Shut Up And Dance With Me

This post is about dancing in Florence, so it is clearly the most important one I’ve posted so far.

There are obviously a lot of clubs in Florence. People go to bars to get a drink, then head to a club and dance until early in the morning. That’s not the kind of dancing I’m into, though. Before I left I did some research on swing dancing in Florence, and boy did I luck out.

There are two groups who swing dance in Florence. The aptly named Lindy Hop in Florence, and Tuballoswing, which is a combination of the words “tutti ballare swing,” or “all dance swing.”

Both groups hold regular classes for lindy hop every week, and then host dances that they post on Facebook. Except that’s not totally true. Last night I went dancing, and I found out that Tuballoswing hosts a dance every Wednesday after their classes, which means that I’ve missed two months of dancing already! If you are coming to Florence and will be here on a Wednesday, go dancing!!

Their location is just a short bus ride away, and then a quick walk from the bus stop. The ceiling is decorated in tulle, there are comfy couches to sit on, and a huge dance space with an excellent floor. Italian lindy hop is essentially the same thing as lindy back in America, which is good. But they have a few different steps that I’m still learning. It’s really fun to be dancing with talented dancers and improving my skills, although I do feel a bit self-conscious when I mess up!

Another awesome thing about dancing in Florence: it’s completely untouristy. I go dancing, and I’m the only non-Italian. That’s awesome and strange. Sometimes while dancing my partner will ask me something in Italian and I quickly have to say, “Parla Inglese? Sono Americana!” Luckily they always do, so communication isn’t that much of an issue. After the dance they almost always end up talking to me about who I am, what I’m doing in Florence, and how I found this place. It’s also strange because when the DJ makes an announcement, I have no idea what he’s saying. And then everybody laughs and I just stand there with a blank look on my face.

I’d say leaving dancing is difficult, but it really hasn’t been. The last bus into the city leaves at about 12:30, and dancing ends at midnight. The first time I went a friend I made secured me a ride home. Last night, I was waiting at the bus stop, and the same people who drove me home the last time saw me standing there, pulled over, and offered me a ride! That just goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, dancing is a universal unifier. And I’m really good at hitchhiking, I don’t know.

I’ve only been to one event with Lindy Hop in Florence. It was held in the downstairs area of a bar, and the dance floor was a a 10×10 foot area with six couple trying to dance (luckily I’m used to crowded dance floors). That one was just as much fun as the others, even though it was hotter and I didn’t bring any water.

I can’t tell much of a difference between the two groups, but not being seriously involved might explain that. All that matters is that I’m in Florence, I’m dancing, and I’m happy.


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