ESDC 2011 – Showcase & Classic Division

Here are my favorites from each event!!

SHOWCASE

3) Gastón Fernández & Tina Rizza

Way to represent Argentina!!! I’m so glad they decided to compete with this routine because for a brief period of time, I was under the impression they were going to back out. I’d like to think I talked them into it, but I’m sure they just remembered how awesome they were and then decided to kick some booty. Congratulations you two!!

2) Oskar Markusson & Mikaela Hellsten

Did you see that aerial at 1:45? Holy cow that was ridiculously awesome!! I love the dynamics between the two of them. They both have great shapes and line and I think they work really well as a partnership. This is one of the couples that I really enjoy watching; they are creative, shapely, have great taste in music, and they know how to make their shit look gooood.

1) William Mauvais & Maeva Truntzer

She’s a total stud; just look at  her go! And did you see his face? Personally, I think William give the best “Face” in the lindy world. He’s such a character and I fucking adore it.

CLASSIC

4) Aurelien Lesdos & Audrey Da Sois

Keep your eye on this couple because I am sure they are going to be the next big thing. Their energy, choreography ideas, and body shapes freaking rock my world. Truth be told, I couldn’t take my eyes off her when they danced! Fast forward to 1:58 and watch from there. DANG!!!

3) Ali Taghavi & Katja Uckermann

What a stunning dress! Honestly, I was studying her dress while she was dancing because I was so taken by it. Thank goodness for video; now I can see her and Ali’s great routine.

3) Nick Williams & Laura Keat

I ADORE Laura’s shapes. Seriously, all her shapes and poses and picturesque and sharp. Heheh, Laura told me she has a “Jo Moment” in the routine. Can you spot it?

2) Nicolas Deniau & Mikaela Hellsten

I saw this routine at Crazy Rhythm Challenge in France back in February. I loved it then and I love it even more now. Holy cow! Check out those splits! I’ve also decided that Mikaela is the real deal; she’s got the whole package. She can balance a regular dance partner and a boyfriend/dance partnership, she looks fantastic in red lipstick, her hair is always twisted in fabulous ways, and she really knows how to use her shapes and lines. Bad ass!

1) Dax hock & Sarah Breck

They are just freaking fantastic! Buwaaahahahhah, Dax in a fat suit! Can you image what the people at security must have thought when his bags were x-rayed at the airport? Hilarious. Oh yeah, and the dancing is tight 😀

ESDC 2011 Blues

Some videos from last night:

Slow Strictly

I wanted to watch Skye and Frida, but unfortunately we were in the same heat.

Finalists (I don’t know all the follower’s names, so I’m leaving them all out):

Skye
Todd
Fabian
Gaston
Chris
Tim

Solo Blues Prelims:

I lucked out when Michael Gamble, Our fabulous DJ, played this song because I have a fan dance to the song and therefore felt fine to faff about and just listen to the music. Yeah for music I know!!

Solo Blues Finals

So….yeah. In the second round out, let’s say I was drunk enough to know I should take my shoes off, but sober enough to remember to take them when I left. I adore Augustina from Argentina (the girl who danced before me). My money is on her. Her movement and musicality are inspiring. I wish I had danced like she did, but all I really did was walk around. I’m fine with the job I did; perhaps next time I’ll actually train and get something together.

Congratulations to all the competitors!!

ESCD Classic – new choreography

Earlier this evening, Kevin and I performed our new Classic routine at the European Swing Dance Championships in Barcelona, Spain. We were the openers for the Classic Division. Take a look!!!!

Yes, the video went up incredibly quickly. Just goes to show what an amazing event ESDC is!

So we didn’t hit it, and there are a couple of bobbles, but we’re happy with it. The lighter was a colossal failure; I pulled it out facing the wrong direction and couldn’t get it to light. Arg!! But we kept going and were able to leave the floor smiling. All in all, I’m pleased with how we did. We’ll definitely use this routine a few more times and then really see how we feel about it.

Did you recognize the ending? Can you name what video that is from?

Camp Jitterbug 2011 Contest Results

The results are in and videos are up!! Congratulations to all the competitors!

Solo Charleston


Winner: Joanna Lucero

Jack & Jill

1) Davis Thurber and Kelly Arsenault
2) Andrew Hsi and Maéva Truntzer
3) Juan Villafañe and Gabby Cook

Strictly Lindy

This year, the Strictly was done in a new format. Two couples at a time were given one chorus to battle for their life and then the 5 judges decided who lived, and who died (sounds very Roman the way I’m explaining it). After the four rounds of battle, the four remaining couples jammed.

Battle:

Jam:

1) William Mauvais & Maéva Truntzer
2) Juan Villafañe & Sharon Davis
3) Nick Williams & Jo Hoffberg

 

Ksenia Parkhatskaya

This year at the Harlem 2011, they did their Solo Jazz Contest in “King of the Hill” fashion. Two contestants battle and at the end, the judge must choose a winner who continues to battle until the sweet end! This girl….she kills it.

Her name is Ksenia Parkhatskaya and she’s from St. Petersburg, Russia and she’s pretty freaking amazing. Check out those legs!! She didn’t win, but she threw down.

One more for good measures:

“A story about fragile soul made to be vulgarized and public….Once life have put mask on you only true Love can reveal genuine.” The music is OST La vie un Rosse/ La Mome – Lisieuz
Cabaret Night in Herrang week 5, 2010.

And check out her website! She’s got some great photos up like this one:

Photos by Nika Zhuk

Gaaah!! The best thing about this for me is that I’ve seen this photo a number of times, but never knew who it was. Until now. Ksenia, congratulations on a job well done at Harlem and I love your photos. You’re gorgeous!!

Korean Lindy Hop Championships 2011 – Couples Division

The Camp Swing It team put on another amazing event and threw the first Korean Lindy Hop Championships! I have to say, the attendees of CSI threw down this weekend and I’m so proud of everyone who competed!!

Here are videos from the weekend from the Couples Division, which include Showcase and Classic pieces. There were lots of cute routines, great musicality, fun costumes, and a bouquet of flowers. Yeahh!!!!

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COUPLES DIVISION

3st Couples Contest – Sunbum Moon & Chloe Hong

1st Couples Contest – Soochan Lee & Hyun Jung Choi

2st Couples Contest – JeongWoo Hong & Crystal Lee

During the last few classes Kevin and I taught, we requested that everyone post videos of the competitions so that the world could see how great the weekend was AND to label them with names of the contestants. I can’t wait to see more videos!!

Congratulations to all the contestants!! You did a fantastic job and it was a pleasure to watch you dance. XOXO

Eyes on Korea

Many of you know that there is an enormous lindy hop scene in Korea, but few of you have seen the Koreans throw down while doing their own thing. They have an amazing eye for detail and can replicate shapes easily and precisely, but we [international instructors] have not necessarily seen them dancing their thing.

Not until this weekend that is. 😀

Camp Swing It held the first Korean Lindy Hop Championships and had a fantastic showing of talent, skill, and heart. KLHC had a Cabaret, Couples Division (Showcase and Classic were combined), Strictly Lindy, Rookie and Open Jack & Jill, and a Team Division.

The prize for winning the Couples Division was a weekend pass to ILHC to compete, a 500,00 won, and an additional 500,000 won if they actually go to compete. For the other competitions, event passes were award to such amazing events like ESDC, ULHS, Montpellier Swingjammerz Festival, Camp Jitterbug, Lindy Focus, Canadian Swing Championships, HK Swing Festival, and the Great Wall Swingout,

Thank you for all the contestants from Japan, Singapore, China, and Korea for coming out and participating in this fantastic event. You came and represented. Congratulations!!

Guys and Girls Gone Wild 2011

This was my first all-jazz weekend. Ten Hours of Classes and nothing but jazz. Oh my goodness, it was a freaking FUN weekend. Here was the schedule and some highlights:

Friday, March 18th

What: Dance and Vintage Bathing Suit Badminton Contest
When: 9pm-late
Where: Baltimore Strut

The location of this venue is completely on the wrong side of the tracks, but it’s a cool venue. I believe it’s a modern dance studio when it’s not inundated by whom Michael Seguin dubbed his “Baltimore’s At-Risk Youths”. Buwahahah!

Vintage Bathing Suit Badminton Contest

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Kevin and I performing before the badminton contest

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Photos from the weekend:

Saturday, March 19th

Time Guys Girls
12pm-1:15pm Slow Strut ( VFW ) Girls’ Choreography( VVA )
1:30pm-2:45pm ** Big Apple part 1, guys and girls together ** ( VVA )
3:00pm-4:15pm Jazz Details ( VVA ) Jazz Details ( VFW )
4:30pm-5:45pm Guys’ Choreography ( VVA ) Blues ( VFW )
9pm-midnight Blue Vipers of Brooklyn and Solo Jazz Dance Contest ( VVA )

I taught Can-Can in my Girls Choreo class and had a blast! Getting all those girls to kick up their legs and “woo” together was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. In Jazz Details, we covered Boogie Forward, Squat Charleston, and one other move. Does anyone remember?

I taught a modified version of my fan dance choreography in the blues class so the girls could learn some moves and we could work on movement. Again, I focused in on the details of committing weight to one foot or the other, using the hips, and looking with intention.

Later that night there was a solo dance contest. I haven’t found video of it just yet, but I’ll share it once it’s up. The finalists danced live to The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, who were outstanding. There were a few late night parties after the dance, but Kevin and I needed to go home so we could get some sleep. We wanted to be in tip-top shape to abuse the students the following day 😀

Sunday, March 20th

Time Guys Girls
12pm-1:15pm Jazz Details ( VFW ) Jazz Details ( VVA )
1:30pm-2:45pm Hat Tricks ( VFW ) Secrets of the Killer Dillers ( VVA )
3:00pm-4:15pm ** Big Apple part 2, guys and girls together ** ( VVA )
4:30pm-5:45pm Secrets of the Killer Dillers ( VVA ) Burlesque ( VFW )
After Afterparty at VVA lounge

Another day of successful classes! I started Sunday off by breaking down the details of the Shim Sham. I completely mismanaged our time and took 1hr 40 to do so. I had such a great time though…..all those little detail. Ladies, you were amazing. 😀 I then explained who the Killer Dillers were and then talked about how to compete in Charleston, phrasing music, and gave some quick tips about what to do when you go blank. This class probably would have been more useful to a few people the day before, but c’est la vie.

The Big Apple pt 2 is always a tricky class; the attrition rate is higher than I’d like. I think it’s because it was day 2 of nothing buy jazz, the 2nd half have very little repeating choreo, people max out, and the choreo is a bit fiddly. Hehe (embarrassed), it could have also been that Kev and I had a few flubs in the choreo that we eventually fixed :p But we had a few troopers that made it to the end. Congratulations to you badasses!!

A new favorite of mine was the burlesque class. I had the girls bring heels and we spent time walking. We reviewed what we did in the blues class the day before, but this time wearing heels. We sat, we stood, we took off our jackets, and we walked away. 😀 I thought it was a super fun class! Girls, let me know if the stuff works (or not)!!

The 2011 Swing/Jazz Dance Music Video Contest

Seattle Vintage Jazz Dance is proud to present… the 3rd Annual Swing/Jazz Dance Music Video Contest! The first contest was a resounding success, and the second year was just as amazing! We hope that this year’s contest will be even better!

Have you ever watched one of those old-time soundies and thought that you’d like to be in one yourself? Too shy to dance in front of a live audience but still want to show off your stuff?

You now have a chance to let your imagination go wild and and create what might become the best swing (or jazz) dance music video of 2011! This year’s contest includes permission to use music by Casey MacGill’s Blue 4 Trio, Crytzer’s Blue Rhythm Band, and the Solomon Douglas Swingtet!*

The first place prize is a $700 cash prize and 40 free admission passes to the HepCat Productions weekly swing dance. Second prize is a $150 cash prize.

If you wish to submit an entry to the contest, please read through this web site, especially the FAQ section. The contest deadline is June 02, 2011. You may enter, or participate in, as many videos as you’d like. See contest rules for details.

Entries are to be submitted no later than 11:30PM PDT on Thursday, June 02, 2011.

Please note: you do not have to be from Seattle in order to enter!

FAQs

Contest Details

Music

Also, check out the previous two years’ video contest entries to see all the cool and crazy things that people did!

Heartland Swing Festival 2011

I’ll be honest, I never thought I’d end up in Des Moines, IA (pronounced duh-Moyne), but this past weekend I got to visit a new state. As per usual, I didn’t see much of the city, but I did have a great time at the event. Here’s the run down.

Housing

We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel and had a pimp room. Not only did we have our own bed (yes, that is something to brag about) but we each had our own bathrooms!! That has never happened before. I’m guessing it was because we were at the very back corner of the hotel with the stunning view of two parking lots. 😀

The hotel restaurant and bar were also pretty good. In the mornings, Kev and I went down for breakfast and grabbed food from the buffet. Yeah for fresh fruit!! I only ate dinner at the restaurant one night but mmmm-mmmm it was really, really good. On Sunday night, a bunch of us got together and grabbed drinks at the bar before saying goodbye and again, they had some nice drinks.

Bonus: the hotel was a 5 minute drive away from the dance.

Double bonus: one of the classrooms was on the second floor of the hotel so Kev and I got to roll up to our room and hang out during lunch. Again, that was another first for us.

Noteworthy:  Fastest elevator I’ve ever been in. Hahha, I clearly just got back from Europe where the elevators are small and slow. The Renaissance also had a free airport shuttle. I’m pretty sure Michael was pretty pleased come 7am on Monday morning. :p

Fellow Instructors

We kicked it with Peter & Naomi and Tiff & Kenny this past weekend. I’m starting to see Peter and Naomi more regularly and I have to say, it’s really nice to see familiar faces while on the road. It’s like I get to see my friends at work!! Ah, the small luxuries in life.

Other fab people who were there teaching: Jon Tigert and Mandy Spencer (2010 CJC Champion), Mikey Brafford and Eve Johnson, Jenna Stworzyjanek, Oscar Hampton, Dee Daniels-Locke, and Kenna Sarge & Voice of Culture.

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Temple For Performing Arts – Grand Hall

Uh, yeah. GLORRRRRRRRIOUS.

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Performance

Kenna Sarge & Voice of Culture (Minneapolis, MN) performance on Friday night blew me out of the water. It was incredible. Their drumming and dancing was super hot and their rhythms were incredible. I hope someone posts a video of it!!

I’d also like to note that Kevin and I didn’t perform this weekend. It’s a rare occasion that we don’t perform and I will admit, I enjoyed getting to watch performances all weekend long. That being said, I’m a little sad I didn’t get to perform because I enjoy it so much, but the kids in class got to see me do my thing just a little bit during demos. *smile

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Classes

The upper-level class was impressively good. I wasn’t expecting such a high level. 🙂 Kevin and I got to talk about the difference between rock steps and syncopated rock steps, walking and triple stepping, and bouncing & pulsing. Even more impressive was the fact that people stayed in class even though we had African Drumming going on in the room next door. That was above and beyond the noisiest class I’ve ever been in. Hahah, and I have to apologize, again, to the class for my tourette-like outburst in class. I did think it was funny though.

In our 2-part aerial class, wee covered the Fundamentals of Basing and Flying, a Flying Baby Doll, and finally The Cupcake. We wanted to teach the cupcake unless we had a few students who already learned it. We did have a couple in there that already knew how to do it, so we gave them specific pointer while everyone else learned the pieces. We also showed drags at the end of the flying baby doll and the cupcake, but didn’t have time to go over them. Here’s a rundown on how to do drags/lunges.

For the ladies who asked me a number of questions about turns, here are some more tutorials on the details of turning. The guys worked on spinning on one foot and more info about that can be found here.

A little secret for you: I LOVE teaching in the US. Why? Because people speak American (yes, I said it!) and, more importantly, they know the same cultural references that I do!! I’m hilarious (if I do say so myself) in class, but often times only a few pop-culture junkies fully understand me when I’m abroad. Iowa, thank you for understanding my humor and laughing WITH me. I really, really appreciated it.

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Staff

A big THANK YOU to all the DJs, Bands, and volunteers. Without you guys, an event just wouldn’t run!! Thank you for grabbing us hot chocolate, chai lattes, lunch and bottles of wine. Ooh, and thank you for the rides!

Contest Results

Any Swing Goes – Christian Frommelt & Jenny Shirar
Same Gender – Anthony Chen & Jeremy Russell Nelson Fischer
Team – Swing Dings
Vintage Jazz – Morgan Kestner
Jack & Jill – Anthony Chen & Cassie Stoa
Slow Lindy – Anthony Chen & Chelsea Dvorchak
And congratulations to Rae Mullica for winning Miss Heartland Vintage Pin-up Contest!! To see all the contestants, click here to be redirected to facebook.

Video coming soon!!!

A Flickr photostream from the event!

Photos on Facebook from the event.

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