Meet Sam West and Ellen Taylor, fantastically talented dance partners who showed that dance is not just for the young. In 2017 they danced everyone else off the floor and won the USA Grand National Dance Championship. However, as they have been dancing since ages 9 and 10 respectively, they’ve had a lot of time to home their skills. The pair have been dancing together for almost 20 years, and they’re masters of swing dance. Swing dancing dates back to the 1920s and takes many forms. Jazz music is the only real constant, so this style of dancing offers something for everyone.
When Sam and Ellen took the stage, the applause was enthusiastic, but the crowd’s expression showed surprise. The pair were beaming and obviously excited to show their stuff, though. The DJ announced the couple would dance to fast blues, and just like that, they were off! Their performance was flawless, and the precision and skill of their footwork were truly astonishing.
They danced to Bill Pinkney’s hit Gonna Move Across The River, and their choreography is so perfect that it seems that the song was written specifically for this performance. A key component of dance is that the partners trust each other, and it is clear that Sam and Ellen trust each other implicitly. Sam leads Ellen expertly, and the pair flash around the floor with more energy than people half their age.
The mark of an expert in any field is how effortless they make their chosen field look. Sam and Ellen are no exception. Their performance was so intricate, but they made it look as easy as falling off a log. They convey such joy that before you know it, your toes are tapping, and you’re dying to leap up and join them. The audience appeared to feel the same way. The cheers and applause at the end of their dance were almost deafening.
It’s no surprise that this talented couple walked, or should that be swung, away with first prize. Even if you didn’t begin dancing as a child, this performance shows you can enjoy dancing at any age. Maybe we should all break out our dancing shoes?