920 Open House – Performances

Throughout February and March, Kevin and I created two separate routines for students at Wednesday Night Hop and the 920 Special. The goal of the classes was to perform the routine at 920’s annual Open House, battle for Lindy Hop World Domination, to the cheers and adoration of hundreds of friends, family, visitors, and to inspire our dancing community. For most of the students, this was there first-ever performance. Not only that, but many of them have been dancing less than three years!!

What a fabulous job everyone did on Thursday night! To all the students: Thank you for hanging in there. Thank you for believing in yourself and sticking with you. Thank you for rehearsing and coming prepared. Thank you for your dedication, kind words, for serving as an inspiration to Kevin and me, and for adding to the lindy hop legacy.

Performances (in order of appearance)

The Careless Lindy Hoppers

The song is Viper Mad, by Rhythm Junkies, an amazing jazz band from Seattle!
http://thecarelesslovers.com/

Kevin & Jo

920 Vipers

Can you believe that these performers are ALL STUDENTS! About half of them have been Lindy Hopping for less than one year, and for most of them this is their FIRST-EVER PERFORMANCE!

The song is Viper Mad, by Rhythm Junkies, an amazing jazz band from Lithuania! http://ohsoswing.com/studio-by-the-rhythm-junkies

Teachers

Instructors and staff at The 9:20 Special perform a routine choreographed by Stefan Durham and Bethany Powell!

The song is “Swing is the Thing” by The Mills Brothers.

 

 

 

920 Special – See you in February!!

SAN FRANCISCO!!! Woooooo!!! Yup, that’s right! Kevin and I are coming back to San Francisco to teach at the 9:20 Special again and we’re freaking thrilled!!

In case you want to brush up on the material we taught back in September, here’s a friendly reminder!

So what’s next?

Review the material. Come to class. Tell your friends that you’re going to have a great time and that they’d be missing out if they didn’t join you. Aaaaaaand then dai-ance!!!

See you there 😀

Snowball vs Lindy Focus

For many, there were two place to be this new years. If you were in Europe, there was a large chance you were going to attend The Snowball in Sweden or if you were stateside, you were most likely going to head to Lindy Focus in North Carolina. Some quick stats:

 

The illustrious and hilarious Andrew Thigpen served as the MC at Lindy Focus and thought it would be a marvelous idea to send some lindy love from the USA to Sweden. On Tuesday the 27th, he went to the dollar store and bought markers and construction paper so that people could make holiday cards for  particular individuals at Snowball, or for the camp in general. On Wednesday, he overnighted the messages to Sweden and on Thursday they arrived. In response to that, Snowball made this video (below) for the crowd at Lindy Focus.

Not to be out done, Andrew stirred up the Friday night crowd and sent even more holiday cheer to Sweden. What a guy!!

All I can say is: Lindy Focus – Party Time!!!!!!

Hat Trick Shim Sham at Lindy Focus X

Unfortunately, I was in rehearsal during this amazing feat of Hat Tricking, but it was sooooooooo freaking awesome I had to post it. About a year ago, Tips and Tops had a dream were planning on performing the Hat Trick Shim Sham while at Lindy Focus this year, but when they realized that all their buddies were there, they knew it was time to take the performance to the next level. Here the eight of them are in all their hat tricking glory!!


From left to right the performers: Tin Tin, Taps, Tips, Toodles, Tops, Toes, Targoff, and Tubs.

How awesome was that?!!! This tip-top team tricked their way into the hearts of many this past weekend. What I enjoyed most about this performance was seeing the individuality of each performer and how well they all worked together. On top of that, I really liked how the choreography was modified to best use the number of performers. Neato Gang!!

In case you want to learn how to hat trick shim sham, you are in luck!! Here are the first two (of twelve) videos to get you started:

Word on the street is if you want to be initiated into the group and get your own terrific nickname, you need to learn the routine and perform it at an event (make sure to have video to prove it). I can’t confirm this, but that’s what a little birdy told me!!

Lindy Focus X: Busty Bullet and her Drunken Act of Seduction

I needed to put a performance together for when I was in Greece a few weeks ago and I was thinking about doing my old fan dance from Lindy Focus VIII. After some thought, I figured I should push myself to come up with something new, something better. Somehow I decided that a drunken striptease would be the way to go, and who better to help me out than Kevin!

After performing the number in Greece, I figured I was brave enough to perform it at Lindy Focus X. Here is me being as silly as I can be during opening night!

The great thing about “acting drunk” is that it covers up a lot of the flaws in the dancing 😀

I LOVE performing this number. It’s unlike everything else I do and have done. Getting to strip down to my skivvies has always been a dr……..what am I saying?!! It was nerve-wracking as all hell, but it was a blast. I figured of all crowds, this would be one that could appreciate my silly sense of humor. I think what I like most about it is that I get to be incredibly silly! The dancing is by no means spectacular in this, but the “acting” was really fun to do.

Some photos from the show:

Thank you Jesse Keener for taking some awesome shots of me!! xx

Now it’s time to talk Costume!!

  • The black thing with the fringe on it….I found that at Red Light in Seattle and it fit perfectly. It was just a black shell, so all the accoutrements that you see were added after the fact (huge thanks go out to the sensational Miss Indigo Blue). I played with the idea of having ugly underwear on at the end (so not only do I come home drunk, and slightly useless, but I have Laundry Day undies on ….hahahha), but Kevin vetoed that idea.
  • The nude slip thingy was also acquired at Red Light. I found some diamond stickers that I put onto the front so there was some sparkle to the costume.
  • I bought the skirt from Betsey Johnson two years ago and it was worth every penny!!
  • I borrowed the scarf from my mother.
  • The gloves came from Amazon and are cheap, satin gloves. I found some fun heart-shaped jewels and glued them on the side of the gloves and added a tassel to the end.
  • The jacket came from Macy’s this March on super sale. God, I love that coat!
  • The black hair flower is from H&M and I bought it less than a week ago.

And there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the ridiculousness of it all 😀

Waltz Week in Vienna

If I wasn’t already booked February 6-11, 2012 you better believe I would be at Waltz Week!

Waltz Week in Vienna” is a phenomenal social dance & workshop experience! We begin with six days of traditional Viennese and America waltz mixed with a wonderful variety of social ballroom and dance technique classes. We add to this equation dance party exchanges with other local dance schools, an historic walking city tour, opportunities for mixers & minglers, and a host of other fun social events with a great group of people….

To cap it off, we culminate the week with an elegant grand ball at the beautiful Hofburg Imperial Palace — a crown jewel in the edifices of Vienna where waltz balls have been a celebrated tradition since the days of Mozart and Strauss! And if that’s not enough to satisfy your thirst for elegance, grandeur, and a chance to be part of history, you’ll have the opportunity to attend three other such grand balls during the week!

 

 

10 Reasons to come and teach in Israel

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10. The pastries are delicious.
9. The food is fresh AND healthy here…more so than anywhere else I’ve been.
8. The country has a lil’ scenic sump’n for everyone: mountains, ocean, dessert, big cities, OLD cities, modern architecture, and frankly, it’s down right biblical!
7. To float in the Dead Sea
6. To enjoy the gorgeous 21C weather during the November evenings
5. The people are warm and ebullient like the Italians.
4. The dancers are fluent in English the way the Swedes are
3. The students are fantastic at focusing and they relentlessly practice the material
2. There is free, open wifi just about everywhere!!!!!
1. The organizers put a lot of thought, effort and heart into every last detail of how the instructors are treated.

Dance Tel Aviv, thank you for having Kevin and me, for putting us up in a gorgeous apartment, and taking such wonderful care of us. The pictures I’ve posted on FB (and soon to be here) are dedicated to you.

xx