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Karen Kao
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

REJIVE, Partner Dancing Made Easy

by Karen Kao
January 20, 2003
New York, NY

Review: REJIVE, Partner Dancing Made Easy

Monthly Multi-Church Dance Nights

Location: St. Vincent's Church, Lexington Avenue @ 66th Street (#6 subway to 68th/Lex)

When: Saturdays - Mar 17, Apr 21, May 19, June 16, July 21, Aug 18, Sept 15, Oct 20, Nov 17

Time: 8 pm - 12 midnight

Cost: $12 at door, soft drinks/water for $1-2

Phone: 212-678-6064

Web: www.ReJive.com

Description: Free REJIVE dance lesson followed by a DJ spinning music from the 1980s and 1990s

Weekly Dance Lessons

Location: St. Jean's Community Center, East 76th Street and Lexington Avenue (#6 subway to 77th/Lex)

When: Mondays

Time: 7:30 pm Beginner Lesson

8:30 pm Intermediate Lesson

Dancing until 10:00 pm

Cost: $9 at the door

Reviewer: Karen Kao

Date: 1/20/2001

Imagine yourself at your high school dance. Now dim the lights. Pair up 50 couples. Place a dance instructor up on stage with a partner. He walks you slowly through a simple dance move. Simple? Yes. However, when executed quickly, with confidence, the dance technique appears snazzy.

This is ReJive, a trademark dance technique that advertises "partner dancing made easy." The dance style it resembles most closely is Swing. However, once you learn the eight measures of choreography, you use it with any music format that they play. In this case, music was taken from the 1980s and 1990s; the musical format ranged from Salsa and Swing to Hustle and club music.

I found the basic lesson easy to learn. However, at the open dance session that followed, it was difficult to follow despire taking basic ballroom dance lessons since the men were combining moves from previous sessions. I could follow any guy but the turns threw me off balance since I did not know what to anticipate. Fortunately, Taxi Dancers were available to dance with novices. Taxi Dancers are people who are there to help beginners practice new steps. I was more fortunate. A man with an injured back showed me the ten basic maneuvers by name, in slow succession.

Maneuvers were characterized by ferocious names such as "The Catapult." After his tutelage, I was a bird in flight.

The ReJive concept promises that a beginner can walk in a novice, then after one lesson, attain basic dance competency. If the basic maneuvers are performed in rapid succession, and the lady is a good, centered follower, the man appears competent, and the lady can find herself challenged, executing multiple turns, breathless.

The monthly dance party crowd itself numbered around 100 people; women slightly outnumbered men; ages ranged from 20s to 40s. Billed as a multi-church dance party, the people seemed more friendly and approachable than at the average dance studio.

The dance lesson is followed by a dance contest. Then the floor opens to an open dance forum.

For the beginner, who wants quick results, I recommend this style as easy to learn. The one downside is that if you do indeed know Swing, Salsa, Hip hop or Hustle dance steps, save your technique for another dance setting! Your partner will probably not know what you are doing.

Overall, the evening was fast-paced, fun and affordable.

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