Archive for the ‘ 30 Day Lindy Hop Challenge ’ Category

Day 14: Your swing group of friends

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Day 13: Favorite dancing memory

I think my favorite is just every time those little perfect things happen; those moments that we don’t get in normal, every day, modern life…

When half the guys around you are wearing vintage clothes; clothes that fit them and make them look great like men used to…When you’re dancing with someone, and they laugh out loud because of how wicked sweet that thing you just did was….When you hit that break SO EFFING PERFECTLY and you feel like a boss! Getting to wear pretty dresses, do your hair as beautifully as your Gramma knew how to, and go out dancing…When you’re standing around with other students after class, listening to the lead instructor explain something. You’re the only follower there, and when he wants to demonstrate something; without even thinking he reaches out to you. That little “here, dance with me” motion that leaders unconsciously do with their hand… it’s so endearing! Late night after-dance restaurants stuffed with dancers all happy and doped up on endorphins. How all dancers are huggy people. I love hugs! (And I’ve noticed that the best leaders are great huggers. Coincidence? I think not.) When that tall, handsome, well dressed guy over there comes over and asks you to dance with him. That’s pretty fun.

Day 12: Your swing crushes/favorite pros

I mean, do I even have to say it?

But that’s probably not what the spirit of this question is, so I’ll do a little more. This one is potentially embarrassing, so I’m gonna stick to the “favorite pros” part, and skip over the dance-crushes part (not that I don’t have them! They’re just not really fodder for a blog, imho…)

Favorite pros: Peter and NaomiSkye and Frida (which I ALWAYS type as “Friday”, lately!), Laura and Mike, Todd when he’s dancing with NaomiKelly Arsenault, Thomas and Alice! Mia Goldsmith doing Balboa, pretty much all of the Swedes, and of course Andrew and Karen! (Nobody who’s met them could help but love ’em.)

I have a lot of favorites.

Day 11: Favorite song(s) to dance to.

I don’t really have any. At different points of my early career, I did, but I’m not going to mention them here, because they’re all embarrassing*. Which really makes me feel that (1) I’ve come a long way, and (2) I just shouldn’t have favorites.

I will say that I really love when people play the old music! The beautiful jazz and swing that started this all; even the old scratchy recordings from DJ’d music have a link to the past that I enjoy.

But… well, ok so, due to my current obsession with Movits!, the fact of the matter is that if they ever get played I sort of freak-out happy dance to them. They only have a few songs that actually swing, but I’m shameless enough to not care: I’d love dancing to any of them!


*They may or may not have included this song, Frank Sinatra, and also some less horrible songs, like Big Mama Thornton’s Hound Dog. Yeah, very little actual swing music; wtf was wrong with me??

Day 10: Favorite workshop weekend (Lindy Focus, Camp Hollywood, etc) or one you’d really like to attend

I’m gonna treat this as a two-parter, because I can!

Favorite workshop weekend that you’ve attended?

Is it terrible if I say the workshop that I organized? It was pretty much awesome; for me at least. But that’s also the last workshop I attended, and I’m usually a “omg latest awesome is THE most awesome”…

So, very honorable mentions go to:
Camp Jitterbug, 2011. EPIC, and fun; I learned a ton, met some great people, enjoyed Seattle, and got to take classes from a lot of the instructors I’d admired from afar. And I had some really great dances (although maybe not as many as I expected… dang those were some crowded dance floors, and one follow-heavy weekend.) Watching the live competitions with pro dancers was also really fun! And a new experience for this Midwest dancer.

Me and my bro at Camp Jitterbug

Heartland Swing Festival, 2011. A great workshop weekend, and my friends and I had a BLAST, especially when our team shockingly won the team competition! We were so shocked, and SO happy. Met some great people there too, and had an all around fabulous time there in Des Moines.

The Nevermore Jazz Ball & St. Louis Swing Dance Festival, 2011. Christian and Jenny’s first year of their St Louis dance love weekend was a fantastic event, and we thoroughly enjoyed it! I had so many great dances, the music was amazing! I entered the Jack ‘n Jill just for fun and ended up getting SECOND PLACE WHAT how did I even make the finals?? So yeah, it was a blast, in a city I’m starting to fall for.

Ok, so now it’s time for:

Workshop that you want to attend?

Herräng. Of course! Sweden, thousands of Lindy Hoppers, a week of classes and social dances, SWEDEN…. I long! One of these years, it’s gonna happen.

Closer to home, I really really want to attend: Midwest Lindyfest in Minneapolis/St Paul, Lonestar Championships in Austin TX, and ULHS in New Orleans. And I’d happily go back to Camp Jitterbug if it were ever a possibility!

Day 9: Favorite class taken

This is a hard-to-define question. What was the best class (instance) I’ve ever taken? What was the best class (series) I’ve ever taken? I’m not sure I can remember that… so many to choose from!

But since I have to pick something, I think I’ll go with the few Balboa classes I got to take in Kirkland, WA, last January when I was visiting my brother. I love Balboa, but rarely get the chance to work on it or learn new things. Those few weeks getting to take classes with Peter Flahiff and Ben White was so FUN, and I learned a lot too!

I’m not saying it was my favorite favorite… just that I can’t pick a favorite, and I really enjoyed that. 🙂 Honestly, it’s the first thing I thought of that I liked. I’m bad at favorites, blahhh

Day 8: Your favorite instructor

Oooooh this is a tough one! In terms of people who’ve helped me the most lately, definitely Peter and Naomi.

This is both because they’re great dancers and great teachers (amazing at managing different levels in the same track, and at giving lots of people individual attention, as well as pinpointing exactly what people need to hear to fix their dancing), but also because they’re the instructors that I’ve gotten the most one-on-one time with. (Not that it was a ton… but I’ve never been able to take private lessons or anything, and at their workshop here in town they both took the time to give me personal critique that helped my dancing so much!)

At Camp Jitterbug, I really loved Frida Borg and Pontus Persson’s classes. They were just FUN; fun moves, something of a different feel, and lots of energy. They’re totally sweet people too! I really enjoyed their perspective. Whether it felt different because it was more Swedish, or because they’re both so young for how amazing they are, I don’t know. But it was fun.

Bear in mind that Pontus is 20 years old there…

Skye and Frida’s classes at CJ were definitely as awesome as I expected them to be (really great fundamentals, and  also cool moves), and they were even more fun than I thought they would be. Skye seems like he’s just about the nicest person IN THE WORLD; and even though the classes were often huge, they were also great at giving everyone there a great lesson.

But on the other hand, there are all my local teachers, who have really done the nuts and bolts of teaching me how to dance. My friends who I play around with and teach classes with… and they’re all my favorites. Bradley, Andrea, Aaron, and everyone: it’s been a great few years!

NOTE: I got a little behind last week on this challenge, but I’ve decided to not care when that happens. I’ll just pick it up when I have time, like now!