WENATCHEE — About 50 people have shown up to the concourse of Pybus Public Market on Wednesday evenings each week since the start of February to learn about swing dancing from 2 Left Feet Dance.
The beginner-friendly lessons at 3 N. Worthen St., Wenatchee, go for an hour starting at 7 p.m. and are free to the public. A social dance — no partner required — follows.
The dance school previously held lessons at the market from 2014 to 2019 and recently started back up.
This month, An Daire Academy of Irish Dance also offers free community classes in the concourse on Mondays from 6-8 p.m.
Both groups begin with basic dance steps.
Derry Fitzsimmons is a teacher with 2 Left Feet Dance school.
He said in a phone interview that learning begins with “getting in touch with the beat” for Jitterbug or East Coast swing styles. Basic footwork for “leads and follows” progresses to adding several additional core moves while navigating the dance floor.
An Daire’s Wenatchee-based instructor is Angela Schaub. Its parent school in Portland was founded by Jim Mueller and Lauren Crowe-Mueller.
Schaub said in a phone interview that the academy is “definitely geared more towards kids enjoying themselves and having fun. If we choose to compete or perform, we support those endeavors and our students have been equally successful in those as well.”
During the week of St. Patrick’s Day, An Daire hosts at least 20 performances by dancers at schools, senior centers and assisted living retirement homes, as well as pubs. The entire studio will perform at Pybus on March 17 at 7:30 p.m. after the “World’s Smallest St. Patrick’s Day Parade” on Orondo Avenue at 7 p.m.
Traditional Irish step dance has a total of seven basic dances, or jigs — four in “soft shoe” and three in “hard shoe,” which makes the thunderous noises.
Schaub said “We look for straight legs, straight arms, pointy toes, the trademarks” for beginners and the competition team, which currently has 18 dancers.
Classes at the studio are from 3:30-8 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday.
Schaub has been with An Daire since 2006 when her daughter began competing.
For 2 Left Feet, Fitzsimmons has taught many styles of dance since 2014, including Argentine tango, salsa, waltz, polka and blues dance.
He has been in the dance community since 2000 and said, “Dance ebbs and flows like fashion.”
Fitzsimmons added: “Currently, we are in the phase of rebuilding a certain base of skill level in the community.”
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