This summer Kevin and I spent a considerable amount of time, compared to every other year year, drinking at Herrang. Our drink of choice was what we so lovingly call the “Dirty Russian” which is a combination of vodka + hot sauce.
We first tasted this fiery deliciousness in while in Barcelona for ESDC. The description made us cringe for different reasons: Kevin doesn’t like to shoot vodka because it’s too strong and I’m not a fan of hot sauce because it’s too spicy. However, the combination of these two powerhouses is undeniably vaginal awesome.
Unfortunately we didn’t always have hot sauce on us when we were handing out vodka (like ya do *snap) so we had to ask around. Tim Collins was kind enough to let us use some of his habanero sauce and hotdiggitydamn that stuff is hot! And just so you know, after taking a shot with some habanero sauce, there was always some silt left at the bottom of the cup which naturally meant you had to take one more shot to clean the cup (and your sinuses).
ILHC, get ready to get dirty. :D
Just so you all know, being a lindy hopper is super glamorous and is the easiest job in the world ever!
We travel the world, play dress up, listen to great music, hang out with our friends, and get to give back to the community. We rub elbows with the other micro-celebrities, exchange hot new video clips from the 1930s, and spend time being fabulous. Oh the glamour!
On the other hand, we spend a lot of our life in or on our way to airports, or flying from city to city (or doing any version of transportation to get the job done), live out of a suitcase, dance to the same music that we’ve been listening to for years (darn you Barbara Morrison & Diana Krall and your music that is soooooo often played!), and have a limited sense of personal privacy.
Ok, sarcasm and reality aside, I LOVE being a lindy hop instructor and wouldn’t trade my job for another. I am exceptionally grateful that my teenage hobby has provided me with a living and that there are so many lindy hop scenes around the world that are thriving. In all honestly, I have a great life and I know it. That being said, it’s nice to gripe every now and again, so here’s a little glimpse into what it means to being an international lindy hop instructor:
My travel schedule in May/June:
Tuesday, May 24 – Pittsburgh to Seattle (Camp Jitterbug)
Tuesday, May 31 – Seattle – Frankfurt – Thessoloniki (Swing n’ Swim)
Tuesday, June 7 – Thessoloniki – Rome – Kuala Lumpur – Melbourne (Melbourne Swing Festival)
Monday, June 13 – Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur – Rome – Barcelona (ESDC)
Tuesday, June 21 – Barcelona – JFK – Pittsburgh (Home)
Glamorous right?! Not really.
So that was the overview of my month. Let’s take a quick look at one of my biggest travel days in 2011, shall we?
4:45 wake up
5:10 leave apartment in Thessoloniki, Greece
5:30 arrive at airport
6:55 flight to Rome, Italy
- 2 hour flight, 1 hour time change -
7:55 arrive in Rome
- 6 hour layover -
13:50 flight to Kuala Lumpur
- 12 hours later -
8:30 arrive in Kuala Lumpur
- 4 hour layover -
flight to Melbourne, Australia
22:05 arrive in Melbourne
+ 1.5 hours through Customs and to get bags
+ 45 minute drive to host’s house
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:
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.
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 :D
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):
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.
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?