US Open Swing Dance Championships 2009 Reactions

Yet another event I didn’t go to that I can comment thanks to the generosity of the interwebs.

First off, I’m impressed.  Leave it to the westies to get results and videos online the very next morning after the this year’s US Open Swing Dance Championships ended.

We didn’t send any Lindy Hoppers this year, but DC still represented big time with the DC Hand Dancers winning the Strictly Swing Challenge.  That contest caps the entire event,  pitting the winners of all the Strictly divisions (West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Hand Dance, and Shag) up against each other.

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ULHS 2009: More Impressions From Not That Much Closer

Just a few more thoughts on the ULHS footage that’s currently online. Read the rest of this entry »

ULHS 2009: First Impressions From Afar

Wonders of modern technology.  I can comment about ULHS so soon after it ended, and I wasn’t even there.

First up was the Street dance contest.  Seems to be a straight up coupled contest.  People dance until they’re tapped out, leaving three couples to dance off jam style.  Dancing on the actual street just might be a little too hardcore for me as my knees hurt just from watching them dance on the concrete.

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ILHC 2009-Swing It On Out There

Saturday night was so good that I didn’t get to bed until 7:30 am.

When you plan an event, there’s only so much you can hope for.  Especially when you’re dealing with a creative community like the Lindy Hop one.  Most times you just hope that people don’t take the opportunity to embarrass themselves. That didn’t happen last night.  Too much.  I haven’t seen a show that consistently good in a very long time. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: “Frenesi” Routine by Naomi Uyama & Matt Smiley at ALHC 2001

My original intention when I started my Lindy Hop paper a couple of years ago was to talk about some of my favorite routines and why I liked them.  Circumstances led me in a slightly different direction which ended up becoming the “Artisry In Rhythm” paper that I’m now posting bit by bit.  I do talk about some videos and why they’re interesting or important, but I never got around to discussing my favorite one.  Maybe it wasn’t that important in the grand scheme of things, but it affected the way that I looked at the dance.

Now that I have a blog, I can properly explain why.  The routine that I’m going to talk about was done by Naomi Uyama and Matt Smiley both originally from the Washington, DC area.  They performed a routine to Artie Shaw’s “Frenesi” at the 2001 American Lindy Hop championships.

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Review: The Brooks Telger Big Band and Combo at Glen Echo, June 27, 2009

So I guess I’ll start off my blog with a review of a dance I attended last night, hosted by The Jam Cellar in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park last night with The Brooks Tegler Big Band.

(Disclaimer: I am an occasional contributor to the Jam Cellar blog and their general shenanigans)

DC is blessed to have two big bands dedicated to the authentic sounds of the Swing Era.  Most bands that play for dancers tend to the more modern New Testament Basie sound or play mostly Rat Pack covers.

But DC’s two main big bands, the other being The Tom Cunningham Orchestra, specialize in music from the Swing Era played in the way it was meant to be played with a solid driving 4/4 rhythm.  Brooks Tegler himself is an ardent disciple of Gene Krupa. Read the rest of this entry »

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