A New Day for a New Theme, New Videos, and a New Social Media Account

Just needed a change in scenery as you can tell.  Besides the light background is less conspicuous when viewing from work.  Not that I would ever do such a thing.

Also for your Sunday viewing pleasure, a beautiful and inspirational video created by a dancer from Seattle named Cheryl Crow which I found through the magic of Facebook.  She created this for the 2010 Swing/Jazz Dancing Video Contest.  Watch it and share with others.

And because sometimes you can’t let the Man keep you down, I got an account on Dailymotion.com.  I probably won’t post there very often, unless its stuff like this that won’t go down the YouTubes properly.

Weekly Video Highlights: SEAjam 2010

I realize I’m a bit behind on these things, but I’ve been busy and there’s a lot of Lindy Awesome out there. This week’s videos come all the way from Singapore at SEAJam 2010 run by Sing Lim.  Sing Lim is a dancer that I think more people need to know about.  Ask people like Nina and Naomi and they’ll go on and on about her. In my opinion, she ranks up there with modern Lindy Hop legends like Steven Mitchell, Sylvia Sykes, and Ryan Francois. In fact here’s a video of her performing with Ryan in 1993.

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Creativity & Competitions

While I was away at DCLX, I got some interesting and well thought out comments in last week’s post, “Your Bio Sucks.” I’m way too busy this week to respond, but then I remembered that I’ve already addressed some of the issues brought up there in a series of posts a year and a half ago in a thread on Yehoodi entitled “How To Get Professional.” That thread turned towards the role of competitions in our community, and I eventually belted out one particular reply which is relevant to the current discussion.  I am re-posting it below.

That Yehoodi thread went on forever, so if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, I’d like to point out Lucy Dunne’s brilliant post on fostering creativity in competitive situations.  You may remember me mentioning Lucy a few times, most notably in her and Ben Furnas’s send up of compeitions at the 2000 ALHC.

I do realize that this only partially addresses some of the issues in the comments, but I’m hoping the other project that I’m working on will address the others in a rather interesting way very soon.  Until then, read on.

It s a damn shame that most of the Yehoodi archives got toasted because there was an amazing discussion after NADC 2002 (North Atlantic Dance Championships), and leading up to the first Harlem Jazz Dance Festival where Janice Wilson laid out the vision of her event and challenged the community to think about and discuss what everyone valued. It introduced the word vernacular into the modern Lindy Hop community’s vocabulary, and was remarkable because it was the last time many of the top tier dancers of the time participated in an online discussion en masse.

Lots of people took different things out of that thread, but this is what I learned:  There’s a difference between doing a “swing out” and swinging out. Everyone here can do the former. (I would hope)  Nina Gilkenson and Mikey Pedroza showed us an example of the latter at this year s Camp Hollywood/National Jitterbug Championships starting at 3:58 on this clip.

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DCLX 2010 Awesome Juice. Get Some on You.

The thing I love about DCLX (DC Lindy Exchange) is that it’s the kind of event that attracts dancers that appreciate quality live music.  So much so that musicians that leave it all on the stage get treated like rock gods.

Writing about live music is very hard thing because in the end you have hear it to feel it.  I can talk about the Boilermakers burning up their version of “Avalon” or Jonathan Stout & His Campus Five featuring Hilary Alexander (say that three times real fast) cranking the crowd up to a near riot with “Dark Eyes” or the Blue Vipers of Brooklyn breaking everyone’s heart with “Bringing it on Home to Me,” but that’s why events like DCLX exist; to give people a way to connect to something that they can’t otherwise experience.

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DCLX 2010 Review

DCLX 2010 was AWE-SOME! Read the rest of this entry »

Your Bio Sucks

I don’t think that many people read this blog.  At least not many Lindy Hop instructors do. If they did, then they would know better than to put up all of the craptacular instructor bio’s I’ve been looking at lately.

One of my first posts on this blog was about dancer bios.  I’m in the middle of a little project that has me checking out a ton of Lindy event and dancer websites.  I’ll reveal the reason for that in the near future.  But as I’m going through all these sites, it’s becoming apparent that people don’t seem to understand the reason for a bio.

If you don’t want people to know basic information about you, then why bother writing one at all?  For some reason, many instructors seem to treat the bio as an opportunity to tell inside jokes that only their friends would get—the very people who are least likely read such a thing.

Here’s one of the worst examples out there:

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Weekly Video Highlights: Savoy Swing Jam 2010

Our friends over in Seattle had a neat event a couple weeks ago called Savoy Swing Jam to showcase their awesome local scene.  I spotlighted the J & J finals in a post last week and thought I’d put up the rest to complete the set.

In addition to your standard partnered and solo competitions, Savoy Swing Jam also featured a Short Showcase which allowed contestants to perform a 30-60 second routine.  A few other place have done something similar in the past including us over at The Jam Cellar.  The time limit makes it a little easier for new performers to give it a go without having the pressure of choreographing and performing a whole song.  As you’ll see below, a wide variety of pieces were submitted from Katie McLaughlin & Jared Luxemberg’s clever use of Mess Around variations to Michael “Dargoff” Darigol & Carolyn Palma’s staright forward attempt at swinging out to a song that I think clocks in under 340 bpm’s.   At a certain point, it just becomes a little impossible to measure such things.  Check ’em all out below.  It won’t take long 😉

The weekend also featured a video presentation which I may or may not have helped with.  Either way, I eagerly await its posting online.

Thanks to YouTube-ites retrogenesis and captainoshiri22 for posting these videos.  Be sure to check out their YouTube pages for more videos from the weekend.

Tranky for Frankie

Swing-amajig

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