourself to meet one new person each time you come. If you come once a week, in a year you’ll have fifty dance partners!

5. Ask good dancers to dance with you.

This seems counter-intuitive. Beginners often enjoy and end up dancing with other beginners. But you are going to learn so much more when you dance with someone who is better than you.

6. Practice, practice, practice!

Did I say this already? Well, you can practice outside of Sundance Saloon too! Walk around your house stepping slow-slow-quick-quick, or if you’re really brave try it going down the sidewalk or while pushing the cart down the grocery aisle. Hey, this is San Francisco. No one will notice.

7. It’s OK to make mistakes.

Stop saying “sorry” every time you mess up. You’ll probably say it anyway, but understand it is not necessary.

8. Reward yourself as you reach a milestone.

The first time you do a slow-slow-quick-quick pattern successfully, clap your hands. The first time you make it all the way around the dance floor, say a little cheer. The first time you get through an entire song – now that calls for chocolate!

9. Have fun.

Starting out is a little bit like torture, but ultimately it’s about having fun (and I don’t mean to imply this is a form of SM). Sure there may be an element of frustration that’s not so much fun. But think about the new connections you’re making, about the human contact you can’t get anywhere else, and how many times you smiled or laughed during the night.

10. Come back!

So maybe you didn’t do so well at your first outing. That doesn’t mean you can’t dance. I know someone who loves to tell the story that when he started out, his friend told him, “You may be one of those people that never quite gets it.” Well, he didn’t give up, and now years later he’s a dance instructor! Keep trying and I promise you it will eventually click, and it is soooooo worth it.

^IY

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Sundance Saloon Featured In San Francisco Chronicle Article About The Coming Out of Country Singers Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman

Sundance Saloon

Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Tony Bravo came to Sundance Saloon to research his article about the recent coming out of country singers Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman.

“For a reaction to Herndon and Gilman’s news, we tugged up our boots and ventured to Sunday night’s Sundance Saloon, the last regular, mixed LGBT country-western dance party in the Bay Area, held at Space 550 in the Bayview district.”

Includes quotes from Randy Pocius, John Hoffman, Rachel Hoobing, Wilson Hardcastle and Michael Metzger.

Read the full story here:
Music: A little bit country and, at last, a little bit gay, too

Sundance Saloon

Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

Sundance Saloon

Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

^IY

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Welcome To The Sundance Saloon Blog

“White. A blank page of canvas … So many possibilities.”
 – Sunday In The Park With George (Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine).

“Sundance Saloon changed my life.”
– overheard at Sundance Saloon on more than one occasion.

Two-steppers at Sundance SaloonSundance Saloon is known widely as San Francisco’s club for country-western dancing for the LGBT community and its friends. But it is really so much more than just a place for dancing. It’s about a promoting a physically healthy activity that’s spirited, sexy, romantic, transporting, and just plain fun. It’s also about finding a place to fit in, about community, about friendship and love, about personal growth, about letting go, about feeling the magic, and even about life-changing experiences.

This Sundance Saloon blog has been created to celebrate and record the stories of Sundance Saloon: its news and history, community and culture, thoughts about dancing and music, and whatever else lands on these pages.

We have our blank page of canvas. Let’s begin!

Submissions from the community are highly encouraged! E-mail blog@sundancesaloon.org with your ideas and contributions.

^IY

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