Day 1: What got you started in Lindy Hop?

Coming into college*, I knew there were some hobbies I wanted to try out while at school; swing dancing was one of them**.

Fall semester sophomore year I started taking beginning swing lessons, and also beginning fencing lessons. I did both for the first half of the semester, and enjoyed it all, but I fell in love with swing dancing. (I was way more into learning how to dance with someone, then in learning how to fight someone and beat them. Go figure.)

I wasn’t brave enough to take the hard and complicated “Beginning Lindy Hop” until second semester that year***, when I’d already taken both Swing (east coast) classes our college group offered, and had started going to the social dances. I had gone to the fall workshop we offered (Balboa and Charleston****), and with that and the weekly dances, I was well on my way to being hooked.

But what really got me addicted to swing dancing was our spring workshop and traveling to Purdue’s exchange that year. That spring we brought in Todd and Nina for our workshop, and it was SO much fun.

I had only recently learned the swing-out, and a whole weekend spent learning what to do with it was delicious, not to mention the lovely inspiration from Nina, and lovely um, Toddness, that we got to experience. My bar got set high.

Later that spring, some new swing friends convinced me to travel for Purdue’s exchange; and so I also discovered the joy of traveling for swing dancing.

That spring was two years ago (feels like a long time), and I’ve been getting more involved with swing dancing and with the organization of our local scene ever since. My first year swing dancing, and the joy of discovering this thing that I’d always sort of thought would be amazing which turned out to be way more fun than I’d even imagined, was intoxicating. Now-a-days I feel like I have a grip on my swing-out and am working to improve it, that I can dance with just about everyone and have fun, and even be a little creative and musical at times. Sure have a lot I want to learn though!!

*Dear Jerry Almonte, if you’re reading this: you could call me the Tumblr demographic if you’d like. In other words, I am indeed a college aged lindy-hopping girl. Shout out to your awesome lindy-hop-resource of a blog!

**Where had I heard about swing dancing? Well, I grew up in the ‘90s (I was 3 years old in 1990, and 12 in 1999), so swing dancing was this cool thing I’d always heard about but never gotten to do myself (it was for older, cooler people; people who went out dancing in San Francisco and stuff). My brother had done a little in college (the same school I now attend), and some of my friends and cousins had dabbled in it too. From that ol’ Gap ad to “Blast From the Past”, my whole adolescence was lightly steeped in swing.

Another reason I’d always wanted to do it was the 1940s connection; my Gramma used to go out dancing with all the sailors. Always sounded pretty good to me, and I’ve long striven to be as awesome as my Gramma.

***And looking back, I’m glad that’s what happened, because I ended up learning from some local teachers who taught the swing-out better than earlier others would have…

****Yes, you read that right: I did Balboa before I did Lindy Hop. Funny…

  1. Welcome to the club. If you haven’t already done so, I would recommend that you fill out a profile on Ben Yau’s I Am Lindy Hop site

      • Hannah
      • May 19th, 2011

      You make me feel like a real blogger, sir! I’ll try and be interesting, for the internet’s sake…

      Wow, that site is rad; I will definitely make a profile. Thanks for pointing me to it!

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