Dancers create a ‘scene’ in the KMC

Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

Three dancers had a problem − no swing dancing scene in the KMC, so together they came up with the answer − teach it here.

Army Reservists Sgt. Christina Cameron and Sgt. Andrea Tarter, both with the 328th Combat Support Hospital in Sacramento, Calif., and Dan Scheffer, from the 24th Intelligence Squadron, have taught Beginner I and II Swing Dancing at the Vogelweh Skate Express for the past year.

“We wanted to get a scene here so we wouldn’t have to drive to Heidelberg all the time,” said Sergeant Tarter. “We thought we would teach beginner classes, and hopefully, get a scene together here.”

For Mary Prost, Ramstein American Middle School nurse, the dancers’ answer is what she has been waiting 30 years for.

“My husband promised when he retired that we would take dance lessons so here we are,” said Mrs. Prost. “I just want to go dancing, but I like that we started with the swing.”

Both beginner classes are six weeks. Students learn the “basic building blocks” of the East Coast and Lindy Hop, said Sergeant Cameron. Beginner II shows more Lindy Hop moves and introduces students to the Charleston.
“The class is great,” said Mrs. Prost, who is taking the current Beginner I class. “The instructors are really, really good.”

All three instructors, who all together have 25 years of dancing experience, say the next go around for both classes is October at the Vogelweh Skate Express. Both Sergeants Cameron and Tarter, who currently work at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, are due to go back to their Reserve unit in December.

It’s not necessary for those interested in swing dancing to sign up for the classes with a partner because students are constantly rotating partners, said Mr. Scheffer.

“It’s a social dance, and it’s expected that you will dance with people, who you don’t necessarily know before you start dancing,” he said.

Mr. Scheffer said students don’t need to worry about there being enough partners in the class, either. “It usually evens out,” he said. “We (instructors) will shuffle in and make sure that people are not standing alone for too long, and we will keep switching so you will always have someone to dance with.”

Those interested in swing dancing lessons can sign up at the Vogelweh Community Center, Bldg. 2059 on Vogelweh. For details, call the community center at 489-7626.