Karen Turman keeps blogging so I don’t have to. Read the other parts here.
Between 2001 and 2004 I’d taken a break from the hard-core dance life and was a casual local dancer for a while, enjoying only events in Minnesota such as Midwest Lindyfest and ULHS, thanks to Amy Johnson. I was still hanging out and practicing from time to time with Mike and other friends, during which time he very proudly showed me a clip of the “Mad Dog” routine from ALHC 2002, or NADC, I can’t remember which. Everybody I’d ever heard of or seen in any competition was in that clip. And despite the poor quality of the video, it was still possible to feel the incredible energy and rawness of the dancing. This was the first time I’d really seen people successfully bust out fast dancing with aerials and all around ridiculousness.
(ed. note: The clip Karen is talking about is probably from Danvers New Year’s Eve Dance Extravaganza 2002-03 which made the rounds via Mad Dog’s website. I’ve also included the original performance from ALHC 2002)
Also during this time Mike would host practice sessions at his apartment to break down the Big Apple from the Keep Punching clip. Thankfully there were other folks around besides me who had a good eye for this type of thing, because as much footage as I watch, I do have a hard time actually figuring things out from clips. Dee Daniels was the best at really rocking this routine, which we would practice weekly in the cul-de-sac in front of Mike’s apartment that he shared with Craig Batzler and Nick Cruse.
I also remember sitting around and watching clips with my friends Anton Delafuente and Jess Warren around this time. One night they pulled up some Kevin St Laurent and Carla Heiney footage from the Doghouse in San Francisco.
I just couldn’t get over their creativity and athleticism. Andrew and I chose to include Kevin and Carla because they were so ground-breaking in evolving new stylings for lindy hop, mixing up moves from other dances and playing with dips, tricks, and aerials in a fun and quirky way. This “Love me or Leave me” clips is a double reference to Max and Thomas Blanchard’s parody of Kevin and Carla, a clip that incorporated hip hop and went viral on youtube.
(ed. note: The clip that went viral has had its audio disabled by the copyright police so I’ve included the clip of the same performance from the night before)