Marqus James and LaWana Gatlin, Instructors at HBCDA South Houston located at Club A&G Dreams. Often times I speak about two becoming one and how it creates a beautiful masterpiece. With each count and movement, I literally witnessed with my own eyes how both man and woman became one in motion like a work of art; beauty in its complete form. I was thankful when my cousin asked me to join her and her friend at a local spot in Houston, Club A & G Dreams, where everyone honestly knows your name. As I walked in, it felt as if I were at home. We sat at a table near the front of the room, next to the dance floor of course, and a couple began dancing to a familiar beat. However, the dance was not something in which I had recognized before. It was called the Houston Swingout. My cousin explained to me that the two on the dance floor was their instructors; LaWana Gatlin and Marqus James of the Houston Bayou City Dance Association (HBCDA).
The two moved effortlessly across the dance floor. He would guide with just a soft touch of the hand, light tap on the shoulder, or through eye contact while she followed. I began thinking about the way both sides of the brain work. The left side directing, masculine in its process, logical, firm and strong, and the right side creative, soft, sure, free flowing, but with the intent to follow. This poetic movement and flow was the physical rendition of how we are to be as man and woman; allowing the man to lead while we follow suit, aware of our existence, always coming back home to be guided yet again. There were no battles on the floor because both understood they needed each other to exist. As my cousin stated, "the man makes sure that the woman looks good so that the woman in turn will make him look good." I understood exactly what she meant! Both dancers knew their role, completely needing and relying upon each other, creating an existence of perfection within their shared space.
"Founded June 13, 2007 with JoAnn Ford as the President, HBCDA's purpose is to provide a relaxing adult atmosphere for dancing and networking with a mission to encourage others to get out and dance while improving their health." Their motto is to "Just Dance" dedicated in preserving the Art of Dance. With classes held at three different locations, one in the South Side and two in the North Side of Houston three nights a week, anyone is able to take lessons at a reasonable monthly fee. "We are a diverse group with unlimited potential. We believe beauty and strength can be found in diversity. We encourage all forms of dance. We are a Social Club founded for dancing for your health, and networking in an adult atmosphere. We believe the only limits are those you place on yourself."
With new classes being held every month and graduations every six months, you will be able to experience what I witnessed while my visit here in Houston, Texas. If ever you make it to Club A & G Dreams or any of the other two locations to be a part of this wonderful dance style, Houston Swingout, remember to continue the tradition of being sheer poetry in motion that becomes a masterpiece of perfection as one on the dance floor.
Instructors and Board Members of HBCDA.Front Row (Left to Right): Brenda Matthews, LaWana Gatlin, Bonnie Dancy, Jo Ann Ford, and Mary Collins.
Back Row (Left to Right): Ed Benson, Marqus James, and Clyde Bailey.
For more information on Houston Bayou City Dance Association, please see the following information: