Victoria Dancer Chat

This month's profile is Dave Henderson. 
You may know Dave as a killer social dancer, a DJ, or as the current SDAV President.


1. What got you into dancing?
My sister, Jane, bet me a Eugene’s donair that I wouldn’t join the UVic Ballroom Dance Club. I won, but never got the donair. I guess I was too busy dancing to collect.

2. What kept you dancing?
The friends I made and the music have kept me dancing. Once I got going in the UVic Ballroom Dance Club I saw Andrew Sanderson around. We met in Sea Scouts as kids but had lost touch. It was great to rekindle our friendship. We have been very close ever since, in and outside of dancing. I made a lot of other friends from dancing too. I also met my wife, Catie.
The music when I started dancing was mostly the Daddy bands: Big Bad Voodoo and Cherry Poppin’, there were others but I don’t remember their names. The energy of the music got people into dancing but different styles of music were needed to keep us going. We went from Neo Swing to the Swing Kids soundtrack, which is what brought us to the popular big bands. The Swing Kids soundtrack exposed us to the right classic songs for our modern ears. After that, the world of music opened up and I started digging through the UVic Library CD collection for music. I also spent a lot of money at Lyle’s.

3. How has your dancing changed?
I have become more collaborative. When I started dancing, follows were told “don’t think, just follow” but happily this way of thinking is almost completely gone and follows are equal parts in the dance experience. I love when my partner provides shape and rhythm for our dance. It’s great to create something with another person, to feel like we are listening and dancing to the same song at the same time.
I have also become more musical. I used to hit breaks and respond to song dynamics, but now I feel that I listen more closely to songs while I’m dancing. I’ll pick up and respond to rhythms and melody way more often than I used to.

4. What’s your best dance experience?
My best dance experience was teaching and social dancing in Vietnam. It was amazing to connect with people whose language I don’t know. They spoke a little bit of English and we had such a great time. They were so kind and generous to me and Catie. It has been so fun to watch their scene grow. 

5. What song do you always want to dance to?
All the Cats Join In by Benny Goodman, especially if it has the cartoon sound effects.