Sunday, 23 June 2013

Come Dance Ceroc In Riyadh.

One day, out of the blue, a fellow Kiwi sent me a message - 'Come dancing with me!'  I had to bite and called her back for details.  She had been going to Ceroc dance classes for quite some time and, on a whim, asked if I'd like to go.

My first question was, 'What is Ceroc?'
She tried to explain, then gave up and said, 'It's fun, you'll love it'.
So I said 'Sure, why not?  Tell me where and when'.
And so it is that, once a week, I have sashayed forth on to a Ceroc dance floor with a number of other Riyadh expats of varying Ceroc ability.

It is fun.
And a bit of a workout - I sweat like an unmentionable some evenings.
At the moment the lessons are free and you don't need a partner to attend, which is great because Hubster, though I love him dearly, is a dance clutz.   Not that I haven't invited him along.  Of course I have but, as expected, he made a weak excuse for being a non-participator.  I didn't push it.  Our Salsa dancing experience in Riyadh taught me that.

A couple of years back Hubster got dragged along to a Salsa dance class.  The classes had been taking place on our compound for some weeks and, I argued, it seemed a complete waste to have salsa classes on site and not to attend.   One evening Hubster gave in and made his way to the back of the dance floor.

We've been married thirty years, and it was at the Salsa lessons that I was reminded why I fell in love with my man - it was because of his motorbike, not his dance moves.  Suffice to say this was the only Salsa class that we attended together, though I will forever appreciate he did make the effort to show up, at least once.

The other week, at brunch with a few fellow compound dwellers,  I mentioned that my weekly schedule usually included a Ceroc dance class and asked if anyone would like to come.  They asked, as I did that very first time some months back, 'What is Ceroc?'...

Wikipedia says: 
'Ceroc is a partner dance best described as a fusion of Salsa and Jive, but without the complicated footwork. It is derived from many other dances including French Jive, Swing, Lindy Hop, and Rock and Roll, the main change being simplified footwork which makes it more accessible to beginners.'

...What I say is something along those lines.

The other week, we bid Rob, Riyadh's extremely patient Ceroc dance instructor of some years, farewell as his tour of duty in Saudi Arabia was over and he headed home to Oz.  He had spent a lot of time explaining and demonstrating, yet again, the various dance moves he dreamed we, his rag tag bunch of students, may one day perfect.  Moves like The First Move, The Pretzel and The Man Comb.  Snazzy names like that could be wasted on people with two left feet, but not at our Ceroc dance class.  As with Riyadh's desert choir, this dance troupe also loves triers and welcomes all abilities.  It is great watching people improve over the course of the evening or, for some, the next few weeks.

Though Rob has gone, the dance classes will continue under Andrew's tutelage.  Riyadh expats are a passionate bunch of movers and shakers and one of the faithful has volunteered to fill Robs shoes.  We are extremely grateful, otherwise we would have to consider going back to Salsa lessons, or ballroom dancing, or Loose Boots Line Dancing, or Belly Dancing or Hip Hop.   If you like dancing, it is possible to fill almost every night of the week with a different style of dance, here in Riyadh.

It's much easier to settle into a strange, new land when you can participate in groups and activities that make life seem, well...normal.   Ceroc dance classes is just one of the activities available in Riyadh to help expats feel at home.

Ka Kite,

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