Lindy Focus X Highlights

Here are my personal highlights from Lindy Focus X (and yes, I know these are suuuuuuuuuuper late):

9) The people!!!

First I need to thank the volunteer staff for being so incredibly awesome. They did a fantastic job making sure that everything was running in the background so that everyone could have a great time. THANK YOU to the cooks, transportation liaison, coordinator, music and sound technicians, hotel staff for making sure we had water, the DJs, photographers, videographers, the lighting coordinators, and everyone else who helped out Michael and Jaya in the background.

Secondly, I want to thank all of the people that attended, especially the students. You and your and enthusiasm are what make doing my job such a treat. You guys made the event as fierce as it was. I get to do what I do because of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

8) The Nutcrackers.

 

7) Andrew Thigpen as the MC.

6) Nina Gilkenson impersonating Andrew Thigpen:

5) The Balitquerque party.

The Baltimore and Albequerque scene teamed up some time ago and have been throwing legendary parties at various dance events. At the end of these various events, Dorry (one of the head honchos in Baltimore) would rave about the party and ask us why Kevin and I weren’t there. Unfortunately, we never got an invitation. This happened at two events. No bueno (*shakes head). So this year, Dorry made an extra effort to make sure we felt included.

Kevin and I received our invitations during our Swing Out Intensive.

Andrew Munoz dressed up in his tux and cordially informed us that we were invited to (*use your best British accent here) “enjoy an evening of tomfoolery” and that we should swing by room 166 around 7 o’clock. How delightful!

Here are some pictures that barely do the night justice.

  

 

This video is too dark to see the madness, but it’s a good start 😀

4) Winning the Invitational Jack & Jill with Todd Yannacone. That competition was really hard to judge so I’m very surprised that we took 1st. I am positive the scores are all over the board, so I have to give a shout out to the Relative Placement system! 😀

3) Nath Bugh and Dorry Segev Dueling Piano number from the show on New Years Eve. The video speaks for itself.

2) Performing five new numbers this year, most of which I learned in the two weeks prior to the event.

The most challenging act I did was my solo jazz piece called My Discarded Men. I probably spent around 35 hours putting this routine together and trying to teach myself how to make the particular shapes I did. It wasn’t perfect, but I am really proud of myself.

The least physically demanding, and most fun was performing my drunken striptease. Hahhaa, it’s so nice to get to be ridiculous sometimes! Otherwise, it was a real pleasure to get to work with Gabby, Kelly, Melanie, Casey, and Natasha on the girls charleston piece in the New Years Eve show, as well as The Killer Dillers on our most recent group number. Finally, Sharon created a gorgeous choreography that had the ladies of the KD mostly naked on the floor.

1) All of the ridiculously awesome social dances I had on the last night!! Ok, so I was a little buzzed off of all the champagne I had, but man, my following was pretty freaking awesome (*toot toot). I had a number of really-freaking good dances that night, but in particular, I felt that I really connected with Todd and Mikey. Not only that, but Jonathan Stout and His Campus Five were playing. Gaaaaaaaaaah, the music was soooooooooooo freaking gooooood!!!

The Vital Moustache Issue

Buwahaahha! This just tickles me silly! “Always tackling the BIG topics, Lindybeige brings you the latest on swing dance camp moustache-related musings. In 2010 many of the top male swing dancers suddenly sprouted thin moustaches. The trend continues and seems still to be waxing.”

Photograph of Juan by Ana Luz Crespi.
Photograph of Peter by Luka Dolenc.

Oh yeah, and here’s a picture of Bobby with a pencil mustache 😀

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!!

Lone Star Championship 2011 – Invitational Competition

Invitational Strictly – Spotlight 1

Invitational Strictly – Spotlight 2

You might notice that I dressed differently than I typically do. Lisa Casper (New Orleans) outfitted me from head to toe. That is her yellow bandanna, yellow top, and skirt. The fun thing about that skirt is that she made that herself! I think this might be the making of a new clothing designer in our scene!! (And and and, in a very short while I’ll be selling hair accessories handmade by her!!)

RESULTS

1) Nick Williams and Laura Keat
2) Peter Strom and Naomi Uyama
3) Todd Yannacone and Jo Hoffberg

Jack and Jill!!!!!!

What set this competition apart from all the others was the music. We danced to a lindy hop song and then something that fell into the karaoke/soul category. Nick Williams and I were brave enough to choose Karaoke Grab Bag, and to be honest, I think it was a great choice. 🙂

FAVORITE MOMENTS:
1) Sucking on the lindy hop portion and then finding total redemption with a Star Lift. To top that off, Nick’s “fork in the garbage disposal” moment. And I have to give Chia-Wen Lin a shout out for being such an awesome team player as well as Carla for continuing to play along.
2) Andrew Thigpen and Carla Heiney dancing to “Summer Nights” from Greece (14:41). She made such a great Sandra Dee and they both acted the crap out the song!! Hahha, and getting to be backup singers….man… I’ll never forget that.
3) Peter Strom and Mia Goldsmith’s dance was……so many things (21:39)!! One way to describe it is “not work appropriate”. Another: daaaaaaaaannng! Just watch everyone’s reaction in the background. Funny stuff. 🙂
4) Nikki Marvin swivel moment (28:30) shortly followed up by Jeremy Otth’s circle slide (28:35) and finger point (just to make sure you saw it dancing to Footloose (28:56). When he undid his suspenders….we all nearly lost it! He made such a great Kevin Bacon….it was ridiculous!

Naomi Uyama also did a fantastic job picking out the music!! People we so well suited to the music they chose. Love it!

RESULTS:

1) Chance Bushman and Karen Turman (6:00)
2) Nick Williams and Jo Hoffberg (9:47)
3) Peter Strom and Mia Goldsmith (19:56)

Favorite Moments at ILHC 2010

If you didn’t make it to ILHC 2010, I am very sorry, because it was one of the greatest competition weekends I feel the scene has had in a few years. Not everyone was able to make it this year – Frida, Zacke, Sharon Davis, Juan, Dax, and Sarah to name a few – but there was still an amazing showing of people. There were so many inspiring moments that I’d have a hard time thinking that anyone could walk away without the feeling of “WOW.”

People brought their A-Game and that’s all there is too it. In many ways, I didn’t feel like the placement matter….everybody rocked.

Here are some favorite moments:

Solo Charleston Contest

My dance partner kicked ass and won! Not only that, but he had someone do a front flip over his head, and he still won. That’s gotta say something!

Invitational Jack and Jill Lindy – Todd Yannacone & Annie Trudeau

There are many reasons to include this – like the fact they won – but the reason I do is because of what Todd said before he went out. During Skye’s and Laura’s dance, Skye brought Laura and himself over to the Baltimore Section of the floor. Todd smiled and said that was a cheap shot. Then, when it was Todd’s turn, he not only took the SAME “cheap shot”, but then blew that shot out of the water! He went to the Baltimore corner, showed Annie off to the judges, then to the far corner, and then ran by all the the instructors sitting on stage. Hahaha….very, very amusing.

Invitational Jack and Jill Lindy – Stefan Durham & Jo Hoffberg

The dances I have with Stefan are like none other. He is super creative and I dig his lines. Fun Fact: he drew me in the J&J at ILHC in 2008 as well!

ILHC 2010 – Showcase – Max Pitruzzella & Annie Trudeau

There are sooooooo many things that can be said about this gorgeous routine. The energy, their creativity, their musicality, their aerials, their….. everything. Congratulations to both Max & Annie on their win.

ILHC 2010 – Showcase – Andrew Thigpen & Karen Turman

They killed it!!!!!!!!! Andrew and Karen ARE the spirit of Lindy Hop, according to me. They bring so much energy, heart, and love to the dance, it’s inspiring. I am so honored to have made it into Lindy Hop History this way. For me, this dance will be one to stand the test of time. If only two clips of lindy hop were to survive an apocalypse, I hope it’d be Hellzapoppin’ and this one.

ILHC 2010 – Classic Lindy – Thomas Blacharz & Alice Mei

After they came off the floor, I told them I thought they were the couple to beat. What an amazing job they did!!! The choreography is musical and intricate, they performance is stunning, and frankly, the just danced the shit out of that routine!

ILHC 2010 – Classic Lindy – Kevin St. Laurent & Jo Hoffberg

I am adding myself to the list because I am super proud of what Kevin and I did. This is our first Classic piece and the reviews we’ve been given were pretty spectacular. What was most noteworthy to me about this performance was that I felt like we had SO MUCH TIME while performing. Normally I have to think about the choreography and focus on the details while performing, but here, I had time to look at the audience, the judges, and Kevin. I just felt like…..it was effortless. That was a first for me. 🙂

ILHC 2010 – Pro Champions Strictly Lindy – Finals

I thought this was a great showing for the pros AND it was a return to the old school. Kevin & Carla reunited to kick some ass (they took 3rd), Skye and Naomi danced together, and Todd and I competed (we were partners many years ago). It was an old school battle.

And Finally, the Yes Dance!

Yeah, this isn’t the one that was done, but I can’t find a link to it. If you find it, please let me know!!!

Lone Star 2010

It sounds like Lone Star Championships was the place to be this past weekend. I’ve been checking out videos on youtube and I have to say, I think I missed out! If I hadn’t been working, I would have been there. Buggar!!! Ok, next year, I am there. This is me saying that once I know the dates for Lone Star 2011, I am blocking out those dates!

So here are some videos that caught my eye:

You have to wait for the “Super” song starting at 2:17. The amount of humping, shaking and hair swirling is fantastic. And to top it off, Naomi has to break it up at the end. Incredible!

Speaking of Naomi, she is just awesome in this! And Todd….holy crap!! So here’s the thing: If you’re an advance-intermediate dancer, you should be able to lead everything he did: swing outs, tuck turns, circles, jig walks, and kick ups, hell….even I can. But what he’s doing is so much more than just those moves. It’s the quality of his movement, the musicality, the simplicity, and the beauty of his dirty style. Now that, my friends, is some fine self-expression!

How cool is this that two partners drew themselves in the J&J (and so early in their partnership)! Sarah is an up & comer in the International Lindy scene and she’s fierce. Just check her out in the second song. Sarah kills it!! Fierce. Can’t wait to see what the girl brings next.

Here’s my girl Evita and the honorary Killer Diller, Michael. I first saw this number at ILHC 2009 and I shed a tear. It’s a gorgeous number and the two of them dance it so beautifully. I guess I shouldn’t expect anything less from two professional dancers from New York. 😉

And for the last video of this post:

Juan freaking KILLS it in the semi-finals. Tons of people are going to watch the finals, but I think it’d be such a shame to miss this. Movement, musicality, and a muscle shirt…..a-Mazing!