Just a word about wording. The title means what it says, says what it means. This is just stuff that I like, and is by no means meant to be any sort of definitive compilation of the year's best performances. I like dancing, and I don't always have a good reason for stuff I like more than others. The intro is here and social dance highlights are here.
I also just figured out how many of these posts there will be. The magic number is 9, but that includes the introduction. Although I haven't quite figured out what to call them. They will encompass the breath and diversity of the current practitioners of American Vernacular Jazz Dance.*
The Last Bounce - The Harlem Hot Shots
Speaking of rocking out, The Fly Rights here do a great job with one of the most over-used competition songs out there. I love the crowd reaction that really gets into the routine. I think there needs to be more yelling in Lindy Hop. Here's My Camp Hollywood overview.
Festival de Jazz de Montréal - The Ninjammerz with Caravan Palace
Rocking out is what everyone was doin’ this year. Honestly, I’m a bit divided on this one mostly because I don’t care for the music at all. But I have to give the Ninjammerz credit for coming through with a big time performance in front of a big time crowd. Plus this is a pretty slick, pseudo music video.
Oldschool Battle 2010 - Harlem Hot Shots Vs. Sreets ‘R’ Us
Like last year, there were just too many highlights from this showdown between the Harlem Hot Shots and the hip hop crew Streets ’R’ Us, so I’ll start with this and you guys can go check out my full overview if you haven’t already seen it. Interesting tidbit from Yehoodi, apparently this was a benefit in order to support a project to keep at risk youth off out of trouble. Go Hot Shots.
Seoul Hoppers & Bubz
I really liked this routine even if it placed 5th, but the competition was pretty stiff. The choreography stood out for me and it was performed with a lot of great energy.
The Midnight Rounders at The Stadshuset
File this under "taking advantage of your surroundings." Check out the dude in the vest as he makes good use of this very unique performance area. Along with the lighting and the angle of the camera, it’s a pretty dramatic setting. This looks like one of those corporate gigs that a lot of dancers tend to phone in, but these guys are killin’ it here.
Think about where all these kick ass routines are being performed: Sweden, the US, Korea, Canada, and here we are in Lithuania. If you told me even five years ago, there would be a thriving scene in Lithuania, I’d swear you were smoking crack. But here they are keeping up with the rest of the world.
BYU Swing Kids 2010
I wanted to include this because the tempo here is blistering by any standards and these kids do a pretty good job of keeping the pace. Great job!
ABQLX 2010 - The Shim Shammers
This is one of those random routines that when I found it, thought it was pretty effn’ cool. It's an example of a piece that I like for no specific reason. I just enjoy it for what it is.
Hawkeye Swing Festival 2010 Hoosier Hot Shots
Here’s another one that pleasantly surprised me. Honestly, I see so many videos that stuff tends to blur in my memory after awhile. But I really get excited when I see quality dancing come out of places that I don’t expect it. Korea I get. Sweden I get. Even Lithuania. But Iowa (by way of Indiana)? I also appreciate the injury update in the video. I cringe when I see stuff like that and I sleep better at night when I know someone isn’t still hobbling around.
*just for the record, anytime you see me use this term, I almost always mean it in the hipster-est sense of the phrase. Partly because I think it's ridiculously pretentious, but I don't have a better way of describing all the dances that include Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Blues, etc. Damn you, English language.