I have been home for the past few weeks and it’s been absolutely lovely. One of the great pleasures of being home is that I can train whenever and however I please. While at Hoodstock, I tend to keep odd hours (but not really for a lindy hopper) and sometimes I train at 7pm, 11pm, or 1am. The thing is, I can train whenever I feel like it and have a solid session because I chose to be there. That being said, I train when I don’t necessarily want to, but there is nothing like being motivated and getting to do your thing.
Before ILHC I would do 20-40 minutes on the elliptical machine and then dance around to charleston music. Sometimes I’d learn a jazz routine online and run that a bunch of times, or run the solo jazz standards like The Big Apple, Trankie Do, and the Al & Leon Shim Sham. Or sometimes I’d switch it up and do some Tahitian dancing. Whatever I felt. It was awesome.
I find that just doing lindy hop doesn’t quite keep me in the same shape it used to. Mind you, it still does a great job, but I find that I mostly work the same muscles over and over again. I recently (like last week) added tap into my cross training and that just kicks my ass. Wow, there is so much more bouncing in tap (Note: I am choosing to bounce as much as I do…sometimes I try to take some of the hopping out so I can speed things up, otherwise I feel like I am jumping rope…..a very thin rope)!
So yeah. Cross train. It’s important to keep your muscles balances (we tend to either lead or follow….one side is dominant), keep up your flexibility, and keep expanding your dance mind. Just ask Bobby White how important it is to cross train, or Marty Klempner; P90X anyone?
And here is a short article from the New York Times, 25 January 1939 edition (page 18). If you need something historical to get you up and moving, hopefully this will do it!
1939: Doctor Advises Jitterbugs to Train
Advises Jitterbugs to Train
Jitterbugs should train in the same way that athletes do, or face the prospect of thick ankles, broken, maladjusted feet and exhausted nervous systems, according to Dr. John J. Lalli of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy. He holds that no good can come from doing the Susie-Q, the Big Apple or other such modern dances, and describes them as “throwbacks to the war and religious dances of primitive tribes.”