I went two-stepping with Josh et al last night, out to a place called Big Apple Ranch for their 15th anniversary party. Josh is an old hand at two-stepping and has been trying to get me to go for years, but this was the first time for me. After a hasty lesson, we were on our way and I tried to dance a couple of times, but I was several left feet at first. Still, I had a great time watching the crowd and running into a surprising number of acquaintances.
What I loved most about the place was how mixed it was and how gender roles were out the window. It really reminded me of that gay milonga I went to a few years aback in Buenos Aires, except that (unlike tango) the dances actually seemed like something a novice could get the hang of. The couples were all types (male-male, male-female, female-female) and positions (leading/following) and everyone seemed to be having a really great time. Some of the people were fabulous dancers and it was a lot of fun watching their moves. The atmosphere was completely accepting and supportive, and it really made one comfortable with just getting out there and trying a new thing.
I was a bit shy at first, but by the time the last big dance was happening (called the Barn Dance) I was really getting into it (well, to tell the truth I was thrown into it), and managed (through heavy repetition) to approximate a two-stepper.