This is the big list. You’ve already seen highlights in music, blogs, and news. I broke off a separate post for two over achievers last week, and I’ll do two more for my personal favorites before the holidays end. I tried to cull this list down to a reasonable level. It’s still almost 100 videos, but I decided that that would be a shame to cut it down any more since there was a lot of good stuff this year. It’s already hard to choose highlights from the 64 routines, 63 separate couple spotlights, and five jam style contests at this year’s International Lindy Hop Championships, and I already mentioned how I favorited about 1000 Lindy Hop related videos on YouTube this year alone. Not making matters easier is how Facebook and YouTube both conspired to make the way I organized last year’s highlights impossible this time around.
This post is a combination of popular videos on YouTube, videos that generated a lot of chatter or “likes” on Facebook, or some other performances I enjoyed and thought were overlooked. As much as I’d like to say something about all of them, there is a lot of them. Besides, I think most of them can speak for themselves.
ILHC 2012 – Showcase – Thomas Blacharz & Annie Trudeau
- 2012 ILHC Lindy Hop Classic – Michael “Dargoff” Darigol & Brittany Johnson
- Australian Swing Dance Championships Kieran Yee & Georgia Brooks
- Camp Hollywood 2012 – Adrienne Weidert and Adam Brozowski
- Camp Hollywood 2012 – Sharon Davis and Juan Ignacio Villafane
- Camp Hollywood 2012 – Soochan Lee and Hyun Jung Choi
- ESDC 2012 – Classic Lindy Hop Showcase Dax Hock & Sarah Breck
- GNSH 2012 Anders Sihlberg & Maja Hellsten
- Hawkeye Swing Fest ~ Showcase ~ Jon & Mandy ~ 1st Place
- ILHC 2012 – Classic Lindy – Alain Wong & Anais Sekine
- ILHC 2012 – Lindy Hop Pro Classic – Zack Richard & Annie Trudeau
- ILHC 2012 – Pro Classic Lindy – Pontus Persson & Isabella Gregorio
- Jeremy & Laura – Lindy Hop Performance at BOTP 2012
- KLHC2012 Lindy Hop Classic – 안단테 & 김태연 (Heechang Jang & Taeyeon Kim)
- KLHC2012 Lindy Hop Classic – 제갈량 & 토깽님 (Soochan Lee & Hyunjung Choi)
- Max Pitruzzella & Tatiana Udry in Swing Era!
- Nicolas & Mikaela CRC 2012
- Swing’In Paris Festival ’12 – Max & Ksenia
This is what I’m talking about in terms of quality and variety in choreographed performances this year. Annie and Tommy had a great performance, but also important to note that Annie is undefeated in the entire existence of the ILHC Showcase division, and she’s done it with two separate partners. That’s pretty impressive especially considering how different this routine was compared to her previous efforts with Max. That’s a good example of how two dancers can combine to create something they can’t replicate with other people as you can see the different things Max is doing with separate partners. I also thought Heechang Jang & Taeyeon Kim were super fun in a crazy way. Then there’s Brittany & Dargoff’s routine. I’m usually ambivalent about “skit” performances because they’re usually too broad, but they make this one work.
I’m also going to spotlight the ILHC Juniors because that was a genuinely fun division over all.
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Alexandria Gross & Sasha Gross
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Boston Dunlap & Tyler Dunlap
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Pontus Spelmans & Lena Magnusson
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Rafal Pustelny & Leith Conybeare
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Doriel Pryntz-Nadworny & Hannah Phillips
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Kai Pepler-Peterson & Emma Kilmer
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Kevin Tucker & Alexis Davila
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Cyle Dixon & Alexis Cuevas
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Isaiah Billinge & Shaquana Williams
- ILHC 2012 – Juniors – Sebastian Conybeare & Kelly Robinson
Swing Crash Festival 2012 instructors
- 2012 Lone Star Championships – Invitational Jack & Jill – Andrew & Nina (Song 1)
- Ben Morris & Naomi Uyama 1st Place Boston Tea Party 2012 Crossover Jack and Jill
- Dallas Lindy 2012 Instructor Performance Mia and Andy
- GNSH 2012 Max Pitruzzella & Maeva Trunzer
- Lindy hop, Lesson stuff, some variations
- Max Pitruzzella & Tatiana Udry social dancing with Claudio Della Corte
- Skye Humphries and Naomi Uyama at Cat’s Corner
- TEACHERS DEMO, Skye Humphries & Marie, Andy & Nina, SINERA 2012
- Tea for Three – An Improv Steal Dance By Dax Max and Sarah
- Thomas & Alice improvisation, Olivier Franc quintet, Comedy Club, Paris
The Swing Crash jam is a lot of fun with casual solo and partnered stuff by some of the best dancers that Europe has to offer. The other videos are by the usual suspects except for Egor Rudometkin and Larisa Vivas Kurbatova. It’s a simple lesson demo, but it caught my eye, maybe because of its simplicity and how repeated swingouts sooth my soul.
Montreal Swing Riot 2012 – Jack and Jill Finals
- Montreal Swing Riot 2012 – Street Dancers vs Lindy Hoppers Part 2
- ILHC 2012 – Champions Strictly Lindy Finals – Spotlight
- ULHS 2012 – Alain & Lunou vs. Jon & Heather
- ULHS 2012 – Jack and Jill Finals – Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown
I decided not to go the obvious path of picking something from the big competitions although the music and the dancing were damn hot at ILHC and ULHS. I especially like the way ULHS has their prelims to the Showdown final in a public space with live bands. I really liked the vibe coming from the 2012Montreal Swing Riot Jack and Jill Finals with the fun casual pace set by Gordon Webster matched by the dancers.
ILHC 2012 – Team – Cement Mix-A-Lot
- Collegiate Jitterbug Championships 2012, Team UIUC Swing Dings
- Dayton Swing Smackdown 2012 ~ Team Competition ~ SwingColumbus
- GSDF 2012 : Thomas Alice William Maeva
- Harlem 2012. Performance by Hoppers’ Dance Studio
- Harlem 2012. Performance by Hoppers’ Dance Studio (teachers)
- ILHC 2012 – Team – Groove Juice Special
- ILHC 2012 – Team – SAF Squad
- Jumpin’ at the Woodside at Swing ‘n’ Swim Γ’, 2012
- Le Hot Sauce VII (2012) – Basin Street Bashers
- Meet the Scene Ball (Brat Pack, Harlem Shout) 2012
- Meet the Scene Ball (Echoes of Harlem) 2012
- Night and Day + Sweet Heart Performance @ Burn the Day
- RTSF 2012, Remy-Moe, Jeremy-Laura, Pontus-Isabella
- 다크나이트 스윙프렌즈10주년 공연 (Swingfriends 10 year anniversary Darknight)
- ULHS 2012 – Northern Lights team showcase
- Wednesday Night Hop – Black Coffee Performance at the 9:20 Special Open House 2012
- Spring 2012 Open House — Performance Class
- Spring 2012 Open House — Staff Performance
If you had told me that any one of half the teams at ILHC came in first, I would not have blinked. Teams were tight this year all around the world and all ages; from the young guns from the Midwest to southern California to the multiple generations of the Hot Shots running with Jo & Kevin in Greece. The Hoppers’ Dance Studio performance at Harlem 2012 is a standout because they chose to perform to a slower song without resorting to the tired trope of changing gears midway, but they still maintain energy throughout. That didn’t stop Spain, Korea, and Australia from bringing the heat. Back at ILHC, I loved the way Seattle played with rhythm and Albuquerque played with mood. Montreal rocked it at ULHS to live music while the instructors at the Rock That Swing Festival just rocked it. The great thing about team performances is the way that they can bring together a lot of people. The 920 Special and Wednesday Night Hop had a great exchange when the former invited the latter to have a friendly inter-venue team battle in the spring.
The Snowball 2011 – Performances – Two Cousins
- 2012 ILHC Solo Charleston Finals – Spotlight
- ABQLX 2012 Performance “I Can’t Dance”
- Cumberland Shuffle 2012 A Brief Diversion! ACT I Linsday Lou
- Daniel Heedman – Performance Solo Jazz
- James & Irina’s Hat Trick w/ Tips & Tops
- Jazz Roots Dance Festival Paris 2012 – Friday Teacher Intro with the Hot Sugar Band
- LSSF 2012 – Solo Jazz Final Battle Ljubljana SweetSwing Festival Domen Bohinc and Abeth Farag
- Montreal Swing Riot 2012 – Short Showcase – Anaïs Sékiné & Gen St-Lo
- Old Fat Jazz – A routine by Al Minns & Leon James
- Paris Swingjammerz – Teachers Demo – Sara Deckard
- PLENTY HOT 2012 || Tommy, Alice, Max, Annie, Skye & Naomi ***shim sham
- Second Liners ALF 2012
- Solo Jazz Routine By The W Project
- ULHS 2012 – Solo Jazz Finals
Remy Kouakou Kouame and Ryan Francois kicked off this year’s solo dance highlights by reprising their Two Cousins performance with a twist. The Jazz Roots Dance Festival demo is a nice contrast to the stupidly hot contests at ILHC and ULHS. There were also some clever performances involving props in Southern California and Norway. Old School Harlem Hot Shot Daniel Heedman kills it every time, but this list is gets major representation from the ladies on both sides of the Atlantic, especially Sara Deckard who nails her performance at another Paris event.
Lone Star Championships 2012 – Strictly Blues Finals
- Julie Brown & Shawn Hershey Baltimore Blues Summit Instructor Demo
- Lindy Focus X: Tri-Swing Tournament (Slow Drag/Blues)
- LOTR 2012: Slow Strictly Final
- Part 3 of 13: “Moonglow” (Mikey and Nikki)
- ULHS 2012 – Solo Blues Finals
I did an interview with Julie Brown and Shawn Hershey (not online yet) where I worked out that I’m a bigger fan of slow dancing than I am of blues dancing. It looks like much of the audience of Wandering & Pondering agrees with that sentiment. There will be no apologies made for that here in this space. That being said, I’m a big admirer of Julie and Shawn’s dancing. Then there’s Evita Arce who exists on a plane unto herself that only gets amplified when Jeramie Anderson is in the house with her. The Lone Star Championships final was a great combination of great dancing to hot live music.
RTSF 2012 Instructors Jam
- MBSW 2012 – Balboa – Teachers Performance in the Red Square
- All Balboa Weekend 2012: Showcase Competition 1st Place – Mickey & Kelly
- Mickey and Kelly Perform at Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout 2012
- [Highlights] Tiny Balboa 2012: Mickey Fortanasce and Kelly Arsenault (slow)
- Mickey & Kelly Performance @ Balboa Castle Camp 2012
In another yet to be posted episode of A Word on Swing, I discussed balboa with Bobby White and I mentioned some of the reasons why it doesn’t hold my attention as much. That’s probably why I find the Red Square concept so compelling. The instructors at Rock That Swing Festival had a lot of fun with it and it got reprised at the Munich Balboa and Shag Weekend. Then there is Kelly & Mickey who are two of the more entertaining dancers of any genre. Fast, slow or even metal, they got it. If they gave out MVP awards in Balboa, my vote would go to them every time.
Part 7 of 13: “Dueling Pianists” – (Nathan & Dorry)
- ESDC 2012 – Cabaret – 1st Place – Ramiro Vergaz
- 505 Stomp! 2012 Sweet Jubilee Feather Fan Dance
- Lindy Focus X: The Unsquare Dance
- Part 10 of 13: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” – (Michael and Evita)
- The Jump Session Show 2012 – Like Father, Like Son
Finally, we see some great examples of Lindy Hoppers showing off their other talents. In order to top last year’s performance, I hear that Nathan and Dorry are going to reprise the piano playing but with Nathan also tapping while Dorry simultaneously removing his liver through an orifice to be determined at random the night of the performance.
Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of the 2012 Lindy Hop round up.