Five Holy $#&%! Moments That Changed Modern Lindy Hop

A comment on Facebook got me thinking of moments in Lindy Hop. Not just good dances or dancers, but singular moments that make you reconsider every assumption you had about the dance.

Twenty-four Robbers by Skye and Frida or anything by Stefan Durham  and Bethany Powell are great performances as a whole, but I’m talking about a short sequence, a single move, or even a footwork variation that turned the entire scene on its head.

Everything that happened in something like the ubiquitous ULHS 2006 Liberation final isn’t the same because the whole thing rocks from start to finish. There isn’t a single defining moment.

Similarly, lots of aerials and assorted “flash and trash” can make a crowd jump or stop the heart for a few beats, but what separates the following moments is how they affected the Lindy Hop scene afterwards. In honor of one of my favorite websites, I’m presenting my picks in chronological order. Read the rest of this entry »

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Size Matters and other Annual Ruminations

I started this blog three years ago because there wasn’t much Lindy related to read online. I thought I might as well start my own site. Much has changed since then, and now everyone has something to say.

I think that’s great. Some people don’t think so. I’m discovering how little faith my friends have in free speech for the masses. I’ve been accused of being a bit of a populist though. One thing I’m realizing is that what I’m looking for in online discussions is probably not going to materialize because it comes down to the fact that our scene isn’t that big.

Of course you have to ask, who are we including in this definition of “scene?” If we counted everyone who has ever taken a Lindy Hop lesson, then you could say tens maybe even hundreds of thousands of people. But you know most of those people never stick around. Do we count those people who just call themselves swing dancers? Those people that do a lot of side by side Charleston, but view any other moves using more than 6 counts as a foreign concept? Do we count the Blues and Balboa communities? I’m sure some people would object to including anyone that can’t swingout, but if that were the main criteria for being a member of this community, then we’d have to kick out most of the people who call themselves Lindy Hoppers.

Do you count all those local dancers that come out every week, but never travel or are not even interested in the latest YouTube clips of Skye & Frida? Do you count those dancers that made the finals of every competition they entered six years ago, but now only come out to the local dance once in a blue moon?

I think about these things because I get the impression that many people, especially those newer to Lindy Hop and its associated dances treat it like it’s much bigger than it is. And out of those people, a few of them seem to think that they can get away with things as if no one would notice or call them on their bullshit. Read the rest of this entry »