I’ve said it before (maybe not here, but elsewhere I’m sure), but I love competition events. There aren’t many events where dancers can just bring their stuff in front of their peers, and I’m glad that ILHC can be one of those places.
I spend a lot of my time busting my ass at events these days more than I do enjoying them, but there are little moments here and there that make all the work worth it. I just wanted to add a couple of quick hits that I missed in my other ILHC posts
Watching Skye & Frida during the floor trials on Friday evening. The song they performed to isn’t fast at all, but they danced the s#!& out of that song every time through.
The crowd was great and the Baltimoreans were awesomely fun this year. I love what Sommer and Dorry have done with that scene. They showed a lot of home town pride all weekend, not just with the foam fingers, but with their overall fun attitudes. Although I think I could have done without their underwear run during the Saturday late night.
I also have to give it up for the leader of that pack, Michael Seguin, who danced all weekend on a toe he broke on Thursday night. He showed it to me on Friday morning. It was nasty, but he literally walked it off and kept going all weekend.
Austin was another city that represented big time this weekend. They had something like two dozen people in attendance. Austin always had a strong reputation for social dancing, but they’ve come a long way in the performance and competitive aspects of the dance.
They have a strong foundation for the future too. I remember seeing these seemingly random teenage girls wandering around the hotel when I got in on Thursday. I thought they were just some hotel guests just running around. Little did I know that they were part of Austin’s teen team that performed on Saturday afternoon. One of them even competed in the Open Strictly Lindy division with Mike Roberts. They had a great energy about them, and it was awesome to see the rest of the Austin crew support them.
There was also great energy from the bands too. We’ve come to expect a certain level of awesome from the Boilermakers every time we see them, but they still manage to exceed that for the big time events like ILHC. All the band members were killin’ it and swinging it hard on Saturday night. Especially for that Champions Strictly where they played a 240+ bpm song for 12 minutes. Give it up for the Boilermakers!
Actually, I think I’m going to devote a separate post just on what happened in the Champion Strictly because there were bunch of things that coalesced there and turned that into one of the finest quarter hours of dancing in my recent memory.
I’m also glad we loosened up the video recording rules for the event this year, so more people could catch moments like that. The line of camera’s ringing the competition area was a beautiful sight to behold.
I also spent a lot of time in the judges room. Mostly chugging the tea provided by the hotel to fight back the cold that was building in my throat. However, I got to have lots of interesting high level discussions about the dance. Not just the comps that weekend, but also where we’ve been and where we’re going. I’m not going to share what went on back there. However, it made me feel good to hear from people who care deeply about the dance and the scene.
I will share one story which I think illustrates the reason why Sylvia Sykes is one of the most respected people in our community.
After one competition, Sylvia turned in her judging sheets and immediately regretted a couple of her placements. She wanted very badly to change them. This was literally minutes after she gave them to Scott, the competition tabulator. He hadn’t even touched the sheets yet to input them into the database. I said that I don’t think anyone here would care, and that she was the head judge after all. However, it was important to her to maintain the integrity of the process. Part of her judging criteria is how much a dance affects her at that specific moment. That’s how she felt at that tine and that was how her placements were going to stand.
I’m glad to work for good people like Sylvia, Tena, and Nina. Can’t wait for next year!