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”

Oddly enough, this is the only couple routine that made the list. This choice is a good counterpoint to the Jive Aces video I mentioned in the “Most Popular . . .” post. I couldn’t include that video because the appearance of Lindy Hoppers in that video is so brief and the editing so rapid that it’s difficult to even realize that they’re dancing. I would have never known it was Lindy Hop if I didn’t already know who the dancers were.  This video with Marie N’diaye & Anders Sihlberg is a stark contrast. Just over a solid minute where the camera doesn’t do a damn thing except focus on them throwing it down. Originally filmed as part of a jean commercial series, it’s reminiscent of the Gap Ads for khaki’s over a decade ago.

Improvised Social/Competitive Dancing

“For Japan Tsunami Relief Performance by Peter Strom Naomi Uyama & Dawn Hampton at Frim”

Quite a few entries for this category. Jack & Jill entries from The European Swing Dance Championships, Korea, and Lithuania. A teacher demo from Russia and Germany. Plus some hot contests from Sweden and New Orleans including Chance Bushman and Giselle Anguizola’s last of three battles in the finals of The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown. Getting there was no easy task as even the prelim video against Delilah Williams & Andrew Thigpen shows.  Ultimately I chose to feature the video with Dawn Hampton, Naomi Uyama, and Peter Strom because it’s freakin Dawn Hampton. Although it was a tough call with competition from the other end of the generational spectrum by Jason Baggett and his daughter Lucy at Savoy Swing Jam.

Team Routines

New School Swing Performance at Boston Dirty Water Lindy and Blues Exchange

The Just Born Jitterbugs are cute, but I think the performance is significant because it indicates another way in which our scene is growing and maturing. I don’t see a lot of friends out dancing much anymore because they have responsibilities to their families and careers now. It’s great to see people families make to time to still be involved.  If you haven’t seen the Jump Session clip, I won’t spoil the surprise. It’s hard to tell, but The New School Swing performance is backed by Gordon Webster and his band playing live, which I think gives it an extra bit of a kick.

Solo Dancing

Diamond Dolls Perform Shim-Me-Sha Wabble at 1940s Xmas Ball

The Diamond Dolls a had a bunch of good routines this year with this one being their latest. The rest of the clips feature some inventive choreography in addition to the Solo Jazz competition from this year’s Harlem in Lithuania  and a peak into a Skye & Frida workshop from Le Hot Sauce IV in San Francisco. The Boogie Tres’s performance is also a fun routine, but is notable for something else . . . in the end.

Music Performances

DCLX 2011 -Battleof the Bands – Jumpin At The Woodside

The Jonathan Stout Orchestra & Glenn Crytzer’s Blue Rhythm Band threw one down for the ages at DCLX 2011. There are a ton of musical highlights from that night, and one day I’ll finish my own recollection of that evening. “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” has a lot of great interaction between the two bands while I still get chills from both bands culminating the final chorus in “Dark Eyes.” It’s too bad we missed the opportunity for Jonathan and Glenn to throw down against  each other in that dance jam as well.

Balboa

Balboa Slovenia

Balboa enthusiasts will admit that their dance has its own very subtle attraction, and this music video by the dancers in Slovenia capture that using their gorgeous country as the perfect backdrop. Balboa’s continued growth is impressive but unsurprising given the continued physical proselytizing  of dancers like Kelly Arsenault & Mickey Fortanasce as seen in the video from England.

Fun Stuff

Morgan & Molly – Surprise Proposal

Busy year for Mario aka, Morgan Day who co-created the viral Camp Hollywood performance and also conceived this elaborate wedding proposal complete with a no-way-she-could-possibly-say-no-to-this secret weapon. Most of the videos in this category reflect the growing comfort and creativity dancers are becoming with the video medium. The last four videos are attention from outside the community with a parody from The Onion, Max & Annie’s appearance at the prestigious Vail International Dance Festival, and a morning show feature of the Omaha Jitterbugs on the eve of their annual event, Cowtown Jamborama with a remarkable performance of Karen Turman & Andrew Thigpen dancing. That is almost as weird as Stacia Martin & Peter Strom’s class recap for Uptown Swing in Minneapolis. What is is it about Minnesota?

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5 Comments

  1. Susan said,

    December 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    What is it about Minnesota? It’s awesome, that’s what 🙂

  2. December 27, 2011 at 2:23 am

    […] looking up all the videos and blog links on this blog’s Facebook Page for other posts I noticed some things and was […]

  3. Mette said,

    December 29, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Is it just beause I’m biased or does it seem like your blog-people like Swedes..? (and yes Skye is Swedish at least in my book..).

  4. January 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    […] from a third post in the same series, if this video of a father dancing with his tiny daughter in the Savoy Swing Jam 2011 […]

  5. dogpossum said,

    February 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I just keep coming back to this clip. It’s so great – thanks for hooking me up, J.


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