On Thursday nights at Vinnie’s Jump & Jive, Natalie Lindstrom instructs participants on the finer points of ballroom dancing. As Lindstrom says repeatedly, the class should not be work. Instead it should be relaxing.
Lindstrom teaches the hour long class at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. This past Thursday there were six people at the 7 p.m. class. They happened to be couples but Lindstrom encourages individuals to come by themselves as well. To be more specific, Lindstrom says that every one should do it. “It will change your whole life,” she says, referring to the social aspect of dancing and also the breathing technique involved.
This year Lindstrom tried the class as a session from September until December. She said she realized how unfamiliar people really are with partner dancing and that it would be beneficial to increase their talent over time rather than packaging it as a drop-in class.
Lindstrom says that it is important to always switch up classes and she often rotates the couples so they dance with different people. Lindstrom uses her expertise and teaches the males how to guide. She even gets in on the action and demonstrates proper technique. As she says, guys typically take a lot of the responsibility and make the moves harder than they actually are. This is where the whole battle of work vs. relaxation comes into place.
In the background there is music. Lindstrom tries different songs out to find the “right one” for the dance. It needs the perfect rhythm and with Lindstrom’s precision also needs to fit her expectations on the intro.
The songs build the momentum for the right movements. Lindstrom mixes it up in order to teach her class. Sometimes she’ll ask them to dance together and then provide one-on-one instruction. Other times she’ll say what technique, patterns, and moves she wants and then instruct them how to do it. When she does this she’ll actually practice the movement to show the proper way for it to be done.
Lindstrom participates a lot with the members of the class. She’ll hold a partner and demonstrate what she wants before seeing the couple execute it to perfection before her eyes. You can tell that this fulfills Lindstrom. The perfect movements but more than that is the learning that goes with it. As she tells the class, “You don’t dance with your feet. You dance with your head.”
To learn more about Vinnie’s go to their website http://www.vinniesjumpandjive.com/