Reflections on My Favorite Performances of 2011: Freedom Through Connection

For quite some time, my standard answer for how long I’ve been dancing has been “about 10 years.” It’s getting to a point where I need to re-evaluate that answer. I took my first Lindy Hop class in January of 1999, almost 13 years ago, from a woman who still inspires me to this day.

Peter Strom & Naomi Uyama International Lindy Hop Championships 2011

She now lives in Minneapolis, MN along with the guy in this next video which I’ve probably watched more than any others this year. Read the rest of this entry »

My 2011 Video Highlights

I feel like I’m a broken record in saying how many great videos and performances there were this year. It’s part of the reason why I broke up the video selections like I did. I would have had no problem sharing all the other videos, but that would have been a long frickin’ post. (Not that I usually have a problem with that)

I really enjoyed all the videos that have been posted so far, but I reserved this post to highlight stuff that somehow fell through the cracks for whatever reason. A lot of them are from earlier this year, and just didn’t meet the metric standards of the earlier posts based on this blog’s Facebook Page simply because of sheer numbers. However, it’s still all quality stuff.

Couple Performances

Stompology 2011 Mike and Laura performance

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Lindy Hop in 2011 Review

I was distinctly unproductive on this blog this year, so I’m going to make up for it by commenting on (almost) everything in one shot.

In looking up all the videos and blog links on this blog’s Facebook Page for other posts I noticed some things and was reminded of a few more. Obviously, this can’t be a comprehensive recap of the entire Lindy Hop scene, but I think it’s still pretty amazing that all this information is in relatively easy reach. Read the rest of this entry »

The Proletariat’s Favorite Videos of 2011

This list is different from the Most Popular Lindy Hop Videos of 2011 post from last week in that it is a compilation of videos that were popular with the visitors of the Wandering & Pondering Facebook Page.

In putting this list together, I ran into the same problems as I did in selecting blog posts to feature in the Wandering & Pondering’s Lindy Blogging Highlights of 2011. It’s a bit difficult trying to determine what was more popular than others based on all the different data available, both objective and anecdotal. In the end I just took everything that got pretty good numbers in one category or another, but didn’t do any sort of ranking other than selecting the main video out of each category to highlight at the beginning of each category.

The other thing I noticed is how something like this is at the mercy of what I decide to post. I realized this after noticing that this list is short on ILHC entries, and that’s when I remembered that I actually didn’t post many videos from that event because I saw everyone else was posting them on Facebook, on their blogs, and other places.

One of the purposes of the FB page is to drop the hidden gems I find without going through the trouble of formatting them for presentation here on this blog. In the process, I deliberately eschew stuff I figure most people already know is out there. Part of that is because I feel that the kind of person that follows this blog is past the casual beginner stage, and is a bit more discriminating in their tastes. I think that’s reflected in the videos you guys ended up favoring over others.

Yeah, I just realized that I just described you and my blog as the hipster part of the Lindy scene. I apologize.

But check out the first video below featuring Marie N’diaye & Anders Sihlberg which was the overwhelming favorite on this list.  It has a pretty good view count of over 3200+ views, but is well short of the videos from the most popular list. The Harlem 2011 Solo Jazz Contest clip is the same way, but there was still over lap with the first list as The Harlem Hot Shots at Herrang, and Slow Club’s Two Cousins were also pretty heavily favored.*

I’m not sure what that says about you guys, but I do like your taste in videos.

Couple Routines

“Denim Moves / Marie and Anders / Lindy Hop”

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Wandering & Pondering’s Lindy Blogging Highlights of 2011

Because there really wasn’t much happening on this blog. Fortunately, the lindy blogging community exploded like a hippo after a trip to a state fair chili cook off.

I talked about this extraordinary growth earlier this year on this blog, and it’s been good to see it continue. I mentioned in my first year anniversary post that I started this blog mostly because I wasn’t seeing much in depth conversation about dancing. I like to pretend that my lack of production is reflected in the fact that so many other people are posting interesting stuff.

I wanted to do the same sort of thing for blog posts as I did for the most popular Lindy Hop videos, but I quickly discovered how hard that would be since there is no one place like YouTube where I can reliably check who has had the most hits over the past year. At first I went through my handy dandy Facebook page for this blog and compiled the posts that got the most “likes” and comments. As I went further back, I realized the problem with this approach since I only started FB page in February, so obviously items posted earlier this year got fewer responses. Facebook does provide “Insight” numbers (number of impressions, views, clicks, responses, and virality which sounds slightly obscene) for posts on the page, but they only go back to July 19, 2011. The other problem I noticed is that really popular posts like stuff by Bobby White or Rebecca Brightly were re-posted by other people which would garner responses I wouldn’t necessarily notice, and would subsequently lessen the likelihood of people liking or commenting on my page. I thought about alternate ways to factor this in, but there really isn’t a good way to do it, especially with my short attention span.

Ultimately, I compiled this list based on a combination of the available data, my terrible memory, and arbitrary bias. If you think of a really cool post that isn’t included here, feel free to post it to the comments. Read the rest of this entry »

Most Popular Lindy Hop Videos of 2011

[UPDATE: I forgot to include the MOVITS! – Sammy Davis Jr. (Official Video) which along with it’s English subtitles gives it about 255,000 views. No Lindy, but some quickly cut in Charleston. The dancers are Pontus Persson and Daniel & Asa Heedman of The Harlem Hotshots]

For the past couple of years I’ve done end of the year round ups of my favorite videos, but I decided to do something different this year.

The reason for those round ups were for me to share stuff I found over the course of the year, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing on the Facebook page for this blog since February. That was not the original intention for the FB page, but it’s how it has worked out. It’s also been a very convenient way for me to keep pseudo-blogging since I haven’t been able to pull together my own full blog posts. That’s for a lot of different reasons. I’ve been writing quite a bit actually; mostly in terms of unfinished posts or lots of long emails to friends because they tend to be more forgiving of my poor grammar and editing. I like the FB page because it’s pretty low maintenance and the character limitation provides me with a good excuse not to go into too much detail. So basically I don’t post because I have too much to say about stuff, but not a lot of time to write it all out, edit it, and format it all nicely.

However, my latent OCD compelled me to go through that FB page and figure out what were the most popular items from the past year. But that is not this post. This post is the part where I decided to do a not very easy search for the most viewed Lindy Hop related videos on YouTube.  It wasn’t easy because the search filter on YouTube doesn’t allow you to search a specific date range. Plus, people like tagging their random crap with the words “Lindy Hop.” I have a feeling that is how stuff gets tons of views because users will tag their videos with all kinds of unrelated words to get suckers like me to pull them up in searches.

But you probably don’t care about details, so here’s the list. More details after.

Views as of 12/18/11                                          Video
509000 Denver Airport Holiday Flash Mob with cmDance
486000 Super Mario Camp Hollywood by Morgan Day & Emily Wigger
344000 Two Cousins  by Slow Club with Remy Kouakou & Ryan Francois
44000 Black Coffee by The Careless Lovers
37000 ILHC 2011 Champions Strictly Finals Various 
32000 ILHC 2011 Classic by Frida Segerdahl & Skye Humphries
28000 Leapin Lindy 2011 Show by Frida Segerdahl & Skye Humphries
21000 ESDC 2011 Showcase by William Mauvais & Maeva Truntzer
20400 ILHC 2011 Classic by Kevin St. Laurent & Jo Hoffberg
20100 ILHC 2011 Classic by Thomas Blacharz & Alice Mei
19000 Call of the Jitterbug by The Harlem Hotshots
18000 Flashmob Amsterdam Central Station with  Foundation
17000 ILHC 2011 Showcase by Max Pitruzzella & Annie Trudeau
16500 Herrang Dance Camp 2011 Promotional Video  by Herrang Dance Camp
15800 Herrang Dance Camp 2011  The Harlem Hotshots

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