Hot Blues on Blues Action

Lots of chatter on a recent Bug’s Question of the Day that asked “Why don’t more blues dancers go to events like ILHC and Lone Star to compete in the blues divisions? Why don’t the lindy hoppers who compete in the blues divisions at ILHC and Lone Star come to Blues events and compete?”

Eventually a comparison of recent contests came up, and some people mentioned that people who do well in Blues contests at Lindy events wouldn’t do well in Blues contests at Blues events.

I want to talk about this more in depth, but I’m still putting together some thoughts and discussing it with some people. Until I can post something coherent, I thought I would pose this little thought experiment.

I very haphazardly edited two videos together of the winning performances from the Strictly Slow Blues competition at bluesSHOUT 2011 with Ruby Red & John Joven (first couple) and the Strictly Blues contest at the Lone Star Championships 2012 ( a mostly Lindy Hop event) with Evita Arce & Jeramie Anderson.

I just want to pose this simple question: Would Evita & Jeramie’s performance be that out of place at a Blues event? Discuss, and I’ll be back next week with a post comparing the Blues and Lindy sub-cultures, and the role of competitions.

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25 Comments

  1. nallakim said,

    January 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I love to dance both lindyhop and blues…
    so.. I can’t say which one is better than another…
    But.. I love Evita and Jeramie’s style more~

    And, it’s very hard to recognize which one is blues dancers’ blues if I didn’t know Evita and Jeramie and I didn’t listen the music (yeh, I know that they are awesome lindyhoppers and Careless Lovers played for them )

    Anyway…both styles have leading, following, momentum… some common things as couple dance…and but, there are some technically differences… major connection, body control and “MUSIC”…

    As Frankie said, Lindyhop was the dance at that time (swing era) I think Lindyhoppers’ blues mainly refers to the swing era… But, Blues dancers’ blues doesn’t… Blues dance has changed a lot by music and blues dancers…

    And… my favorite Blues dancers are Joe & Nelle (Denver, CO)
    they have taught, compete and performed in both swing and blues scenes… I don’t wanna categorize their dance to blues dancers’ or lindyhoppers’… it’s just Joe&Nelle style 🙂 But, SUPER AWESOME…

    just enjoy their performance at Blues Shout

    p.s. I’m not good English speaker… sorry for my sucks English…

    I can stop dancing Blues… But, Can’t Stop the Lindy Hop

    Nalla Kim

  2. Kenny said,

    January 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I enjoyed your splicing choices. If you remove some of Jeramie and Evita’s flash and trash, they were quite comparable dances. I liked J&A over J&R, but that’s not the question, is it?

    Take out the air flash and I think they’d be right at home in a blues competition. They blended their dance with open position shapes, elongated dips, and close embrace moments. They struck a nice balance.

    I’m a lindy hopper first and blues dancer second. Some folks might immediately say I’m naturally biased, but I’d like to think I know good dancing from bad. Anyway, I look forward to your upcoming post.

  3. John said,

    January 27, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I agree that they wouldn’t be out of place at Blues Shout minus the air flash. I don’t think they would have made finals the way they danced, but they wouldn’t be out of place. I liked them the best of the three in that final.

    I don’t think I would have made finals at Lone Star dancing the way I danced at Blues Shout. It’s important to note that the judges would be looking at different things in the two contests. I would dance differently at LSC based on what I think the judges are looking for.

    • anon said,

      January 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Elaborate!!! don’t pull punches either. It seems like when this topic comes up, I keep hearing/reading “it’s not the same” but not really any specific detail as to why

    • BalboaBob said,

      February 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      You could technically say the same thing about many other dances. For example, Balboa would have some very different things being judged at events like All Balboa Weekend, Eastern Balboa Championships, ILHC, and Camp Hollywood. That’s how competitions work, they’re always a little different based on who’s judging and the atmosphere of the event.

  4. Shawn said,

    January 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Man, can I just say that I “like” Kenny and John’s comments?

  5. Jeramie said,

    February 10, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Kenny and John, please elaborate. I am interested in why you believe we wouldn’t have made it or what constitutes as trash and flash ( a phrase which almost seems insulting to me). Evita and I were truly just dancing and having a blast. Nothing was rehearsed, planned or even intended to be trashy. What you saw was just pure enjoyment of the music. I am not sure how taking someone from the ground to the air to emphasize dynamic movement/musicality is trashy, but I am definitely interested in hearing more about both of your opinions. I believe that the key to any competition is dancing to your audience, and I believe that is what Evita and I did.

    • John said,

      February 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      You it it right on the head Jeramie. You were dancing to your audience.

      I don’t think your moves were trashy. I think “flash and trash” is just a general term for fancy moves that may or may not be extraneous. What matters is what the judges thought about it. Maybe Kenny does believe your moves to be trashy, but I’d err on the perspective that the comment wasn’t meant to be insulting.

      To the best of my recollection, the judging criteria at Blues Shout is this:
      1. Blues Aesthetic
      2. Partnering
      3. Musicality
      4. Creativity
      All things being equal, the tie breaker is risk taking.

      According to Jerry Warwick who was a judge at Lonestar and has judged at Blues Shout,

      “At Lone Star it is about ‘Good dancing done to blues music.’ Is it entertaining and [does it] have good musicality[?]
      At BluesShout, it’s Blues Aesthetic #1, Partnership and then musicality.

      I chose Jeremy and Kelly for 1st place because I felt their partnership was cleaner and their musicality was stronger. Plus they did not over dance the song.
      While Jeramie and Evita’s dance was great and had lots of WOW!, I didn’t feel it matched the feel of the music and Evita outshined Jeramie a little bit too much. So, I didn’t feel they were dancing together so much as Jeramie was supporting Evita. But it was fun to watch.
      So, judging at the events is much different and most of the good dancers understand that. And I as a judge at both events do not mind that either.”
      (quoted from Jerry Warwick’s comment in the January 18 Bug’s Question of the Day)

      The criteria the judges used to evaluate the performances of the dancers are different at these two competitions. Something that could be wildly entertaining and audience endearing might not win at Blues Shout. The same goes for the most bluesily aesthetic performance at Lonestar might not make it out of the prelims. It’s all subjective. It’s up the competitors to figure what the judges will favor the most.

    • Kenny said,

      February 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      I’m glad I came back to review this thread. Jeramie, please don’t take insult to my comment. I refer to the lifts as flash because they are flashy. They caught the eye and were aesthetically-pleasing. I liked it. “And trash” just rhymes. It fits like “after a while, crocodile”. Does this make sense?

      There was a lot of them, so gradually their effect on me was diminished. And trust me, I like your and Evita’s movements much better than the Blues Aerials demos that are on youtube.

      As to why you wouldn’t have made it….? Does that refer to a blues comp? If so, that’s because I don’t see those often or at all, so I infer the lifts may not be rewarded.

      • Calico said,

        February 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm

        Yeah, “flash and trash” while it *can* be used disparagingly, is also often applied to crowd-pleasing, eye-catching, contest-winning moves that people talk about for months afterward. I think the lifts in the J&E clips were the good kind of flash and trash, musical, appropriate, totally badass. : )

  6. John said,

    February 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Hehe, Jerry W.’s “WOW!” is Kenny’s “Flash and Trash.”

  7. * said,

    February 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Why is “risk taking” a tie breaker? Aren’t risks what push the scene forward?

  8. February 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

    In my moment of procrastination I went to Yehoodi and listened to the show and heard the reference to this post. So now I can continue procrastinating by writing a comment / analysis. 🙂

    I’m very interested in this debate myself since I both love Lindy Hop and teach and compete in the national blues scene. The blue scene may have changed since I started competing but I was a Lindy Hopper and started placing in blues competitions since the very first blues event I attended. I think the same is true of some other people that are now part of the blues scene. So I think it might be false that Lindy Hoppers don’t or wouldn’t place at Blues competitions.

    However, I’ve spent time trying to understand the distinction between the blues aesthetic and what comes naturally to me as a Lindy Hopper. One distinction the blues community makes, that I thinks makes sense, is what many people call Ballrooming vs. Juking and how you should dance both styles. They match two very different styles of music: slow trad swing and blues (like Chicago, delta, etc…)

    In the video that you posted, John and Ruby have two spotlights. The first is done to a more chicago style blues. The second is done to something more in the style of slow trad swing. You can see their style of movement change between the two songs. For the blues tune they do a lot of close embrace, a lot of nice hip movement, and a lot of sinking into the floor through moves like fish tails.. For the trad tune, they don’t sink into the floor quite as much and take out some of the hip movement.

    Notice that in both they do a lot more close embrace than Jeramie and Evita do.

    Both of Jeramie and Evita’s spotlights are very much in the slow trad swing genre (of music) and the way they dance reflects that. I think if they dance to a gritty chicago blues with harmonica, they would probably dance at least a little differently. I know Jeramie can not only dance the blues but play the blues since we used to play in a band together. 🙂

    I think there are a few ways that I have to think about dancing differently as a blues dancer. Amanda Gruhl got me involved in the blues scene. When we started working together, she asked me to dance a lot more in close embrace. I’ve come to realize that a lot of blues dancers think of blues as having a default position of close embrace (like Balboa or Tango). And just like Balboa or Tango, the close embrace can be really fun and nice. Additionally, especially when dancing to a Chicago blues song, I try to dig into the floor, stay away from my natural tendency to use a lot of momentum based moves, and focus on body movement, relying on the shared jazz/blues steps like fish tails, boogie forward, shake and bake. All stuff Steven Mitchell has taught to many Lindy Hoppers.

    Also, blues dancers tend to like break-aways and I think you see that less from Lindy Hoppers.

    In case it’s not obvious from my comments, I tend to care more about quality of dancing and how it fits the music than I do about classification and a specific aesthetic. But I do believe there’s definitely a difference between Juking blues and Ballrooming blues. I think the difference between ballrooming and slow dancing done by great Lindy Hoppers is less clear.

    Many Lindy Hoppers don’t choose to go to Blues events. I don’t know if I would have started going to them if not for Amanda. Blues events seemed to have a stigma of being less about the dancing and more about dancing dirty and hooking up back when I started. But after going to my first event (I think it was the predecessor to Blues Shout) I discovered it was super fun and there was plenty of great dancing and music to be had. So I’m obviously hooked on the blues scene and have enormous amounts of fun dancing at those events. I’d love to see more great Lindy Hoppers showing up to blues events.

    If I were to say anything slightly critical of Lindy Hoppers blues dancing, it’s a tendency to rush a little more than I’d like. I know I have that tendency and constantly fight it. But so do a lot of other blues dancers.

  9. Devona said,

    February 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Great pairing of clips!

    Both are great dances, with great partnering and musicality. The differences between the two clearly illustrate the difference in aesthetic. For example:
    For blues dance the leg that carries the weight should always be flexed. The leg that is not weighted should most of the time be flexed.
    For blues dance the movement should drop into the floor then push along the floor in a manor that creates visual rhythmic tension every two beats or so. Less of a “glide”, more of a “jog”.
    For blues dance there should be greater resilancy in the connection creating greater lag between the leader and follower. This creates dynamic rhythmic push and pull with in the connection that seems loose and present at the same time.
    For blues dance the muscle energy should not come from the side of the body that “leads” the movement, but from the opposing side. (for example a side hip roll to the right is created by the muscles on the left side of the left hip, not the right abdominals and rt side hip muscles.

    Ruby and John illustrate all of those things constantly, not just during basics but throughout, including during “flash”. Jeramie illustrates most of those things most of the time with the exception of the ‘extra lag’ in the connection which is mostly not present. Those other things are not present consistently enough through out moves that are beyond basic, particularly in open position. Evita demonstrates the opposite of all of the things I listed pretty consistently, the exception being at the very end in close embrace.

    In closing, E&J would likely have made finals at blues shout but would not have placed in the top 3. Also, unfortunately there are a few well known couples that teach blues that do not demonstrate the above items consistently and because of that they make finals but don’t win at blues shout.

    • Devona said,

      February 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      One other thing I meant to add; the technique should be hidden, not displayed.

  10. Anon said,

    February 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Won’t someone please speak of the movement quality?? I get that the blues dance community has a checklist of things they value (though of the things listed, I don’t see how any of them add to either the efficiency of movement or presentational value to the dance) but are you seriously telling me that at a blues dance event they value all of these over movement quality?

    ALL of the finalists at Lonestar are great movers, and all of it is good dancing. Few if any of the dancers from the Blues Shout clip did anything that looked like professional dancing to me. It was at best mediocre movement, and at worse hilarious in the fact that their attitude/bombast was so out of proportion to their skill.

    I can’t see any of those dancers being considered quality movers outside the blues world, and before anyone says so, I do not thing the same applies to pure bal or tango, both of which strongly value overall movement quality.

  11. Michael Gamble said,

    February 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Honest question – why does the blues community not like the “air work” the J&E were doing? They weren’t really aerials even, just elaborate dips and turns that sometimes had some vertical momentum.

    • Kenny said,

      February 26, 2012 at 5:05 am

      Did you ever see the blues aerials videos from Blues Rising and some other events? Those “blarials” were greatly mocked and derided across forums and scenes. Perhaps air work is not liked so as to avoid comparisons.

  12. azeroth2b said,

    February 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    @Michael: Why does the Lindy Hop community think that a dance shouldn’t consist entirely of Gap-Commercial Aerials?
    Answer: Because the dance isn’t about that. Yes, it can be done and occasionally it might even fit the music and aesthetic, but it isn’t the dance and 99% of the time they’re exaggerating the music instead of fitting it.

    @Anon: Blues as professional quality movement? That’s like me calling ballroom stiff.

    • Jeramie said,

      February 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      I think comparing a couple of lifts( That technically wouldn’t have been considered aerials) to a gap commercial is a bit drastic and dramatic. I understand the desire to have a core base of movement that is about being grounded, partnered movement and subtle musicality, but to lash out and insult just shows insecurity. The dance is still evolving and I understand that people are passionate about and want to defend it. Right now, the biggest arguments that I see with LindyHop blues and Blues, are quality of movement and preference of style/musicality. What you call exaggerating, I call a different interpretation of music. While you may not agree about the placement of the emphasis, I don’t believe it to be grounds for calling it exaggeration. As for including more momentum based moves etc and not always being grounded, I believe that to be a large part of blues music. While blues typically has a grounded and solid foundation, the solos and accents tend to be playful or an expression of emotion. The same goes for accentuating movement through momentum etc.

      And as far as a rebuttals to quality of movement, it seems a bit off base and short sided to focus only on the aesthetics. Ballroom can appear very stiff at time, but it is the base of the movement. But the quality of the steps are clean and precise. The execution an timing is polished. I don’t believe this exists in the vast majority of blues, yet. The community is still new and growing. Not to say it won’t get there, but in my opinion, the quality of movement/lead and follow of most dancers that I have come across is still very juvenille. Aside from aesthetics, I believe that was the concern referred to before. It doesn’t make the attack on blues movement any more grounded, it just proves that it is hard to see beyond your own perspective and to respectfully address another opinion.

      Please excuse any typos as I am replying via phone and just felt that sething should be said before this thread turned into a pissing match.

    • Kenny said,

      February 26, 2012 at 5:09 am

      It may not be about that, but look at Spirit Moves. Notice the sections where they featured lifts and dips. I doubt they performed these in crowded parties, but they lead and follow those movements with enough chutzpah that you could infer practice time has gone into those movements. Furthermore, they were performing in front of cameras, so why not throw your best flashy material? As Jeramie mentioned, it is about knowing your audience.

  13. azeroth2b said,

    February 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I’m sorry for the hyperbole. I’m not insulting the movement and dancing from LoneStar or any other Lindy Hop hosted Blues Competition from Showdown to ILHC to Lonestar. I was illustrating that LindyHop has a history of things that were loved and yet considered out of the nature of the dance and the connection is that many Blues Dancers feel that way about large lifts and dips.

    The dancing desired from the two communities is different, and that’s okay. Anon basically called the whole of the Blues Dancer Community unprofessional and lacking in high quality movement. While I’m sure it goes both ways, recent posts and discussions included, you’ll have to forgive the Blues Dance community if they feel like there’s a prevailing sense of disdain.

  14. Jeramie said,

    February 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I don’t believe that anyone took it as an insult to the Lindyhop community. I believe that there is too brash a division between the communities and both sides show clouded judgement based upon skewed perspectives. Neither side is without “fault” so to speak. I just find it hypocritical to discredit any sort of air lift/step from Lone Star, when the same types of moves are shown in many of the videos across the blues community, specifically Joe and Nelle above. If you don’t like the execution or aesthetic of the movement, that’s one thing, but to say its not a part of the dance, then you are indeed discrediting some of the dancers in your own community.

    I don’t believe the desired result is all that different between the two communities. I believe many in the Lindy community cannot see past their own discomfort with slow music or dislike of it, and find it easier to make a mockery or what appears to be a mockery of the dance. While as a new community of dancers, the Blues community tends to defend itself more than needed and looks with a jaded view upon the dancing performed at non blues events because it may slightly invade upon the identity that the community is still forming.

    In reality, when comparing clips over the last few days (I have now take a keen interest in the differences in the community and am interested in attended a main stream blues event to experience it for myself), there are really only a few differences that I can see…..

    For the most part, the general comments of disapproval from the blues community toward LindyHop Blues dances tends to be when the Lindy based dancers dance in and out of time in order to emphasize or build upon something within the music. This isn’t always the case, but in a good deal of the videos I have seen, it appears to be. Often this is criticized as over-dancing the music. While I believe some of it to be over dancing, its not always the case in my opinion.

    The confusion of sensuality versus sexuality. I think this is confused in both factions of dancers quite often. One is not synonymous with the other. Sadly, when one isn’t understood it’s easier to default to sexuality. And sadly, most of us dancers are awkward and cant handle that too well, so we play it up too much.

    The final thing I’ve noticed is the difference in presentation. In the Blues community, the presentation is partner to partner no matter whether social or competition. Where as in most Lindyhop Blues, I’ve noticed its a performance for the crowd or the people around. Sometimes this stems from partner interaction, but a lot of times it doesn’t and I am definitely guilty of this. I am a ham. Neither is a bad thing, I believe it just depends on your venue. And in the Lindy community, its about knowing your audience. So performance is key.

    I believe both sides could learn a lot from the other. I think I will make it a personal goal to learn more about the blues community over the next year and maybe even attend a blues event. I believe that the differences between the communities are not nearly as vast as the most outspoken from each side wish us to believe. I believe disdain from either side comes mostly from the fear of the unknown. I don’t believe either side does a good job of intermixing with the other and learning about the motivation behind their dance.

  15. Fred Barbe said,

    February 25, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Funny discussion! To me the answer is simple enough. You think you’re a good blues dancer and would like to be recognized as one, go to blues events, compete and prove whatever you have to prove. Blues divisions in lindy hop events don’t mean much because of many factors : ambiance, juging, crowd reactions, nature of the events…

    I have seen the same debate (which I don’t think is worth debating that much) in the balboa scene a couple years ago. Some guy/couple was the shit in balboa, but never travels to balboa event. The year he makes it to ABW, he doesn’t even make it to the finals and doesn’t know why while you get that ”no wonder” expression in everybody’s face.

    And what’s up with the “flashy and trashy”….? Are we supposed to be penalized to be in awesome shape and do incredible things with our body?! I would use that expression for mediocre dancing packed with aerials, dips and lifts, but that wasn’t the case in that clip! lol!

  16. Byron said,

    March 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    To complement what Shawn H said, I’d add that the difference between what have been called “Ballroomin'” and “Juke Joint” styles isn’t just about the music, in fact it’s more that the music tends to be correlated with context.

    I remember having a discussion with Damon about this a few years ago at Blues Blast, about how we make a big deal about “styles” but really it’s just as much about where you’re dancing and with whom.

    If you’re dressed in your Sunday best, dancing in a ballroom in front of your friends, and people who know your parents, you’re going to dance differently from how you’d dance at 2am at a crowded rent party with someone you’re romantically interested in. And of course the music is linked to the context, since you’d get big bands in the ballrooms and smaller combos in less formal venues. And of course the way a big band played a slow blues song (in more of a slow swing ballad style) was different from how a single guitar player/singer would do the blues. So the music comes into it, but that’s not where it ends.

    Dancing is all about context, and that’s especially important to understand for people who didn’t grow up with social dances. We tend to want to learn to “do things right” and to divide and rationalize, but really social dancing is a social medium. Even if you take the same dance style, how you’d dance with your grandmother vs. your good friend vs. your lover has subtleties that change. These aren’t rules or styles so much as conventions, and for a member of a community, defying a convention can be a statement, not always a mistake. Conventions, cultural expectations, venues, observers, and other aspects of the dance context have a much richer impact on dancing than can be defined by distinct dance styles.

    Contests have a peculiar effect on social dance styles, because the reality is that it’s NORMAL to dance somewhat differently in a contest, because the whole point of a contest is to create things that can be seen and appreciated by an outsider. Flash and trash are an insanely fun part of any dance style, and while those elements shouldn’t dominate the dancing, it’s just naive to think that competitions aren’t the place to showcase dances in that way. It’s just important for the community to retain social dance values outside of competitions, something that both the Lindy and WCS communities have struggled to do.

    On a related note, I feel like “strictly juke joint” contests have an ironic side to them, because it’s like putting people on a stage and having them compete to see who can dance least like they’re on a stage performing. I’m not saying that Juke Joint style dancing can’t be competitive, but that the context of the competition would naturally be quite different from the context of a modern contest, and that this can be incongruous. But that’s just a symptom of where blues dancing is at, as a community.

    The blues dance community is in an awkward stage right now, because while the community is trying to understand its roots and figure out where it’s going, which takes a lot of introspection and forces some occasionally awkward, nerdy definitions and manifestos, it’s also faced with the problem of a lower overall dance skill level. There are few truly breathtaking blues dancers in the world compared to great Salsa or Waltz or even Lindy dancers. It’s a lot like how ten years ago, the level of Lindy Hoppers was still pretty low, and it was hard for Lindy Hoppers to explain to Westies that they weren’t just doing bad WCS. Because what they were doing was “half decent Lindy Hop.”

    And that’s why there can be frustration for blues dancers when dancers of other styles who actually do have, point blank, better body control and movement skills, dance something that is similar to blues but not quite what the community views as blues, missing essential elements like lag or posture that define the dance and how it expresses the music. Kind of like when So You Think You Can Dance showcases your dance style and gets your friends excited about it, and you’re not sure whether to be proud for the recognition or annoyed that the dancers didn’t get it “right.”

    For one thing, there’s that frustration because the dancing and movement quality might be REALLY GOOD, and legitimately better than many otherwise great blues dancers. And yet it isn’t the dance the blues community wants represented. As a result, blues dancers are sometimes a little over-zealous in their rush to jump on blues dancing when it’s done by Lindy Hoppers.

    The blues community needs time to develop momentum and a body of dancers with enough experience to really showcase the dance, just as nowadays we once again have amazing Lindy Hoppers who can drop jaws and show dancers of similar but different styles, such as WCS, Carolina Shag, or Boogie-Woogie, what makes LH unique and amazing.

    And for another thing, the blues community is still in a lot of internal debate and confusion about what it is as a community, and even what blues is as a dance. The concept of the “blues aesthetic” has helped the community to keep evolving and innovating while keeping common elements, but it’s also of course created friction. And this whole “fusion” thing… It comes back to the fact that modern dancers tend to rally around specific dances, rather than the way dancers 70 years ago rallied around communities. If your friends did Lindy Hop, you did it too. You didn’t go to events halfway around the world to dance a different style. But as people get to know each other, it’s not about the specific dance or music, it’s again about the people you’ve met through the dance. So what do you do when a lot of people in a community centred around blues music and dancing also want to do something else?

    And even within the traditional side of blues dancing, there are questions about where to take things, what influences and ideas are fertile ground and which ones are dead ends or just “not in the spirit of the dance.”

    The fact is, blues dancers are still learning a lot about blues dancing.

    My suggestion is for the blues community to reach out more to those Lindy Hoppers who truly like blues dancing. Lindy Hoppers are some of the dancers in the world who have the quickest path to becoming amazing blues dancers, and having more Lindy Hop/blues community crossover would be good for both communities. Both dance communities involve revitalizing and spreading vernacular social dancing based on African-American traditions that are in fact closely interrelated.

    Similarly, Lindy Hoppers who are interested in blues dancing should respect those who have been researching, practicing and teaching it, and put the same effort into learning blues dance traditions that they have into Lindy Hop.

    Lindy Hoppers can learn a lot of subtleties about blues dancing that they may not be aware of, things that make the difference between looking like a “So You Think You Can Dance” version of blues and the real thing.

    And blues dancers can learn a lot from Lindy Hoppers. For example some of the blues dancing from the Spirit Moves is stuff that Lindy Hoppers have an advantage with, especially the most athletic movements. I would argue that there are a number of aspects of blues dancing in which dancers with a Lindy Hop background often do better than most blues dancers.

    Be humble, learn from each other, and dance.


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