I Charleston – Berlin

The videography work and the direction of this video is awesome!

Musik: Good Night Circus : http://www.myspace.com/goodnightcircus

My favorite part is when people are dancing on the cement blocks (1:54) and with the guards (2:10). Gaah, I want video doing that!

The question is, when are the Ninjammerz coming to your city?

ESDC 2011 – Cabaret

Yes, ESDC happened long enough ago that this might seem like odd timing for this post, but I don’t care. *smile Here are my favorites from Cabaret Division at the European Swing Dance Championships back in June 2011.

Pure, and utter ridiculousness. I so badly want to be in this routine. Oh, the energy!

Seriously, I think I’d be the tallest one in this routine. I don’t think I can say that I’ve ever been the tallest in anything I’ve done before.

The boys doing their Jazz thing:

I think I prefer the three boy version to the duo. Firstly, there are more boys to adore, but mainly I like the balance of the movement and shapes. Uh….all of them are so classy *grin

Kevin doing an awesome job with his hat trick routine:

Dax & Sarah being fabulous as always:


Dang it, they’re snazzy!

What were your favorites?

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!

Vote for Dax & Sarah

Two of my loveliest, gorgeous, talented friends are currently competing on CBS Live To Dance. Dax Hock and Sarah Breck are doing a fantastic job representing Lindy Hop to the mainstream media and is bring such much needed recognition to a dance form that is under appreciated.

Please take a minute to VOTE FOR THEM. There are 3 ways to vote for your favorite acts on Live To Dance:

1) Call  1-855-live-to-5  10 times
2) text the number 5 to 97979 10 times
3) Voting online: go here to the website to become a registered user of cbs.com in order to vote. Do this 25 times!

Voting via toll-free and text message will remain open for 2 hours after the show broadcast in each region. Online voting will remain open until 9:00 am PT/ 12 noon ET each Thursday.

Here’s a snippet from the show before they made it to semi-finals.

Now go vote 45 times! xoxo

Dearest Dax, I hope you back gets better. I know this darn injury has been chasing you for a while. Darling Sarah, keep doing what you’re doing. I wish you both the best of luck. Thank you for representing lindy hop. We all love you. xoxo

UPDATED: Here’s there performance from tonight

Videos that Make me Smile

Sometimes a great video goes a long way. Here are some things that put a smile on my face this week:


Lady Gaga would be proud!


A very slow, sexy shim sham, no? Gotta give it up for Kęstas, Šlimas, and Andrius for being such classy dudes.


“Goodness, I taste delicious!”


Buwahahah!! That’s the password to the internet at our hotel!!!!

And finally, and Oldie (but Goodie)

Swing, Brother Swing 2010

I must applaud Silvia for putting on such a wonderful event this year. Swing, Brother Swing was originally a boogie woogie event, yet billed as a lindy event, and has finally turned the corner and has become a proper lindy event (thank goodness). I’d say the biggest change has come from the clientele; three years ago there were very few, if any, Italian lindy hoppers, and now they number in the low hundreds. The ex-boogie dancers can’t escape their roots, but the new slue of beginning and intermediate dancers are truly lindy hoppers (in the sense they have no other dance background).

Silvia and Bruno are the organizers of Swing, Brother Swing and put countless hours into turning their boogie event into a proper lindy hop extravaganza. This year had a lindy-only line-up of instructors: Steven & Virginie, Dax & Alice, Mike & Nina, Joseph & Trisha, Joel & Valerie, and all the Killer Dillers: Kevin & Jo, Sharon & Juan, and Nathan & Evita. What a great group! From my perspective, it was fantastic to have my entire team there as well as some great friends. One of the highlights of the weekend was on Sunday night after our late dinner. Mike, Nathan, and Kevin had their instruments out and Nathan and Evita sang along (yup, Nathan does both). Sharon kept rhythm with some brushes; Dax and Sarah social danced; Mindaugas, Alice, and I worked on moves; Juan went back and forth between dancing and watching videos; and some Italians watched the spectacle in awe. The group just clicked and we had a blast! Definitely one of the best late nights I’ve had this year.

So the teaching line-up was solid, and so were the DJs. Silvia brought in Swingin’ Swannee (from Berlin) and Mindaugas (from Lithuania) to DJ when we didn’t have live music. They played some great stuff….stuff I think most of the Italian scene hadn’t heard before. To top that off, we had The Nine Pennies and The Nine Pennies Big Band, with whom the Killer Dillers performed live. They’ve come a long way since Kevin and I first danced to them in 2008. Roberto, the director and composer for the NPBB, did an outstanding job of writing out 9 songs for the show we did on Saturday. Given, he’d written out the score for The Big Apple the year prior, but still….that’s a ton of work!

So here’s the run down of the show. On Saturday, each Killer Diller taught 2 classes, did a double rehearsal, and put on a live 30 minute show to the Nine Pennies Big Band. For us as performers, this was a huge opportunity. This was our first show to a live band in Italy! EEEEKKK!

Some challenges that made the show all the more exciting:
1) We all live in various places and subsequently have very different travel schedules
2) Because of that, our rehearsal time as a group of 6 is extremely limited (6 hours total this weekend. Last group rehearsal was in December for Lindy Focus)
3) To top it off, we have to do choreo via video (eek….what if we weren’t perfect on video? What if we weren’t specific enough? etc.)
4) We were not able to get the music before the show, so we had to assume what we’d be performing to was going to be similar to our recordings
5) When we did our run throughs with the band, not all the members were there, so we weren’t quite sure what the final sound would be like
6) Due to an Icelandic volcano erupting, I couldn’t get back home and get our costumes together. Evita and Nathan had to scramble around NY and find something suitable. Needless to say, they found better costumes that I originally did.
7) During a live show, anything can happen: the band might play at a different tempo than in rehearsal, the solos sound different, costume pieces don’t do what they’re supposed to, lighting might be in the wrong spot, etc.

Knowing that, here’s the show:

Killer Diller Show at Swing Brother Swing, Bologna Italy, May 2010 from Killer Dillers

Yeah yeah yeah!!!

In regards to the rest of the weekend, the food was great, the company was fantastic, the rooms were nice, we had water, the sounds systems worked, the students were great and our translators were awesome. As an organizer, Silvia and Bruno took great care of us, threw a great event, and were all around awesome. Oh yeah, and the Showcase and Team competition were tons of fun! This year we saw significantly more lindy hop!!

xoxo

Swinglandia 2010

To be honest, I didn’t think Swinglandia was going to be one of my favorite events of 2010, but it was. Instead of it just being another work weekend, it was a dance and party weekend for me. *smile

My first gig with Kevin was Swinglandia 2007 and it was fun, but rough. Kevin and I had never taught together before meaning we had to plan all 15 hours of classes on top of teaching them and we put together a piece to perform at the cabaret (i.e. long working hours). “Because it was spring” the heat was not on in the rooms, but it was snowing out. At that point in time, I was living in Southern California where it’s typically warm year round and had no need for proper winter clothing. Needless to say, I was fucking freezing almost the entire weekend. To top it off, our room was super janky: the bed was too small for Kev and the “springs” drooped heavily in mine, we had no toilet seat, and someone had ripped the mirror in that bathroom off the wall. Overall the weekend was challenging, but the students were amazing and the energy was outstanding. Now, a few years later, I realize that a camp of that size was perhaps a bit much for me at that time in my career with Kevin.

Swinglandia 2007

In all, Kevin and I had a fun time and we went back the following year. We had a much nicer room and it didn’t snow. Already a step up! Again, the students were great, the food was similar, the music was fine, and the people were fun.

Swinglandia 2008

But this year it was a freaking party! And not to say that it wasn’t a party before, I guess I just wasn’t participating in camp life to the fullest. Highlights of Swinglandia 2010:

1. Dax & Sarah were there. I absolutely adore the two of them and don’t get to see them nearly enough. Getting to pal around with them really made my week. ♥ you two!!

2. The Rhythm Junkies were there!!! Mindaugas, Milda, Vytautas, Dangiras, Tomas, Juste, Marius, Andrius, and Giedrė represented. Not only are they great musicians, but they are awesome dancers as well. How crap, I had such a blast dancing with them! On top of that, their English is outstanding, they have a great sense of humor, and they’re all gorgeous. I think I fall in love with each one of them every time I see them. Girls and guys both! All of them, even the ones that stayed back in Lithuania are absolutely studs! I am secretly (or not so secretly) hoping to marry one of them and work on getting my E.U. citizenship. =)

3. The parties were a blast. Perhaps the biggest difference this year for me was that I partied (what the hell did I do the other years?). I stayed up late, I danced around, I drank, I dressed up, I had a blast! Swinglandia is big on having a theme (similar to Herrang) and this year it was “army”. Oooh ooh, guess who has an aviator outfit? That’s right… me! Here’s a video of an Aviator and someone from Naval Intelligence dancing together:

Yup, that’s Kevin swinging me out in flippers. What a guy!

4. The Jack & Jill. The prelims were ridiculous. We had 60 couples to judge and we started judging at 2am. Let’s just say that was a long night. =) Now the finals….wow….they were awesome to watch:

You’ll have to click on the related videos to see the other 6 videos.

Mindaugas was freaking awesome. He is such an elegant mothertrucker. If you don’t know him, he’s the second leader that comes out. Fuck, check out his swing outs! And Veit freaking killed it!! I was super impressed (he’s the second leader in the second clip of Jack&Jill finals). To top it off, the music was great!!! I want to compete to those songs!!

5. The social dancing rocked. I had such a fun time!! Haha, it felt like I was a camper again and I got to dance for me. I felt like my soul had been fed. I had some great dances with too many people to name, but in particular Dangiras. I don’t think I’ve had that many dances with one person in a row for quite some time. Thank man for putting up with me =)

6. The cabaret! Uncle Aubergine were off the hook! “Дядя Баклажан” [dyadya baklajan] Members include  Jimmy Monahan (George III), “Rhythm Junkies”: Dangis, Tomas and Andrius, and the one and only Fedor Nedotko!

7. New friends. I had such a blast (hahah, are you seeing a trend?) with so many new people. Wow, I dig that side of the world. Thank you to all the people that made Swinglandia happen, the staff, The Rhythm Junkies for holding it down, George III (Jimmy Monahan) for killing it on the clarinet and being one cool cat, Vitalii and Oksana for hosing Kevin and me, and Dax & Sarah for being awesome. xoxoxo