Awesome moments in Lindy Hop

This past weekend I was at Followlogie in Quebec, Canada and during the lunch time Q&A session we were asked what was a great moment in lindy hop for us. It was such a good question that I am going to put my answers here, on hopefully find some links to them.

My awards, in no particular order:

Greatest all-skate of my life time:
– ULHS 2005 – Fast Dance contest. After all the competitors had danced in their heats, there was the greatest all-skate of all time. While balancing on a chair, smushed against the wall, I watched in awe as the 30 couples on the floor swung out to “Jumping at the Woodside” as hard as they could. Not only that, but the audience clapped on beat!! And it was the most amazing thing I had seen to that day.

Greatest swing outs in a jam:
– Camp Hollywood 2008 – Strictly lindy hop finals – Mikey Pedroza and Nina Gilkenson. They were the only couple that made it to finals that weren’t regular partners and they still threw down. We, the competitors, slowly realized that all we were seeing were swingout, and they just kept going. It was an awesome build-up with an even better finish. They went all the way.  Now watch it.

Greatest Aerial-prop moment:
– ILHC 2008 – Showcase Division – Max & Annie. Kevin and I were the first to put the Flying Lotus on the competition dance floor, and Max & Annie were the first to take it to the next level. It was so fucking badass; their height, their timing, and their ingenuity floored me. My god, are they good.

Greatest all-time moment:
– ILHC 2008 – Junior Division. I cried. The audience cried. We all lost it. For me, this was the first moment that I knew there would be a future for lindy hop. These little guys give me hope that the thing I hold so close and dear to my heart will continue to grow. Watch, enjoy, and cherish the moment.

School kills creativity. Be a dancer instead.

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Why you should listen to him:
Why don’t we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says. It’s a message with deep resonance. Robinson’s TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006. The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? “Everyone should watch this.”

A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements.

Highlights of ILHC

This was the most well run event I have ever attended. The people at the registration desk were very quick, efficient, and nice, as well at the people over seeing the competition side of things (thank you Tony and Aurelie). When there was an issue, things were resolved there on the spot, instead of having to deal with more people than necessary. There was no bullshit. It was lovely.

Competitions ran on time. I think there was one competition we ran a tad behind on, but only by 10 minutes or so. It was amazing – I’ve never seen lindy hoppers be so punctual! The dance floor was great, the hotel rooms were nice, and there was lots of food within a 3 minute walk from the hotel. Fucking sweet. And let’s not forget the music: it was great all weekend long and the sound was nice and full. I applaud everyone who made that event as wonderful as it was.

Ok, now to the juicy stuff, and in no particular order:

The Junior Division
I cried. I totally cried. The first couple came out and I lost it when Derrick did the first move. While watching Derrick and Sioban, it finally struck me why children are truly such little treasures: they mean the future. There is a possibility that if a child learns something, then that “something” has a chance to be past down. Derrick and Sioban mean there is a future for lindy hop. I think everyone shed a tear while they were dancing; I don’t know if it was for the same reasons, but nonetheless, we were all moved by them. Here they are:

The Solo Charleston Division

One name, two words: Marty Klempner.
One color, and a five piece outfit: a red zoot suit.
One dance, twelve dancers: the Big Apple.
Now watch:

One word: Truckin’.

I have to give props to Max and Annie as well. I give them “The Best Use of Props in a Showcase” award, hands down. Dax threw Max a hat in the middle of the routine, then Annie does the Flying Lotus and takes the hat from Max, whereby placing it on her head, and then Max steals it back. All done in one shot. They didn’t even need a back-up plan! Check it out:

Finally, I must give mad props to Stefan and Bethany. They are such an inspiration and they thrown down. They never compromise their style, and the just DANCE. They are my movement heros (and will appropriately be at Inspiration Weekend this Labor Day): Just watch them:

Otherwise, I am super proud of me and Kev doing two brand new routines in about 2 weeks. We’ve never done that before, so it’s a first for us. At some point we are hoping to see our showcase, so if you see it first, send me a link to it! Oh yeah, and I took 2nd in the Charleston contest and I have been out of the solo dancing loop for some time now. I give myself 2 pats on the back.

ILHC Results

Champions Lindy:
1 – Nick Williams & Carla Heiney
2 – Max Pitruzezlla & Annie Trudeau
3 – Jeremy Otth & Laura Keat

Open Lindy Strictly:
1 – Juan Villafane & Sharon Davis
2 – Jamie Cameron & Crista Seipp
3 – Carl Nelson & Joanna Lucero

Showcase:
1 – Max Pitruzzella & Annie Trudeau
2 – Nick William s& Laura Keat
3 – Kevin St. Laurent & Emily Hoffberg
4 – Stefan and Bethany

Classic:
1 – Zack Richard & Carla Heiney
2 – Dax Hock & Alice Mei
3 – Kevin St. Laurent & Emily Hoffberg

Invitational J&J:
1 – Max Pitruzzella & Bethany Powell
2 – Todd Yannacone & Annie Trudeau
3 – Dax Hock & Marie Mattsson

Advanced J&J:
1 – Stephen Jean & Laura Glaess
2 – Jamie Cameron & Crista Seipp
3 – Mike Roberts & Kate Hedin

Team:
1 – Northern Lights
2 – Team Canada
3 – Hot Mess

Solo Charleston:
1 – Hurley (from FL)
2 – Emily Hoffberg
3 – Juan Villafane

Pro-Am:
1 – Lee Tucker & Kelly Arsenault
2 – Andrew Thigpen & Emily Hoffberg
3 – Abigail Browning & Nick Williams

Juniors:
1 – Ian Herrick & Ellie Hanus
2 – Derrick Summerville & Sioban Tompkins
3 – Catalino Lopez & Sasha Cross

Cabaret:
1 – Kelly Arsenault
2 – Rockstep Brothers (Kevin St. Laurent & Juan Villafane)
3 – Lady with the Fan (Sharon Davis)