In 2004, after 25 years in the corporate world, Linda Freeman gave up her career as a global communications executive to become a swing dance teacher. Together with her husband, Chester Freeman, she started Got2Lindy Dance Studios in Kingston, NY with the mission of spreading the joy of swing dance--in particular the authentic form known as Lindy Hop.When her corporate colleagues learned of her new career plan they thought she was nuts. "You can't make a living doing that!"
She proved them wrong. Not only has she and her husband sustained themselves and their dream as Lindy Hop teachers, but they have been able to transform the lives of hundreds of people by teaching them to dance.
How Can Learning To Dance Transform Your Life?
Imagine you've just moved to the Hudson Valley, NY and you don't know anyone. Or you've just gotten divorced. Or your kids are finally out of the house and you now have time to do something just for you. Or you always wanted to learn how to dance but don't have a partner whose interested in it. These are the stories of the majority of our students. Although we teach a partner dance, attending class with a partner is not necessary. In fact, in all our classes and events, everyone wants to dance with everyone else. It's about community. It's a social thing. And dancing with different people makes us all better dancers. And friends.
Learning to Dance is the Best Thing You Can Do Socially, Physically, Emotionally, Mentally.
There are studies that say that learning to partner dance is the number one way to ward off Alzheimer's. I think it's because you are learning a new skill (mental), moving your body (physical), meeting new people (social) and having fun (emotional). I constantly see students show up in class convinced they have two left feet who leave dancing. I see that transformation all the time. I also see the friendships form. And the circle gets bigger and bigger. I see students get younger before my eyes, because they shift their attitude and have something to look forward to every week. It keeps them active and engaged.
What is the Zen Of Dance?
When I was first learning to dance I wasn't introduced to it as a joyful experience. I was introduced to it as everything I was doing was wrong. I was all in my head, my doubts, my fears. I was never in the moment. I was intimidated by dancers I thought were better than me (everyone) and afraid to ask anyone else to dance for fear I wasn't good enough. I thought no one would want to dance with me anyway.
I hated feeling that way and I don't want anyone else to feel that way either. When I'm teaching classes I can see that each student often thinks he/she is the only one who isn't getting it. The Zen of Dance is about recognizing that everyone is going through--or went through--the same doubts, feelings, anxieties you are. It's about letting go of negative self-judgment and being in the moment. Riding the joy.
Why This Blog?
There are lots of resources for social dance skills but there are no resources for the "other" side of social dance. The side that talks about how you can literally paralyze your ability to learn how to dance or become a better dancer because of your fears or doubts. I wanted to create a forum to let that truth out, to connect with others on a level beyond dancing. To shed light on all the aspects that make up who we are as human beings and how that impacts us as dancers. I also wanted to become a resource for people in all stages of their dance journey, to answer basic questions like "How Do I ask Someone To Dance?" and "Why Would Anyone Want to Dance With Me, Anyway?" It's the side of dance no one talks about. Until now.
Why Become a Follower?
Following the Zen of Dance Blog is like having a friend on the dance floor with you.
ABOUT GOT2LINDY DANCE STUDIOS
Linda & Chester Freeman have been swinging the Hudson Valley, NY since 2004. They teach private lessons, weekly group classes, hold dances and events. They have taught and performed in Europe, on cruises, dance festivals and camps. They specialize in the authentic American forms of swing known as Lindy Hop (also called jitterbug and east coast swing) balboa, classic blues, charleston. They also teach the full spectrum of ballroom dances and specialize in working with wedding couples.
For a full schedule of their classes, dances and events visit www.got2lindy.com or Facebook.com/got2lindy