Flashback with Ramona Staffeld “Rockin in Rhythm” with Todd Yannanacone

(Note: Ramona Staffeld & Todd Yannacone’s 1st Place Pro Classic performance at The International Lindy Hop Championships was the most shared video off of the Wandering & Pondering FB page. It also happens to be one of my favorites of this year. Not long after that, Ramona contacted me to continue with her series here on this blog, but rather than go back, I convinced her to write about her most recent performance. She enthusiastically agreed, but I failed at life by losing track of the post she sent to me. I remembered it while prepping this year’s round up and rather than blathering on about it myself, I present to you Ramona Staffeld in her own words.)

Well, that’s just it right there. Who it is you are dancing with is one of the key ingredients when making and performing a piece. Off and on the dance floor, Todd and I have respect, friendship, and a sense of humor towards each other. It is the people parts that give a good foundation to work and learn. Fun and silly are priorities, and most of all, being authentic.

Our creative process was a shared dialogue of ideas and excitement. Nothing was too outrageous or unworthy of the time it took to give it a try and then make a decision. Open mind, open heart. Having a shared aesthetic and general taste made for a smooth flow, too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flashback with Ramona Staffeld: Partnering with Finian Makepeace at ALHC 2000

This is the third installment of a special feature that I’m doing with Ramona Staffeld. We’re looking at some very old school clips of her past performances and getting her reactions.   The first one was from the 1998 American Lindy Hop Championships and the last was of Ramona dancing with Frankie Manning at Midsummer’s Night Swing at Lincoln Center in 1999.  This one is of her competing in the Junior division at ALHC 2000.  Everything after the video below is written by her with a few hopefully helpful edits from me.   Have fun!

Well I’ll be darned, I had totally forgot about that piece. Once again I am humbled by prospective. We so easily forget what we have accomplished in the past, the accumulative body of our work. It’s so easy to focus solely on the future, what we think we should be doing, what we want and dream, loosing sight of the gratitude for what has come before. It is from this place that I am moved by this clip. Read the rest of this entry »

Flashback with Ramona Staffeld: Dancing with Frankie

This is the second installment of a special feature that I’m doing with Ramona Staffeld. We’re looking at some very old school clips of her past performances and getting her reactions.   The first one was from the 1998 American Lindy Hop Championships.  This one is Ramona dancing with Frankie Manning at Midsummer’s Night Swing at Lincoln Center.  Everything after the video below is written by her with a few hopefully helpful edits from me.   Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

Flashback with Ramona Staffeld: Minnie’s Moochers at the 1998 ALHC

This is the first of hopefully many installments of a special feature that I’m doing with Ramona Staffeld. We’re going to be looking at some very old school clips of her past performances and getting her reactions. Like a DVD director’s commentary except for Lindy Hop clips.  The first one is from the 1998 American Lindy Hop Championships.  Everything after the video below is written by her with a few hopefully helpful edits from me.   Enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »