Katie Carroll: Venturing the Two-Step | SteamboatToday.com

Katie Carroll: Venturing the Two-Step

Katie Carroll

— After seeing “Two-Step Tuesday” roll through the Happenings week after week, I decided it was finally time I gave in to my curiosity. I laced up my Chucks, seeing as my cowboy boots need new heels, and headed to Schmiggity’s.

As a Jersey girl, the closest I’ve come to country dancing was the Brownies Square Dance when I was in second grade. When I showed up punctually at 7 p.m. for the dance lesson with Amanda, it was me, my lucky boyfriend, who grew up line dancing and three other women with ballroom dance experience. Clearly, I was going to stand out in this crowd.

Despite my nerves, a pint of Upslope and a welcoming smile from Amanda, one of the dance instructors, made me feel much more comfortable. We began with the Two-Step, which is an easy count of “slow, slow, quick-quick.” The other dance instructor, Matt, led us ladies toward the stage chanting the rhythm in time with the Jake Owen song and reminding us, “Ladies always start with the right foot.”

That’s when a few gentleman showed up (my boyfriend still sitting at the bar, of course), and Matt and Amanda had us practice our two-step with partners. Moving counterclockwise around the room, I stared at my feet so hard that my first partner graciously counted along with me. “Relax,” Amanda called. “Your arms are not as firm as ballroom arms — we’re country!” I somehow managed to get too relaxed — that’s when I learned my elbow should not go behind my back or I could get hurt. I am very excited that, one day, I may be so good at country dancing I will have to be concerned about injuries!

That’s when Matt and Amanda stopped us and taught us our next move, the Girl Wrap and Guy Wrap. At this point in our rotation, I was partnered with Amanda, so she got double-duty teaching me and learning the lead part herself. At this point, I thought, “Footloose. This is like Footloose,” because the wrap is a simple twirl move into your partner’s arms and then back out. I could just imagine 1984 Kevin Bacon getting into it.

At this point, Schmiggity’s was getting pretty crowded, as it was nearing 8 p.m. and the social dancing hour had begun. Amanda and Matt spun around the floor with different partners, as did most dancers who just came to have fun and learn. They kicked the music volume up a notch, which was inspiring, and the next time I took a turn around the room, I actually felt like I was dancing! Amanda worked wonders, as I no longer had to stare at my feet and could think of other things besides “slow, slow, quick-quick.” This time, I two-stepped, twirled and wrapped!

I wasn’t up to par with the regular weekly dancers, of course. But I was pleasantly surprised — Two-Step Tuesday was a fun, relaxed evening full of Steamboat Charm. I will definitely be back. (In case you are wondering, my boyfriend did eventually get off the barstool and danced, too).

Katie Carroll is a writer with a love for music and adventure. She hails from New Jersey, just eight miles from New York City and 57 miles from the legendary Stone Pony. After spending years music hopping in the city and working for performing arts venues, she is excited to bring her passion for music to Explore Steamboat and the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Despite the Jersey upbringing, don’t worry; there won’t be any Springsteen overload (unless he is the surprise concert at the mountain, of course).

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