Swing into lunch
Charlottetown couple teaching west coast swing dancing for free at Confederation Court Mall
Rod and Laura Weatherbie are inviting people to put their forks down and put on their dance shoes.
The Charlottetown couple has started up P.E.I. Hustle, teaching west coast swing dancing every Wednesday at noon at Confederation Court Mall, in the central part of the food court area.
The Weatherbies aren’t professional instructors, but they’ve had plenty of practice at dancing themselves.
“We teach social dancing. We’re not professional teachers, but we took a great deal of lessons. So we’ve been dancing for a long time and we wanted to kind of
“We’re not professional teachers, but we took a great deal of lessons. So we’ve been dancing for a long time and we wanted to kind of spread the word that people don’t have to be professional dancers in order to dance on P.E.I.” Laura Weatherbie
spread the word that people don’t have to be professional dancers in order to dance on P.E.I.,’’ Laura Weatherbie said.
They had been teaching little programs like west coast swing for more than two years when an idea struck them as they were walking through the mall.
“We just kept walking through Confederation Court Mall (and observing) that nothing is happening in this food court. We need to dance here.’’
So, they reached out to Jay Noble, marketing co-ordinator with Dyne Holdings, which operates the mall, with a request to teach classes.
He liked the idea and classes began earlier this month. The program will run through July and August.
“And, it’s free. Anyone who wants to come in can come in and take a lesson and find out what it’s all about.’’
Noble said he thinks it’s a great addition to the mall.
“Confederation Court Mall is delighted to offer them the space,’’ Noble said in an email to The Guardian.
“It’s a wonderful little event for the community and for the many office workers in the surrounding area.’’
Weatherbie said the west coast swing grew out of a couple of other styles — the lindy hop and the east coast swing, an up and bubbly kind of rock ’n’rollstyle of music.
“This is a little more laid back,’’ she said, referring to the west coast swing they teach on Wednesdays. “It can be danced to country music or dances to blues or to modern pop and is something that is very, very popular in other cities.’’
And the Wednesday classes utilize a space in the food court that is normally wide open anyway.
She said most people have been quite curious about what was going on when they stumbled onto the first two classes.
“The first week we didn’t have any signage or anything, so some people were a little confused as to what was happening. Last week . . . we were approached by a few people who hung back and watched the lesson but said ‘We’re coming back next week and we’re going to join in’.’’
P.E.I. Hustle will be bringing in Steven James for a dance weekend, Aug. 11-13, at the Charlottetown fire hall with lessons starting at 7 p.m. It’s $8 for a lesson and the dance or $5 for the dance only.
For more information, go to Facebook.com/PEI Hustle.
Rod and Laura Weatherbie are giving west coast swing dance lessons every Wednesday at Confederation Court Mall in Charlottetown. The lessons, which are free, take place in the central part of the food court from 12:05 to 12:50 p.m.