A Word on Swing #3: On The Porch With Nina Gilkenson Part 1

Here is the long awaited interview with the lovely and lascivious Nina Gilkenson. Or at least the first part. Theoretically, if you follow this blog, you may already know who she is, but if you don’t, this is a good way to get to know this self described “forth grade drop out.”

I do feel the need to apologize profusely for the background noise. We really wanted to chat Nina in her native environment of Baltimore, but it can get intense. Please bear with us, it will only last through the first two parts, and will mostly go away after that. Or you can be like me and listen to it a few hundred times and just get used to it. If you can deal with it, you’ll be rewarded with an interesting perspective into the modern Lindy scene.

Don’t forget to subscribe to A Word on Swing’s YouTube channel to get future updates. I’m still not finished editing the other parts, but now that I have most of the background materials assembled from the first part, it should make the other ones easier to get done.

Also a shout out to everyone who allowed us to use their photos in this interview including:

All the uncredited photos were taken by me.

All the filming and editing has been  and continues to be an interesting challenge for me to learn on the fly, and I hope to get better and better with each episode. I hope that none of of those flaws distract you from one of the most interesting women in our dance scene.

A Word on Swing: Crisis on Infinite Blogs

Finally unleashing our sort of named joint Swungover and Wandering & Pondering mega blog crossover video podcast.

This is a little project that Bobby White and I have been talking for almost a year now. We couldn’t get it together because of scheduling issues and what we thought it would require more technical know how than we have. Then we just decided to throw caution to the wind a couple of weekends ago simply because we had some spare time at the Lone Star Championships and about 20 minutes of free space on my camera.

It’s a little rough looking. Everything was done in one take. At least it gives us something to build on. We learned a few lessons the hard way. For example, I learned why they position news anchors not the way we did here.

I have a few ideas on how to do this next time. Hopefully there will be a next time.

We’d like to thank Michael Gamble for his impromptu help behind the camera. And Joseph and Jammin for hanging out with us.

Next time we’ll do something more relevant to dance blogging like comparing one vs. two finger typing techniques or our favorite fonts or why social balboa is only slightly less boring to watch than blues dancing.


Until then, enjoy the show.

“All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm”

I posted a couple of links today on the Facebook page for this blog that led me to the idea of posting the full scene from “A Day At The Races” featuring Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. But since I had some thoughts lengthier than 420 characters, I just thought I’d turn it into a full blog post.

This clip reminded me of one of my many incomplete blog posts where I was doing research on my favorite Duke Ellington vocalist featured in this clip, and possibly my favorite female jazz vocalists of all time, Ivie Anderson. Had she lived longer, I have no doubt that she’d be considered in the same breath as Billie and Ella. Read the rest of this entry »

Re-Post: The Line

I’ve read lots of responses to my last post online and off.  I was going to write a response until I realized that I did that already.  Oddly enough, I use the same exact Skye and Steven story in that post as I did the last.  Wise people those guys. So I’m reposting a link to that essay and hope that tides people over until I can fix my internet connection at home.

Keith Shapiro

I was preparing a post on DJ’ing when I heard the sad news that Austin DJ and event promoter Keith Shapiro passed away last night.

I only met Keith very briefly many years ago, but he touched many lives through his work in our community. He was also host of the Blues podcast Confessing The Blues.

You can offer condolences and support to his memorial Facebook page.   A number of his friends are also paying tribute to him online.

My condolences to his friends and family especially to his wife Summer and his two daughters Anna and Ella.

Weekly Video Review: The Kids Are Alright

April is getting pretty crazy with all the cool videos coming out. I’ve posted quite a bunch of videos from far off lands, but I wanted to spotlight a few American ones that have come out in the past few weeks. They all happen to be college teams, and are a nice look at the next generation of Lindy Hop.

Hoosier Hot Shots

From this year’s Hawkeye Swing Festival. I appreciate the little pop up note telling us that the dancer that hurt herself is alright. To that dancer: Pain only reminds us that we’re alive.  Congrats on first place.  Hoosier Hot Shots, we salute you.

Read the rest of this entry »

ILHC 2008 Video Compilation: Advanced and Open Jack & Jill divisions

This is part of a series of posts gathering up all the choice online footage from the 2008 International Lindy Hop Championships.  This year’s ILHC is happening on August 27-30, 2009 and you can register at www.ILHC.com.

Advanced Jack & Jill

Preliminary Round


Laura Glaess and Stephen Jean, 1st Place
Crista Seipp and Jamie Cameron, 2nd Place
Kate Hedin and Mike Roberts, 3rd Place

Read the rest of this entry »

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