ALHC Results & Other Contest Notes

Many people will be suprised to discover that The American Lindy Hop Championships took place last weekend.  In case the suspense was killing you, results are online.
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ULHS 2009 Videos: Sunday Evening Competitions

Solo Blues

Music played by:  The Loose Marbles

Preliminary Round

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AIR pt. 13: Give It Up, Turn It Loose

This is part of a paper I wrote entitled “Artistry In Rhythm: Dialogue Through Dance in the Lindy Hop community.”  Previous and future posts can be found by searching my blog for the category “Artistry In Rhythm.”

The most important creative decision concerning the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown had nothing to do with the format of the competitions.  The event director, Amy Johnson, not only allowed people to film the contests with their own cameras, but also to let them distribute their footage freely.  It was probably the most significant marketing idea in modern Lindy Hop history. Read the rest of this entry »

Q & A with Skye Humphries pt. 2

The following is part two of  a questionnaire that Skye Humphries filled out for an article entitled “The Party’s Just Begun” that appeared in August 31, 2008.  It only used a few sentences out of the 12 page response that Skye sent back.   It’s a print magazine, so it’s not available online.   Skye sent this to me last summer just to read. I thought it was too interesting not to share, so I asked him permission to post it here.  Since it’s pretty long, I’m chopping it up into four parts.  You can find part 1 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here.

What are some of the “core moves” of the Lindy Hop?

The basic of the Lindy Hop is the Swing Out: a circular step done in eight beats in which the partners come together and then move apart.  I have never seen anything so perfectly put together, there is no more versatile or meaningful basic in any dance I’ve seen. Read the rest of this entry »

ULHS 2009: More Impressions From Not That Much Closer

Just a few more thoughts on the ULHS footage that’s currently online. Read the rest of this entry »

ULHS 2009 Videos: Saturday Evening Competitions-Solo Jazz and J & J

All contests music by Uncle Jack’s New Orleans Dance Orchestra.

Solo Jazz

Preliminary Round


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ULHS 2009 Videos-Friday Choreography Showcase

The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown Choreography Showcase

Live music for all performance provided by a special band put together for ULHS, appropriately known as the Ultimate Lindy Hop Combo.

All performers had to submit a sample of their music and a video of their performance about a month before the event to give the musicians time to create and rehearse a complimentary arrangement. All performers were given time to rehearse with the musicians on Thursday and Friday of the event.

Winners:  Groove Juice Special

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Q & A with Skye Humphries Pt.1

The following is a questionnaire that Skye Humphries filled out for an article entitled “The Party’s Just Begun” that appeared in August 31, 2008.  It only used a few sentences out of the 12 page response that Skye sent back.   It’s a print magazine, so it’s not available online.   Skye sent this to me last summer just to read. I thought it was too interesting not to share so I asked him permission to post it here.  Since it’s pretty long, I’m chopping it up into four parts. You can find part 2 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here.


How were you introduced to dancing in general? Were you a trained dancer before going into swing?  If swing was your first exposure to dance, what drew you to it/ made you want to become a dancer.

I always had an interest in movement- though not necessarily dancing. Read the rest of this entry »

ULHS 2009 Videos: Battle Footage

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown: A Lindy Hop Battle

This year The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown lived up to its name by adopting a tournament style format, whittling down couples until there was only one left.

It started off with an all skate for everyone who registered.  Eight couples were selected out of this all skate, and seeded to face each other head to head during the day on Saturday.

Quarter-finals round 1: Dax Hock & Annie Trudeau vs. Xavier Recuenco & Sonia Ortega

Winners: Dax Hock & Annie Trudeau

Quarter-finals round 2: Sarah Breck & Shesha Marvin vs. Rebecka & Emelie DecaVita

Winners: Sarah Breck & Shesha Marvin Read the rest of this entry »

Random DCenes: Dark Eyes . . . Toniiight

I wandered through the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial on my way to Chinatown last night.  I do that often enough that it didn’t take me very long to notice how unusually bright it was.  I noticed them replacing many of the light fixtures around the memorial not long ago.  Apparently it’s been a long time coming, because not only was everything brighter, but light was coming from little niches that I didn’t even know were supposed have them.

As I popped out of the other side, I noticed that F St. by the Verizon Center was blocked off.  Judging from the police and tents, I thought  that it was some sort of emergency preparedness drill until I spotted skate boarders casually rolling past the tents.

Flashback to about a year ago, doing the same walk and finding the same scene.  Not nearly as pleasant as it was last night. Raining lightly, but heavy enough to warrant an umbrella.  The sounds of Fats Waller’s band playing the moody “Dark Eyes” on my ipod.

As I approached the tents, I smelled them before I noticed them moving.  Horses.  Lots of them.  A sign for the Washington International Horse Show hung on the fence separating the passerby’s from the makeshift corrals.

I stopped for a moment under a street lamp and got a better view of those handsome creatures.  I made eye contact with one of them and I forgot where I was going for a moment, wondering what I was looking at.  Fatigue?  Sadness?

Back to last night.  I’m greeted by the same scene.  Horses at rest.  Humans at work.  Stalking the stalls, shuffling hay, checking out the competition.

No ipod for me , but I still hear music as I approach the metro.  Less Russian inspired Harlem jazz, but instead more like early 80’s r & b.

“Toniiiiiight I celebrate my lovvvve for you . . .”

There’s something off.  It’s not a recording.  Someone is singing.  And not very well.

I round the corner into the metro entrance to find a guy playing a keyboard on the sidewalk.  A Middle-aged Asian man.  He’s singing a duet with a much older black gentleman whose reading words from over the piano players shoulder.  A similarly older Asian woman tries to get me to stop.  She doesn’t need to waste energy since the sheer surrealness of it all keeps me from ignoring them.  Its only when she tries to convince me to sing the next song that I snap out of it to peel myself away and hit the escalator down.

“What I want most to doooooo
Is to get close to yoooooou

Toniiiiiiiight . .  .”

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