The reason why there are so many posts is because there was so much good dancing that I had to break them up to keep each update from being too long. This post is a good example of how that's still a problem, but at least it's a good problem to have. That’s why I had to break out a separate post for my favorite of favorites which will come out right after the New Year.
Bethany Powell & Stefan Durham - Jump Session Show 2010
You can tell when a couple is getting popular when you can watch other performances and say that it’s in their style. I did that a lot this year in relation to these dancers. It’s hard not to notice when Bethany & Stephan have the most eccentric styles out there. Here they continue to show us how to innovate and add new elements to a vintage dance.
Annie Trudeau & Max Pitruzzella - ILHC 2010 – Showcase Division
I was going to write a separate post about this routine after ILHC, but I obviously didn’t get to it. I still might because there’s a lot to talk about. But it’s needless to say that this is a world class performance.
Karen Turman & Andrew Thigpen - Lindy Focus VIII
I did write about this routine after I saw it. There’s something about watching passion at work. Even when it looks as silly as Karen & Andrew try to be. The work is what keeps this from being fluff. I remember a friend remarking to them afterwards that they would probably hate this routine performed by anyone else because few people can project this kind of humor without looking like a loser. It’s a shame the lighting obscures their faces in this video because the facial expressions are half the performance. Karen usually steals the show most of the time in that regard, but to really understand where they’re coming from, you just have to see the look of total commitment on Andrew’s face when he’s just clapping his hands off at 2:28.
Alice Mei & Thomas Blacharz - Ninjammerz in Seoul, Korea
I hope see more routines done to slower songs. Not necessarily blues performances. It’s just nice to see something that isn’t filled with crazy aerials at a ridiculous speed. The trick is to keep interesting at that tempo and Alice and Thomas do a great job of that here in a performance in Korea.
I actually like this one better than their Communication routine they were doing for most of this year. No reason in particular. Even more impressive considering she was just recovering from an illness at the time of the performance.
Sarah Breck & Dax Hock Ninjammerz in Seoul, Korea
A new partnership debuts with a splash. Nice intricate footwork and movements. Sarah has a great quality of movement.
Laura Glaess & Mike Roberts - ILHC 2010 Classic Division
Not to toot my own horn, but ILHC attracted a bunch of tremendous performances. The judging room was pretty tense especially after this division with many judges doubting their final choices. I think if we had let them go at it all night we could have gotten completely different results every hour. This was a fun routine that got a lot of good reviews while I was in the ballroom for the floor trials which is high praise in indeed when you consider that only the other competitors were there at the time. It has a great flow with personality.
Nikki Marvin & Mikey Pedroza ILHC 2010 - Classic Division
Another one from the ILHC 2010 Classic division. Just too many to choose from here. The thing that stands out for me is the way they make the difficult combinations flow so smoothly into something simple like the sequence that starts off around 2:27. I can write a whole post alone on how to generate a huge crowd reaction with a well placed swingout. Here they build up a tension with a lot of complicated patterns in a row that they blow off with a swingout that the entire audience audibly appreciates.
Mandy Spencer & Jon Tigert Rocktober 2010 Showcase
Here’s an example how to cross the line from doing a routine to performing. Both dancers do a good job here, but the follow, Mandy really makes this routine pop with her stage presence. There are tons of advanced dancers out there can’t seem to get a hold of this concept. +1 to Mandy for not resorting to the dreaded trope of the surprised O face.
Casey Schneider & Josh Welter ILHC 2010 Showcase
One more from ILHC. I’m a fan of recurring themes which happens a few times here with a few different spots. Sometimes things happen too fast in a Lindy Hop performance to really absorb their impact, so it’s nice to see them purposefully revisited without becoming repetitive.
Brittany Johnson & Michael Darigol Killer Diller Weekend 2010 showcase
I confess that I’m not a fan of guys wearing hats in Lindy routines. I see enough douchebags on the street with those things. But Dargoff makes good use of it here, and with the rest the choreography, its really fun to watch.
Eli Toftemo & Alf Lervåg Crazy Rhythm Challenge 2010 Showcase
Earlier this year, I spent several months going through event and dancer websites trying to find emerging dancers in scenes I don’t usually pay attention to. In this case, I’m talking about all of Europe. Here’s a fun one by a couple from Norway I think.