A Year’s Worth of Wandering & Pondering in One Post

When I started my blog I read all kinds of nifty tips to make it awesome and get lots of people to read it.  Oddly enough, all of them fail to advise you to post something actually interesting.

This may sound a bit conceited, but I think most of the stuff I post here is pretty interesting to read.  Maybe not all of it.  Just 98%, give or take a couple percentage points.  I should know—I read it all the time, and I never get tired of me.

One fun tip talked about summarizing your blog’s content every once in awhile, so for all of you new readers here who keep searching for Skye’s non existent website or information on a certain convicted lindy hopper’s sentence*, here’s a handy dandy guide to all the other stuff you’re missing.  Or if you’ve already read them, here’s your opportunity to go back and relive the pain and/or the glory.

I started off naturally with a little bit about myself, and then told the story of my start in Lindy Hop. Much later, I did an interview for DCLX where we delved into the meaning of life and why watching people fall down never gets old.  This is actually a watered down version of the interview, and reminds me that I should post the less family friendly version here someday.

My first real post set the tone for everything that followed.  It was inspired by some of the lamer dancer bio’s I’ve read and turned into a discussion about what makes certain dancers more compelling than others.  (Hint: Actual dancing)  The feedback I got encouraged me to post the video stuff I cut out from it.   Not too long ago, I posted a sort of sequel focusing much more specifically about what you should and should not put into a short bio.

People seem to like reading the geeky and often lengthy video analysis I do.  It’s a good thing, because I like writing and watching them.  It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to start this blog if only to talk about one of my favorite routines ever.  We all do it.  Just watch a video over and over to figure out why we want to hit play again.  It’s like a puzzle trying to figure out what Lindy Hoppers like Skye Humphries and Frida Segerdahl have in common with West coast Swing dancers like Tatianna Mollman and Jordan Frisbee.  Maybe it’s because it starts when they’re young and in a team setting like Minnie’s Moochers.  But how do they stand on their own going one on one in a solo dance contest?  Or what do they do when things don’t go quite the way they planned it?  (I ‘ve done a ton of video postings, but I’ll be summarizing those in a separate post.)

What we put into the dance and how it changes us are major themes of my favorite essays.  I’m a history nerd, so a lot of what I talk about tends to take a long view.  It puts into perspective the lineage of the dance and helps us come to grips with our own evolving history with it.

That recent history is the subject of my most elaborate writing project, “Artistry In Rhythm” which talks about the Lindy Hop Revival from the mid-90’s to about 2006.  This was originally a paper I wrote a couple of years ago and started to post on my blog because I figured that it provides a good foundation to build other topics of conversation.  It’s currently at 15 parts (not a typo).  One day I’ll finish it, but it has been left off at a point that dovetails nicely into what I usually post about on this blog.  Theoretically I consider most of the Lindy related items on this blog as a continuation of that paper.

My stalking of the entire Lindy community doesn’t end with the past.  It’s a continuing problem as you can tell by my recent posts analyzing how many and where Lindy Hop Instructors are hired around the world with separate posts breaking numbers down by gender and the microverse known as Herrang.   Let it not be said that this information is completely useless as I also put together a list of all the events where I got this data for your Lindy travel planning.

This past year is the first time in over four years that I attended events that I didn’t work including Lindy Focus and Boston Tea Party.   This is in addition to my annual attendance at DCLX.

The magic of technology and the generosity of people recording and posting dance videos allows me to comment on events I haven’t been to including The US Open Swing Dance Championships, the Lone Star Championships, and the Ultimate Lindy Hop ShowdownTwice.

I shared a couple of things about planning and running a Lindy event from the first DCLX to the first ILHCTwice again.  It’s why I find the way other events are run and advertised intriguing.

By the way, did I mention that I’m helping out with ILHC again this year?   Well I am.

Working on Frankie95 inspired me to start this blog.  However, I impressed myself doing an unplanned, live, almost day by day (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, after and later) update of the last ILHC while I was running it.  Boom.

I used to be more scientifically inclined when I was growing up, and that’s where I think I got my curiosity to about the way things are put together and how they run.  Combined that with my involvement with ILHC and general interest in dance and you get a two part series (One and Two) on how the Champions Strictly Lindy Hop Division was put together.

Oddly enough, I haven’t talked very much about DJ’ing which is what I actually do the most of in the Lindy Hop scene outside of dancing.  A couple people have asked me questions about it recently and I may put something together in regards to that.  However, I have done numerous reviews of bands that have come through the DC area including The Boilermaker Jazz Band (twice), The Brooks Tegler Big Band, The Tom Cunningham Orchestra, The Solomon Douglas Swingtet, and the various military big bands based in DC including the US Army Blues.

As I noted in my 1st anniversary post, there is a growing number of Lindy centric blogs out there.  You can tell how big something is when they all start talking about the same thing like the last ULHS.  It’s also been a pleasure giving Ramona Staffeld and Skye Humphries space to talk about the dance in the only way they can.

Before you message me about posting something here, let me just say that both of them are good friends and people I trust.  Despite the number of friends that Facebook says I have, I consider my actual circle of friends pretty damn small.  Aside from dance, Skye and I share an interest in history and music, and I think he would appreciate my review of a documentary involving the role of gospel music during the civil rights movement.

In fact I like it when my seemingly disparate interests intersect like Hip Hop & International Relations.  I’d like to talk more about intercultural issues, but so far the closest I’ve come outside if the stuff that comes up in Lindy Hop is my vacation to visit my parents in the Philippines a few months ago.

Even though I’ll talk a lot about my Lindy Hop experiences, I don’t get too personal on this blog unless it’s for a good reason.  But sometimes certain things have to be said because I’m not that great of a communicator, even to my friends.  Shocking, I know.

But I did create this blog to house all of my writings.  I have this other desire to document certain experiences of walking through a city like Washington, DC from the tragic to the seemingly mundaneSQUIRREL!

That’s my blog in a nutshell.  If you think that’s interesting, then come back and I might have some more next time you visit.

*(Seriously, this search shows up on my results every other day.  You’re not going to find it here.  Ever.)

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