Lindy Hop News and Noteworthy 2012 Edition

Stuff happens a lot in the Lindy scene these days. As much as I post on the FB page for this blog, I still miss quite a few things. Thankfully there’s a multi-headed beast trying to keep on top of it all. Even if you can’t follow 100 blogs or so, then at least Dance World Takeover has been posting things to get your learn on while Yehoodi has been staying on top of the more “mainstream” swing news.

Despite that, there’s still quite a few things that don’t get as much publicity as it should. I know simply because a lot of it is just sitting in my queue right now. I don’t get to them mostly because of time. Having a full time job can be a pain in terms of keeping up with vernacular jazz dance. During Hurricane Sandy, while the whole East Coast of the US was locked down, I tried to post links every 30 minutes just to break the monotony of being stuck in my apartment. Even with all the time in the day, I found myself barely keeping pace with the volume of links to sort through, review, write short copy for and post.

I’ve had dreams of a full scale swing news site, but now more than ever, I’m certain such a thing would require full time involvement of at least one person, maybe more. Even an army of volunteers would require someone to keep on top of them all. Anyone interested in stepping up?

So with all that in mind, here are a few selected highlights from this past year. Read the rest of this entry »

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2012 Blog highlights and the List O’Blogs

Note: This post compliments my previous compilations of dance blogs done in 2009 and 2011.

I know a lot of people who don’t like blogs on principle. I have quite a few friends who don’t like dance blogs in particular. I usually just nod and smile because I don’t need to ask them why. After all, I see most of them on a daily basis. Notice I don’t say “read.” There are a ton of them not counting my non-dancing related reading, and there just isn’t enough time in the day to keep up with them all.

Still, culling this year’s list of active to semi active blogs was a little sad because of the number of blogs that have fallen by the wayside within the last year. However, without doing any statistical comparisons, I think it’s about typical for the average lifespan of any blog, dance related or not.

I think criticisms of blogs are the same reasons why I enjoy them, which is basically that anyone can have one. It’s not hard to garner a following if you blog enough and sound like you know what you’re talking about. I’m a perfect example of that. Who the hell am I? I had a solid year of constant blogging, and despite my severe drop off in productivity here, this site still gets an average of 100 hits a day. My friends like to make fun of me for being well known in a dance for reasons not related to my dancing.

The really funny thing is that what irks people is not the criticism, which is few and far between, but actually what gets praised and passed around. Once you get to a certain level or age, you pretty much know what you like or what you look for in certain things. So it annoys people when the masses get enthralled by a performance or dancer that they think, for a lack of a better term, is bullshit. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

How Ya Like Me Now?

Announcing the next stage on my road to internet domination: the Wondering & Pondering official Facebook presence.

Like it here.

It occurred to me that I keep amassing links and videos that I hope to post on this blog, but since I always want to do it up all fancy like, they just kinda languish in the ether.

So I’ll use the Facebook page to pass along the articles and random videos of interest that I don’t have time to discuss in depth here.  And I’ll also post links to new posts from here as well.  It’ll be like a secret club except everyone will know about it.  Everyone.

It’ll also be a good way for people to connect with me on FB.  Honestly, I still feel a little weird accepting friend requests from people I’ve never met before.  I know plenty of you read the blog, but I’d like to reserve my personal FB page for people I know directly.  So if we’re FB friends now, but we’ve never met, there’s a good chance I may be cutting you loose soon.  It’s nothing personal, but . . .  you know . . . there’s just nothing personal between us. But then, you’ll have this new Facebook page to Like and we can keep up that way.

I also realized that I spent an entire post describing my YouTube favoriting rationale, but forgot to link to my YouTube page.

That’s this thing here: http://www.youtube.com/user/jalmon007

Feel free to subscribe.  Or just hit refresh a lot, waiting for the next embarrassing old video to pop up.

Tell your friends.

A Year’s Worth of Wandering & Pondering in One Post

When I started my blog I read all kinds of nifty tips to make it awesome and get lots of people to read it.  Oddly enough, all of them fail to advise you to post something actually interesting.

This may sound a bit conceited, but I think most of the stuff I post here is pretty interesting to read.  Maybe not all of it.  Just 98%, give or take a couple percentage points.  I should know—I read it all the time, and I never get tired of me.

One fun tip talked about summarizing your blog’s content every once in awhile, so for all of you new readers here who keep searching for Skye’s non existent website or information on a certain convicted lindy hopper’s sentence*, here’s a handy dandy guide to all the other stuff you’re missing.  Or if you’ve already read them, here’s your opportunity to go back and relive the pain and/or the glory. Read the rest of this entry »

The Lindy Loggers

We’re at a pretty quiet time in the Lindy Hop world as there are no major or minor events happening until Lindy Focus and Snowball right after Christmas.  This is probably a good time to get caught up on your online Lindy reading.

The Lindy blogosphere is surprisingly larger than you think.  When I started this post I thought I was just going to describe a handful of sites, but once I was done compiling URL’s I came up with over 50.

Read the rest of this entry »

Random Links & Videos: Let’s Get Physical Edition

Many new blogs on the interwebs.  Sorry it’s taken me so long to link to them.

This one is a super in depth explanation of how followers use the muscles in their backs by a licensed massage therapist.  <Hot Club of Durham>

Mary Freitag from SoCal has launched a follower centric blog.  She adds her own observations about the use of the pike in your dancing.  <Art and Dancing>

Read the rest of this entry »

Random Links & Videos: History Lesson Edition

Four weeks after ULHS and still no word on official results.  Even ALHC put up their results a week after it ended.

I still have unofficial results in my “ULHS 2009 Round Up” post, and at least lots of people are talking about ULHS online. I also just added another blog to that post from another attendee.  <Me>

Just in case ALHC was feeling neglected, someone who attended that event finally posted a review to prove that someone went.  The omnipresent and always opinionated Allen Hall chimes in with the latest installment of his  <News and Views> Read the rest of this entry »

Random Videos: Swedish MTV Edition

Apparently the Swedes love their Lindy Hop.  So much that different kinds of bands keep using Lindy Hoppers like The Harlem Hot Shots and others in their music videos.

The first one up is an actual swing video from the Carling Family.

Read the rest of this entry »

ULHS 2009 Round Up

Still no official results posted on the ULHS website, but Breanna Perry was kind enough to post what she could remember in the comments of my previous post.

The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown Choreography Showcase

Winners:  Groove Juice Special

Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown: A Lindy Hop Battle

Winners: Chance Bushman (New Orleans, LA) and Joanna Lucero (Austin, TX)

Jack n Jill: A Social Dance Contest

First Place: Vincenzo Fesi  (Italy) & Alice Mei (France)

Second Place: Sara Deckard (Denver, CO) & Dax Hock (Everywhere-ish)

Third Place:  Ria DiBiase & Tommy Blacharz Todd Yannacone & Annie Trudeau (correction via Ann Mony)

Solo Jazz

Winner: Ramona Staffeld (New York, NY)

Solo Blues

Winner: Dax Hock

Slow Swing and Blues

First Place: Peter Strom (Minneapolis, MN) and Ramona Staffeld (New York, NY)

Second Place: Todd Yannacone (New Orleans, LA) and Alice Mei (France)

Third Place: Chance Bushman (New Orleans, LA) and Giselle Anguizola (San Diego, CA)

Note: I haven’t heard anything about the Dancers Choice Awards, and the Endurance Contest was cancelled.

A few reactions from the Lindy sphere o’blogs. Read the rest of this entry »

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