Swing dancing in Osaka is fun! Wednesday night marked what I'm sure will be the first of many nights of dancing while I'm living in Japan.
I live way south of Osaka, but it's so worth the trip to get to go dancing!
I was a bit concerned early on when there were only six of us there for the lesson and the other half of the dance studio was filled up with hip hop students and their music, but a lot more people turned up later, many in Hawaiian theme.
As is often the case in swing, there were more girls than guys, but it's not too badly skewed, and it means a lot of girls can lead.
It's a friendly scene, and it was great to meet some more locals and foreigners. I felt so inaka (country) though saying I lived in Wakayama!
There was another guy from Melbourne there, who in a very Melbourne way, asked where I had gone to school. Melbourne may be a city of four million, but this guy knew one of my high school teachers and two girls a few years ahead of me. Small world!
I had lots of fun dances with people ranging from beginner to pretty good and I felt really happy to be dancing again.
When I started swing dancing a few years ago I was quite shy and didn't always find it easy to communicate in words. I liked that if I couldn't think of anything to talk to someone about, I could ask them for a dance.
Now I'm in Japan I'm a lot more confident, but a different communication barrier exists - I only know a little Japanese. I'm glad that with swing I can communicate with the person I'm dancing with without words.
The Hawaiian-themed night culminated in a welcome dance, a Jack and Jill competition, a traditional Hawaiian dance and a ukulele performance. The girls doing the Hawaiian dance in particular were great - Polynesian dancing is not easy and these girls had the graceful hands and the shaking hips down pat!
Here's a little video I took of the Jack and Jill competition: