After they were shown the steps to the first routine, the people taking part in the swing dance lessons, went over it themselves with the help of Cross and Trainor.

Thursday night’s alright for swing dancing

Swing dance lessons offered at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 614

It all starts off with a little promenade, change sides, triple step, triple step, and rock step forward.

That’s a taste of the first routine taught during a Swing Dance lesson on Nov. 14 at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 614.

The legion, located at 100 Salome Dr., near Sheppard Avenue E., has been holding Swing Dance lessons on Thursday evenings.

The current session started on Oct. 31 and runs until Dec. 5.

Carolyn Cross, who teaches these lessons, is an avid swing dancer. She has been dancing for the past 13 years of her life. Cross got into it on a whim and has enjoyed it ever since.

“I met someone at a dance, and they started taking swing lessons (then) and he asked me if I wanted to try it, and I did,” Cross said. “And I haven’t looked back.”

Cross, along with her dance partner Tom Trainor, have been teaching swing dance lessons at the legion for the past seven years.

Over the course of the evening, eight couples were taught a routine that was broken up into four separate stages. Cross and Trainor showed the routine step-by-step slowly before going over it again at proper speed.

Sandra Hryhor who has been taking lessons at the Legion for the past two years, said she enjoys these classes a lot.

“With Tom and Carolyn, you’re constantly learning new things, if not learning, you’re reviewing a large amount of steps,” Hryor said. “It’s so much more fun.”

Cross has heard only good things from those who have taken lessons. She thinks it’s because of the way she and Trainor lead the classes.

“We’ve had very good feedback from our students. From those who stay, (they) seem to like it, they like us and they seem to like our style of teaching,” Cross said. “We like to get around to do some one-on-ones with the people because if you leave them on their own, it could be difficult. One little thing could be missing so we like to work individually with them and I think they appreciate it.”

Hryhor got her start with swing dancing at the Lithuanian House over in the High Park area of Toronto.

“I’ve been doing East Coast Swing for four years,” Hryhor said. “I was taking one of the singles dances at the capitol, and I met two men who took East Coast Swing and (they) got me interested.”

One of the men she danced with mentioned the classes being taught at the legion.

“I really, really love it here because they have the beginner and the intermediate and the advance lessons,” Hryhor said. “Even if you’re doing review, they have such a wide repertoire that you’re always being exposed to new steps.

“Other places I’ve gone to, they started at the beginning, and it’s a six- to eight-week session, and it’s always the same steps. You never get any progress.”

Hryhor said her favourite step so far is the sliding doors.

“I like doing it … the slide across, kick ball change, slide across, kick ball change,” Hryhor said.

The current session goes until Dec. 5, with a new one expected to start up on Dec. 12. It is six sessions, the first class is free, and it is being offered at $35 for the five remaining classes.