The Ax’s

Dax and Max are a freaking handful, especially when they are together. Check out these two ridiculously talented dancers killin’ it!

Girls, seriously, we have to pick up our game!! I wonder who is going to kick ass at Camp Hollywood’s Underground Championships this year?

Bravo Gentlemen. Bravo!

Argentina Representing at ESDC 2011

Argentina put themselves on the map this past weekend at the European Swing Dance Championships. Six superb dancing came this weekend to compete and they threw down. Many of you already know Juan Villafane who has been teaching and traveling since Fall 2007 with his stunning partner Sharon Davis, but for many, this might be the first time you’ve seen many of the other talent from the other side of the world!

So take a look and see how well Argentina did to represent themselves on the world stage. I am so proud of all them and I’m so appreciate that they came to show the community how fantastic they all are.

Team – 2nd place Manuel Ignacio Bicain Goral, Juan Ignacio Villafane, Agustina Zero-Setién, Mariel Gastiarena and Tina Rizza

I don’t remember if Juan helped with the choreography or did all of it, but regardless, it’s a fantastic piece of choreo and they freaking danced it well. Did you see the Flying Lotus?!!! Tina & Gaston have some AMAZING photos of them doing the lotus….so jealous!!

Showcase – 3rd place Gastón Fernández & Tina Rizza


I am so happy that they decided to do their routine. I heard many people this past weekend backed out of competing because they didn’t feel ready enough, but luckily Tina and Gaston didn’t get caught up in that. Tina’s backflip near the end is a little exciting, but because she held her body strong, she landed it and kept moving. I love the choreography, how the use the floor, and their partner connection. I am so proud of you two.

Solo Blues – Agustina Zero-Setién

She freaking KILLED it. Plain and simple, she danced. She went out there, listened to the music, and just freaking moooooved. She was sexy, dirty, rhythmical, elegant, and sassy. Agustina, you were spectacular. Thank you for showing us how it’s done!

Strictly Blues Finals – 1st Place Gaston Fernandez & Mariel Gastiarena

What can you say except “Wow.”

Congratulations to all of you! Argentina, you should be proud; you’re crew threw down this weekend.

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)!!