This is the way it'll work: I'm posting videos under a bunch of different categories, and then I'll post my overall favorites last which will be right after the New Year. The overall ones won't be listed with the rest. I'm using the term social very broadly here since I'm including a couple of competitions, but I didn't feel like breaking them out into their own category. Most of this is improvised Lindy Hop though.
Check out the introduction to get an overblown description of what I take into consideration when watching videos.
Now onto the dancey dancing!
Lindyfest 2010 - Instructor Jam
If you wanted to show someone the state of Lindy Hop in 2010, I would show them this clip featuring 18 of the community's most influential dancers from Skye Humphries to Dawn_Hampton dancing to one of the best swing band leaders in the country, Jonathan Stout. No competition, just straight up, super casual social dancing by the best of the best.
Todd appears on this list a lot so get used to it. Invitational J & J's are more show than they are competition, but still emphasize social, non choreographed dance. LSC added a nifty twist this past year by having everyone dance to two songs, with the second being either a neo-swing song or a super club jam. I like it because it brings that upper tier just a little closer to earth. Here Todd & Naomi demonstrate that it doesn't matter what you play, they can dance the sh!t out of anything.
Grenoble Swing Dance Festival 2010 - Jack & Jill - Finale
I kinda like the "America, F@#$ Yeah!" vibe that the Americans (Alex Dreyer, Andrew Thigpen, Karen Turman, and Sarah Deckard) bring to this French competition. That basically means lots of swinging out and yelling.
Grenoble Swing Dance Festival 2010 - Cabaret - Nina Gilkenson & Todd Yannacone
Todd improvs another classy social dance, this time with Nina. I love the interaction between these two. It's amazing to see two dancers project so much without acknowledging the audience.
Lone Star Championships 2010 All-Star Invitational Jack & Jill - All Skate Finals
An entertaining finale to an entertaining division featuring three awesome old school moments towards the end. First is Nina & Naomi reliving their glory days together before Todd comes in, leads them both, and end with the Double Minnie Dip of Awesome. Finally, Karen Turman and Peter Strom with the literal picture perfect ending.
The Exchange 2010 (Seoul, Korea) - Nina Gilkenson & Michael Faltesek
Nina shows up on these lists a lot too. Her secret is that she's good. Try not to spread that around. Mikey isn't bad either.
2010 ILHC Jam - Jonathan Stout and His Campus Five
My favorite part is towards the end of with Nina & Naomi dancing together starting at about 5:00. As I referenced before in the Lone Star All skate, these two have a long history. It's amazing to see these two
girls women come so far in the past 12 years; from a couple of weird girls that came up with random mini- routines for the weekly jams to being two of the most influential dancers in our community.
ILHC 2010 - Invitational Jack and Jill Lindy - Todd Yannacone & Annie Trudeau
When I first saw Todd many years ago, I always thought he was too inwardly focused to really be embraced by the Lindy scene at large, but that's very much not the case here. Along with Annie, they've won at least three major Jack & Jill events in the past year or so.
ILHC 2010 - Champions Strictly Lindy Hop- Finals
There's a lot of story lines running in this contest. It almost feels like there's two different contests going on here with the high flying duel between Laura Keat & Nick Williams and Annie Trudeau & Max Pitruzzella while everyone else is dancing a more ground based game. This is also a pick with more nostalgia related to it. There's at least three couples dancing together that came into their own about eight years ago, Jo Hoffberg.com & Todd, Carla Heiney & Kevin St. Laurent, and Naomi & Skye.
Swingum 2010 - Frida Segerdahl & Skye Humphries
I actually skipped over this clip the first time I saw it, but I've been appreciating it more recently. They're two of the very few dancers out there that can blow you away just with their quality of movement alone. Yet it's so subtle these days, that it kinda sneaks up on you.
This one benefits from showing up this weekend, but I really like it because the dancing is super casual and very musical. There's also a good interaction with the band with the dancers acknowledging them directly a couple of times. I also really appreciate the video quality and camera work that's dynamic throughout; moving around the dance floor alternating between the dancers and the band, but not so suddenly that it reminds me that I'm watching a video. It does a good job of making me feel like I'm actually hanging out at a social dance in Montreal.
Savoy Swing Jam 2010 - Jack n' Jill Finals
This is a hot contest, but my favorite part is right up front with Josh Welter's tribute to Peter Strom's Crossover J & J performance at Boston tea Party the year before.