Recently I was in South Florida.
I went to my first class in nightclub two step.
The instructor told me this was an advanced class.
He said I could I watch and if I felt I could keep up, I could jump in.
When I rotated to the instructor's partner, she immediately wanted to know where I had been dancing.
I was already better than the other students in the class, not because I knew more moves,
but because I knew how to dance with a partner.
I was in South Florida for a week.
Friday I went to Argentine tango.
Saturday I took my sister to the movies.
Sunday I went to salsa.
Monday I went to lindy swing.
Tuesday I went to hustle.
Wednesday I visited my cousins.
Thursday I went to Argentine tango.
Friday I went to west coast swing, hustle and country two step.
At west coast swing, one lady said, "You are so easy to dance with. You dance so softly. All the other guys are rough."
I heard these same sentiments every where I went.
One lady sent me this message.
When you use the tools of
this is the type of response you get.
All the comments here were unsolicited.
This comment was posted on a folk dance forum in response to a friendly exchange
"Wow, it sounds like a whole lot of rules...is there any punishment for the disobedient?
The following note is from Jeff after attending the Chagigah dance camp in Wisconsin.
One woman had written to me that she thought the swing dance class
"was very good--and everyone we spoke with thought the same".
I wrote her back asking what she liked specifically and this is her reply.
Annette and her partner Randy now have their own weekly dance session
running English country dancing and often are invited to be guest leaders in other cities.
Note that the attribution after the name is my addition so you can see their background.
I just wanted to say thank you, again, for coming to our 1940s party and making it special with your dancing know-how!
Everyone had a wonderful time, especially the birthday girls.
Thanks so much for the wonderful music and your time and effort.
It really was an especially enjoyable evening. Many thanks for your hard work and patience.
Another WOW! You are the best and thanks again for the information.
I hope the Tango class can continue in April.
Thanks, Andy, for the encouragement, you are the best.
Your guidelines are sooooooo helpful.
I am saving your comprehensive guidelines for frequent reference and reminder.
Thanks for putting together the west coast swing classes.
I had some people after class tonight mentioning how much they enjoyed it.
You did a good job.
What a great class! Thanks! It was so nice to meet new people.
Thank you for so much Andy.
You have opened my eyes in ways I never could have imagined.
I want to thank you for the time and motivation you put into the Israeli dancing.
It is certainly a blessing for many.
Hi Andy, I love your values and am so envious that you have this going in Florida.
Thanks for the encouragement, though. Keep up the wonderful work you do and come visit us again!
Thank you for the update Andy.
As is your tireless efforts to find all of us a place to continue dancing.
I hope you will join us this Sunday at waltz brunch.
Do they pay you?
Dancing last night was, in my opinion, wonderful.
I was so energized when I got home, it was almost like being high.
... You are very good at leading a group.
You are welcoming, have a good sense of pacing,
you encourage without being too pushy, correct without giving offense.
Thanks for the information and for the lovely dances.
I find myself using what I learned from you everywhere I can.
Thank you. And Joseph. You guys taught a great class today.
It was a lot of fun and my students absolutely loved it!
Again thank you for 2 wonderful classes.
I was driving back to Gainesville from Waldo yesterday and saw your sign GainesvilleDance.com,
did a double-U on the road, parked on the side, and took a photo of the sign. Congratulations,
... Thanks for promoting dance. You are doing a great job.
Gainesville is a dance city, very much so.
Dear B'nai Israel Board Members:
I want to express to you my feelings about the importance of the Israeli Dance program at B'nai Israel.
That is because Andy Weitzen is willing to single-handedly put in the energy needed to make it happen.
He provides his own music and equipment, he writes a weekly newsletter for local Israeli Dancing, and most importantly,
he consistently dedicates his Monday evening each week to running the program, providing a warm environment
and genuine expertise for everyone who comes.
He patiently teaches and re-teaches us the dances, always able to expand our dance horizons
because he knows so many dances.
It is a great service that Andy provides to our community ...
Saturday was fun.
Thanks for playing some "ballroom" music and for getting me into the swing rueda.
I probably never would have tried it otherwise!
Just wanted to say that I thought you taught an EXCELLENT class in all ways in lindy hop tonight.
... I like the way you teach! VERY impressive your knowledge of the dance, and excellent the way you taught
and broke down each part of each step for both lead and follower - such that by the end of tonight's class -
some of the women who I do not think had danced this before were doing surprisingly good.
The last song you played in the swing rueda was fairly fast - and many of the followers were keeping up to the speed.
I like the technique you taught. I had done a cross behind (with my right foot) on 5 - rather than a step straight
(to the right) down the aisle - but your technique seems far simpler - and I found I was able
to "open the door" to get the woman swinging out rapidly without any force on my part at all (Nicely worded by you
- and nicely demonstrated).
After that, it became easy to "rebuild" steps (free spin, inside turn) - and it was "coming back to me ... ".
I do not think I have ever felt as unhurried and relaxed doing swing outs as you had me feeling by the end of the night.
A few suggestions/thoughts:
Thanks for helping after class with Danielle. I had never met her before - and she overall
was really getting the hang of everything -
except the 180 degree turn on 3, which made the dance uncomfortable (because she was facing the wrong way ...).
Very helpful that you identified her need not to break her right shoulder so that she would
turn on 3 - and also helpful to me to understand how she was already by me on 2 negating any possibility
for me to get her to turn unless I did something else to compensate.
... you taught an EXCELLENT class in swing-out, with success at getting virtually
everyone doing the step to reasonably fast music which is no small feat.
You also were great at refreshing what I had forgotten and not used for at least 3 years. THANK YOU!
I wanted to e-mail you and let you know how much I appreciate your support for the dance,
for supporting Annette and Randy and for being someone who is a pleasure to dance with,
no matter what the dance form!
I love being at the GDMA building, it had gone away before I started coming to Gainesville
to dance and I like the atmosphere and the floor in the room we use.
So, this is my way of saying thank you very much for all you are doing to support
dance in the Gainesville area.
I am very happy to receive this invitation as it represents the best of collaborative effort for dancing.
Thanks so very much for all you have accomplished and for being a central nerve.
We very much enjoyed the swing dance class today.
As always, you are so patient and calm, and make us feel very comfortable.
Cool, I will see if she will let me in this week.
I like your approach to other teachers.
I am thankful that I signed up for your class last fall.
The music and dances are great.
It is fun to meet new people and to develop friendships with people who continue to come because of a common love for the dances.
I found it more difficult than I expected since each song has a different dance.
However your patience and encouragement have been amazing.
In addition to all of this, I have been helped physically more than I dreamed possible.
My doctor approved me taking the class in spite of the diagnosis of degenerative disk disease.
What he does not know yet is the fact that I am no longer taking the prescription strength
Ibuprofen that I had taken four years prior to starting to dance.
Of course, he was prescribing a medication to protect my digestive system.
I have stopped it too.
Since I had tried to stop the Ibuprofen before without success, I know that it was dancing that made the difference.
One night a week and some practice between classes helped improve my posture and motivated me to do other exercises as well.
I am definitely in better health now than I was last September.
Thanks for the part that you played in that change.
I hope that you will continue to teach dance for years to come.
Annette and I had a great time, as usual, dancing with you last night.
And I have to say, I really admire your patience!
It can not be easy to stay so calm and collected when some are (rudely) questioning what you are trying to teach. Good job!
I thought your presentation on lead/follow techniques was extremely well thought out and helpful.
... it would be a wonderful "elective" activity at workshops like Chagiga and Machol Miami, etc.
Yep, your methods definitely work! It was fun to feel like I was actually dancing
(vs. just being dragged around the dance floor).
Maybe it takes a little more concentration to follow, but it beats having to learn the whole dance first. Lots more fun your way.
(And hey, if you can teach me, you can teach anyone!)
Do not let me forget - I have another question for you about spinning in the circle
dances - how not to get dizzy?
I went to the last hour of the Bolton Center dance - the spins worked great!
I could tell my partners were much more comfortable.
Definitely worth the time to learn it.
Thanks, Andy – I attended the class Thursday evening, and was relieved that you are taking it so slow!
I really appreciated your comments about how long it takes to develop the muscle memory!
My previous attempts to learn to dance with a partner were just an embarrassing failure.
But I have seen folks having so much fun dancing that I wanted to try again when I heard about this class.
So here is hoping!
Thank you so much for making our event even more special.
You really got people up and moving and the "spectators" enjoyed watching!
I had fun myself!
You were great to work with and I hope you will join us for many future events.
Even more important, I want to thank you for your motivating and supportive teaching. You are great!! Ted ( Diane is also very thankful!)
Thanks for all your efforts, past and present, to keep dance alive in Gainesville!!
What an enjoyable night of dancing on Sunday!
A little bit of everything: oldies, newer dances, couples, and learning something new.
All in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
You are so good at managing the group and accommodating everyone who shows up.