Janice Frank 20190921 600pxI have been taking weekly West Coast Swing classes at SwingShoes since January 2018, with no prior dance experience. During that time, I have also taken Erik’s workshops in Hustle, Salsa, and Nightclub Two-Step. In 2019, I pursued additional lessons in Salsa at another studio to continue to expand my dance vocabulary. Socially I’ve been dancing West Coast Swing in NYC and CT, have attended a few dance events in CT and MA, and various workshops in the tri-state area. I competed in a West Coast Swing Jack & Jill competition at the dance event Swingin’ Into Spring in 2019 for the very first time. It was new and scary, but also tremendously exciting and educational. Shockingly, I placed fifth!

Dancing has put my life on a whole new trajectory. Walking into the dance studio for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect, or if I’d ever go back. But this room was different somehow. I found a new family and I found myself. The act of learning to dance—specifically a partner dance—tapped into me in a way that solo classes have not. I felt a light turn on in me. It has and is still teaching me to listen better, becoming more receptive to a lead; relax and not worry about making mistakes; trust myself and my partner that if something does go wrong, we’ll help each other out; and most importantly, to simply have fun, play, and be creative! All of these lessons have permeated into my personal and work life as well, because as I have learned, life imitates dance, and that makes it beautiful.