Dancin' on the Internet

By H. Leon Raper

Yes, that's right, it is time to go dancin' on the Internet. We can all jump on our information super highway surfboards and start surfing the Internet. It is a real mind blower to find out how much information is available on the Internet and how many people there are throughout the world with your same interests in dancing. In this article we will look into how you can do what is called a "Net Search" for anything you want to find; how to contact each other by E-mail; how you can get on the Internet and types of Internet access provider services; how to get the Swing Dance Clubs involved; and how to get further information.

Try a Net Search on the words "swing dance." You will end up with an Info Search Result which lists the following and more from which you can select: West Coast Swing, Swing Dance Styles, Washington D.C. Swing Dance Server, List of swing dance clubs & societies in the U.S., The US Swing Dance Server, The Lindy Hop, and many others.

Then, select the "US Swing Dance Server." You will get a choice of the following items from which to select: Events, Styles, Technique, Steps, Terms, Music, Videos, Clubs, Competition, and many others. If you select "Styles," you can obtain information on many different swing dance forms. If you select "Clubs," you access a listing that contains contact information for most of the swing dance clubs and associations throughout the world. This listing is maintained by Ellen C. Bauer (E-mail: ecb@world.std.com). If you select "Technique," you can see a discussion on the subject of Lead & Follow. A very interesting and very large category is "Style" which contains the following selections: Arthur Murray Shag, Balboa, Beach Bop, Boogie Woogie, Bop, Bugg, Country Swing, Disco Swing, Double Hustle, Double Swing, East Coast Swing, Flying Lindy, Hustle, 3Count Hustle, Imperial, Jamaica, Jitterbug, Jive, Kansas City Shag, Latin Hustle, Le Rock, Lindy Hop, Line Hustle, New York Hustle, Prep Step, Push, Rock And Roll, Rope Hustle, Shag, Single Swing, Sling Hustle, Stepping, St. Louis Shag, Street Hustle, Supreme, Texas Tommy Triple Swing, Western Swing, West Coast Swing, Whip. If you want to have a real hoot, locate "Henry's Dance Hotlis" on Internet. You will find information on all kinds of danceing - including Country Western dancing.

To contact someone by E-mail, all you need is their E-mail address. Sending E-mail is just like sending a letter to someone, but instead of waiting days for them to receive it, they receive it in seconds - anywhere in the world with no postage stamps, no express mail charges and no additional long distance telephone charges. Your access provider service will provide you with your E-mail address. Are you already on Prodigy, Online America, Compu Serve, etc? If you are, you may already have an E-mail address and not be aware of it. For instance, if your address on prodigy is xyz44a, then your E-mail address would be xyz44a@prodigy.com. Anyone can send you E-mail by addressing the E-mail to: xyz44@prodigy.com. You can also send others E-mail using the same approach with their E-mail address. However, since Internet access is relative new to some of these access provider services, you may have to call your service to ask them to send you some upgraded software. Please call your service provider for guidance.

How do you gain access to the Internet? There are basically two different ways. You can get your own access line, hardware and software, but that is cost prohibitive for most. Or, you can subscribe to an Internet access provider service. There are basically two different types of access provider services. The first are multi-service providers like America Online, Prodigy, Compu Serve and many others. These are highly advertised multi-service providers which charge a relatively low monthly fee plus an hourly charge for access time on the service. Some also provide a few hours of free access time per month. The second are also Internet access providers, but they provide direct access to the Internet only. They may provide no other services than direct access to the Internet. They charge a higher monthly service charge, but give many hours of free access time per month. Some give over 200 hours per month free access time. The service I use is Infomagic which charges about $20 per month for which you get 200 hours per month of free access time on the Internet. If you plan on spending much time on the net then these Internet direct services are much less expensive than the other multi-service providers. If you are going to spend many hours on the Internet using one of the multi-service providers then your costs could easily mount up to 10 to 40 times what it would cost you with service like Primenet. You can find out about these type services at your local computer stores or at a major computer warehouse type of store like Comp USA, Computer Warehouse, etc. To get information on Internet access provider services, go to the store and ask them who is their Internet expert, then ask that expert what access provider services give the most for the least amount of money. Surfing the net is fun and you can spend many more hours than you thought you would. At first you may want to test the waters with one of the access provider services that charge a lower monthly rate, but you will probably graduate very quickly to another service that gives you more free hours. Also, don't go to the computer store and buy one of those interesting Internet starter software kits - save your money. First, find out which Internet access provider service you want to use. That service provider may also provide you with free software to get you started.

Getting the "dance clubs" and "dance publications" involved! It would be nice if all the dance clubs would include an article in an upcoming issue of their newsletters requesting that their dancing computer junkie members inform them of their E-mail addresses for publication in their club newsletter. Also, the dance clubs should start looking into ways of posting their special event dates on the Internet in addition to submitting them to the dance publications. That would be a great way to let people know what the dance happenings are throughout the world. It would also help out greatly in preventing scheduling conflicts between major events. It would also be great if the the dance publications would start requesting an E-mail address be included with event listings and club contact listings. This would allow the Internauts to obtain more information free on the Internet rather than making expensive long distance phone calls.

For further information on becoming a dancing Internaut you can contact any of the access provider services previously mentioned or locate others; get information at your local computer store; or contact me by phone at 1-480-945-9100 or by E-mail or see "Raper's Dance Corner" on the Internet at http://www.dancecorner.com/. It would be great if we have any other writers out there that would write articles for publication and share some of their experiences on the Internet. Also, maybe they could suggest other ways for the Internauts to help bring the dancing global village closer together.

Published in Swing Jammers News - Country Calendar, August, 1995

Published in Jitterbug Magazine, July 1995

Published in Country Dance Lines Magazine, July 1995

Publication Information: A new Email address and a new Internet dance site "Raper's Dance Corner" has been added to the article here - in case someone else wishes to publish the article, it will be up to date.