My goodness, where do I begin?
I used to blog. I would argue a fair amount. Sometimes I focused on vintage fashion, dance events, tights, and for a few years I did a series called Februhairy to celebrate a month of doing hair. In large part it was very satisfying, despite how time consuming it was. I’ve taken quite the break from it and in the last few months felt inspired to pick it up again. The main focus of my upcoming blogging series is about competition, judging, and training.
Sometime during 2016, I started doing video reviews for students. Many students that have taken privates from me have commented that they would like to work with me more, but unfortunately I am not around very often, maybe once/twice a year. I didn’t think too much of it the first few times I heard these comments; after all, this is how I’ve set my work life up – weekly travel was just “part of the job.” I started thinking about it a bit more. Kevin and I have DVDs (now digital downloads) and had started planning a 12-day filming session for iLindy, so why not continue down that route and do video reviews?
The first couple I remember hearing about doing something similar was Dax & Sarah for their Rhythm Juice people (#props). I was hoping that if they were offering this service that tons of students already knew about it and understood how the process worked; however, I found that every person I spoke to about this needed a full explanation about how this process was going to work. Through those conversations, it was clear to me that the dancers who were preparing for competition were more interested in this service, which led me to create a few multi-week programs to help students up their dance game by creating a clear training schedule, setting goals, upping their mental game, and having them dance and create.
I myself got so much out of these training sessions. As I rarely have the opportunity to teach weekly classes, I don’t get to see the weekly progress that people make, but through these online training programs, I was able to create challenges and give homework. As we checked their homework the following week, I would often be asked simple, thoughtful questions about what do the top judges look for; how do the other top competitors do XYZ; how often do you train this; etc. I could answer those things for Kevin and myself, but I didn’t feel like I could speak for my peers and colleagues, which is where all of this started.
Over the next eight weeks, I’ll share my interview findings. Some of these were conducted over the phone and some of these people wrote themselves. What I hope that most of you will take away from these interviews is that there is no “right way” to dance, it’s more important to find your voice than it is to win a competition, and Lindy Hop is an art form and therefore the rules governing it are flexible, and can change drastically depending on who is judging.
If you have more questions, comments, suggestions, or anything else you’d like to share, you’re welcome to leave them in the comments here on the blog OR email me.