“Day” 3: A description of your favorite partner (and why they’re your favorite).

LOOK! I am now re-starting my 30 Day Lindy Hop Challenge. Woot.

So, this is a tough one, because I’m not good at absolute favorites… As such, I am going to separate it into a few categories.

Local – Tie
One of the best leads at our little local scene also happens to be one of my best friends in the scene, and we were swing babies together (we started about the same time, and learned basically everything together). He just got a lot better a lot faster than me! 🙂 haha, which I’m fine with. Aaron Raiff, you know I’m talking about you! Aaron is a fantastic leader (especially considering how long he’s been dancing) and he’s fun and inventive and really lets you have a strong voice in the dance, if you want it. He also happens to be at least a head shorter than me (I am tall, have I mentioned this? 5′ 11” barefoot), but we have amazing connection and always have, even in Balboa. It’s partly because we learned with each other, so we learned to deal with partners who were not your average lead-follow ratios. Aaron has proved to me that very few height differences are any kind of an excuse; it’s really about learning how to deal with the differences.

Baaron and I, getting 2nd Place in the Nevermore Jazz Ball Jack 'n Jill!! I was never more shocked.

Another one of our local fabulous leads, Bradley Smith, is tied for favorite for me.Ok so yes: they are our best two leads; but I’m putting them here mostly because I just have so much fun dancing with them! (They’re also two of the guys I know best in the scene, which really affects this question, I think.) Bradley and I get really silly when we’re dancing together, and we also have a lovely habit of lazy/tired dancing, which is oh so fun. See, I’m a very tall follower, and when I dance with Bradley, he’s just the right height to rest my head against his, and fall asleep a little. It’s so relaxing!

Bradley + me

Anthony Chen! He is my favorite leader that I’ve danced with from the wider US scene. And it’s not just because he’s crazy sweet (every time I’ve danced with him HE asked ME, which is crazy considering our relative positions in the Cool Swing Dancer Social Hierarchy), or that he’s an amazing leader, or that he makes you move like you’re Ginger; it’s also because he just has SO much fun! And invites you into that. Even though he’s really good, he’s not the least bit judgey.

I’ve danced with a few of the international-level leaders, and I loooved dancing Balboa with Bobby White. He’s tall, I’m tall, he’s AMAZING, and we have virtually no balboa leaders here at my scene, so it was pretty dreamy. Peter Strom is probably my overall [lindy hop] favorite, though, because he’s (again, tall, and) such a sweetheart. He really loves to give his follower a fantastic dance, and he can often be found asking all levels of dancers to dance. Actually come to think of it, Bobby’s the same way (asks all sorts of followers) too! What can I say, I like the heroic ones.

The One That Got Away
At Camp Jitterbug, there was this one teacher who I REALLY wanted to dance with; going into the weekend, and then after I’d been in some of their classes even more. I did my darndest, and the cool thing was he actually was dancing with a lot of random follows (good on him!). But of course (as any follow who’s been to a large-scale packed event like CJ knows) getting one of the best leaders is a tricky game of maneuvering, and pouncing at the right time. And since he was dancing with a lot of random followers; lots of girls were sort of mobbing him. They were literally lining up to grab him after dances… and it seemed like he could only take so long of this, before he had to flee the dancefloor (understandably).

Alas, I never got to dance with him! [And for the record, I’m not talking about Skye. Not that THAT wouldn’t be such fun, of course!] I’d still like to know if it would be awesome, or if I would just end up feeling like a bad follower… But either way, I am convinced it would be great. That’s the best part about dancing; even if the dance sucked, you were still dancing with* a handsome and well dressed man, who smiled at you.

*Thought of writing “being held by”, because that’s just the honest truth. We do a lot of holding each other in swing dancing, and it’s pretty dreamy.

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