Back home, rested, and ready to recap Southern Fried Swing, an event held in Van Buren/Ft Smith, Arkansas. This sixth year event is hosted by Marcus Coker of Momentum Dance Concepts. I was happy to return to this event and teach with Delilah Williams. Ready to read how the event went? Continue reading
Performing my and Delilah’s Mr. Ghost routine is sometimes a scary proposition. We performed Saturday night at Southern Fried Swing and my mind is trying to interfere with my muscle memory. I’m calculating swingout numbers and can’t remember which one I’m on. Darn routine has too many swingouts!
Fortunately, all the practice hours pay off. The routine is even more ingrained in my system and feels almost as natural as social dancing. What has helped this muscle memory? Continue reading
Classic DJ struggle – what song do I play next? I was in this flow of buildling tempo and keeping the energy high, but for my last song, I was going to pull it down. The songs:
St. Louis Blues (Take 2) – Benny Goodman (145)
Swingin’ at the Semloh – Jimmie Lunceford (171)
Texas Chatter – Harry James (183)
My original final song was “The Basement Blues” by Noble Sissle & His Original Swingsters. I wanted to bring it down to a comfortable range to get more dancers on the floor for my final song. As I was looking around the room, I noticed a dancer sitting out that looked either tired or bored. It was right before midnight, so it could be both. With 30 seconds left, I wanted a Call to Action. I really like “The Basement Blues,” but it wasn’t going to cut it.
“Revival Day” by Lavern Baker it was. It has a strong “2,4” and it calls to the dancers. Listen to lyrics. It’s asking questions. Call and Response. “Have you ever felt as though you want to shout? C’mon and let those feelings out.” Dance floor’s getting filled. It was the better choice at the moment.
Tonight was an interesting beginner lindy hop class night. We had a class within a class within a class. Let me explain.
Tonight was Week 4 in our progressive lindy hop class. We had many drop-in students of various levels. It was awesome and we started off with an excerpt from Jesse’s fast footwork drills. Then I asked who still felt pretty new to lindy hop. They went with Nate, my awesome door person/fill-in teacher as of tonight. Then we saw who could swingout. Those that couldn’t went with BreAnna. Those remaining were with me.
Overall, I felt that tonight went rather well, though, as teachers, we faced a new situation. Everyone, including the students, stepped up mightily. At the end, everyone recapped what we taught and learned. Then BreAnna and I finished up by filming two recaps, one with footwork drills, the other with new material.
Oh, and it was reinforced that I have an awesome team that steps up when needed and gives back great energy to the students. Thanks, Nate and BreAnna!
Camp Hollywood was bonkers this year! A few months back, Delilah and I were talking about competing at Camp Hollywood. We decided to compete in every single competition except Classic together. This meant Showcase, Open Lindy, Shag, Open Balboa, Jack & Jill, and the UJC (Underground Jitterbug Championship. We knew we were reaching, but we wanted to go full out. Continue reading
About four weeks, I and other swing dancers across the nation, received an email from Scott Wyatt, a Seattle area author. He was sending out ARCs (Advanced Review Copy) of his new novel. He states it “deals rather significantly with swing dancing” as it is set in the 30s/40s primarily. These are my thoughts on “Thompson Road.” Continue reading
Here’s my perspective as I prepared this playlist. I wanted something to call to the event, hence “Let Me Off Uptown.” I also wanted clean sounding music. I was planning on using my sound system and the music sounds bad if it’s degraded or crackling. I also wanted music with good energy and leaning toward vocals for the dancers and the crowd. It seems that people connect more to vocals. I also wanted good energy for the quick jitterbug lesson. I would have passed on Bill Bailey due to its low-tempo, but that was what played. The playlist: Continue reading
Ever wonder how lindy hop has propagated so far? Here’s one story I heard from a long-time dancer and international instructor that might explain how it’s grown so much. It’s a story involving Frankie Manning and at least one individual that wanted to learn lindy hop to pass it to others. Continue reading
Wow! We had a great time at the Uptown Block Party today! I want to thank Colorado Swing Dance Club for helping get the word out. It was also great to have Victor and Margaret there representing the Colorado Swing Dance Club and having their flyers out. Thanks also to The Ladies & Gentlemen for participating also. We had great energy during the Shim Sham and Tranky Doo. So, thank you to everyone that was there and gave their energy to this event.
The Uptown Block Party organizers really enjoyed our energy and what we brought to their event. We already talked about us participating again next year and being involved in other neighborhood events, too. On that note, I’d like share how we came to be at this event. Continue reading