The National Jitterbug Championships at Camp Hollywood happened a couple of weekends ago. I’ve been pretty lax with the video updates, but thankfully the Lindy Blogosphere is on the case.
On behalf of Laurie and Nina I’d like to thank everyone who came out for the Big Big Benefit this weekend. It was great to so many people out along with so many different groups working together to help one of their own. In particular I’d like to thank the following people: At the top of the list is the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture for all their support. People who work for the park were some of the first to come to Laurie’s side when she was first admitted into the hospital, and they were super helpful all weekend. Donna Barker especially worked very hard to facilitate everything and even poured in a lot of time to put together the the puppetry performance CD’s.
Camp Jitterbug is THE most important Lindy Hop event in the Western Hemisphere right now. The killer instructor line up; great live and DJ'd music, uber high level contests, and the one of a kind Jump Session Show. I’ve never been actually, but it’s significance is such that it cannot and should not be ignored. This roundup almost a month late, but fortunately a lot of people have been talking it up. It feels like the Lindy Sphere-o-blogs is becoming more and more active. Check out Mary Freitag’s experiences on her blog Art and Dancing, a Canadian perspective on Hamfats.ca, and Mikey Pedroza’s ongoing series of reactions on his blog.
The thing I love about DCLX (DC Lindy Exchange) is that it’s the kind of event that attracts dancers that appreciate quality live music. So much so that musicians that leave it all on the stage get treated like rock gods. Writing about live music is very hard thing because in the end you have hear it to feel it. I can talk about the Boilermakers burning up their version of “Avalon” or Jonathan Stout & His Campus Five featuring Hilary Alexander (say that three times real fast) cranking the crowd up to a near riot with “Dark Eyes” or the Blue Vipers of Brooklyn breaking everyone’s heart with “Bringing it on Home to Me,” but that’s why events like DCLX exist; to give people a way to connect to something that they can’t otherwise experience.
DCLX 2010 was AWE-SOME! Seriously, what else do you need to know?
Fine. I'll update later this week after I get all the awesome juice off of me.
The modern Lindy Hop community used to spend a lot of time at West Coast Swing crossover events. The American Swing Dance Championships , The Virginia State Open, North Atlantic Dance Championships, Swingin’ New England, Swing Fling, Summer Hummer, Boogie By The Bay, and of course, The US Open. ASDC ended in 1998. NADC in 2004. Lindy participation in other events has been steadily on the decline to the point where some those events are eliminating Lindy from their schedule altogether; Swingtime In The Rockies being the most recent example. The lone exception has been The Boston Tea Party whose crossover aspect really took off after NADC folded. I used to love going to crossover events when I first started, but this weekend was my first Tea Party.
Looks like all the news was coming out of Austin this weekend with the third Annual Lone Star Championships. Run by Tena Morales and Scott Angelius, this event is meant to be a more relaxed competition weekend with an emphasis on social dance contests such as Jack & Jill’s and Strictly comps. I didn’t go, but that won’t stop me from saying a few words and gratuitously mention that <plug> I work for Tena on the International Lindy Hop Championships happening this year August 19th-22nd, 2010. Registration opening soon!</end plug>
Well, so much for live updates from Lindy Focus VIII. It was not from lack of anything to talk about. Plenty happened; I just decided to take advantage of the first event I’ve been to in over four years where I didn't have to work in any capacity. I almost forgot what it’s like just to go to an event just to dance. It took some time to get used to which is why it was nice to be there for all five nights. I didn’t partake in the whole event though as I only went to the evening dances, and skipped the classes. It was nice to sleep in and catch up with people during the day and spend the night dancing until the early mornings. I think I closed out all of the dances except the last one which lasted past 8 am. I left around 7 am only because I needed to pack and shower for the long ride home.
This was only my second Lindy Focus, but the event was noticeably larger than last year, which I was told was bigger than years’ past. The event originally started as a regional event featuring local instructors. As time passed and the other national level New Year’s events like Danver’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza and the Rhythmic Arts Festival fell by the wayside or moved on, Lindy Focus stepped to the fore to offer a huge holiday event.
Yet another event I didn’t go to that I can comment thanks to the generosity of the interwebs. First off, I'm impressed. Leave it to the westies to get results and videos online the very next morning after the this year's US Open Swing Dance Championships ended.
We didn’t send any Lindy Hoppers this year, but DC still represented big time with the DC Hand Dancers winning the Strictly Swing Challenge. That contest caps the entire event, pitting the winners of all the Strictly divisions (West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Hand Dance, and Shag) up against each other.
Well, maybe not secret, but few people are around that remember very much.
The first DCLX-DC Lindy Exchange-was hatched in the back of a van coming back from ALHC 2001 somewhere on I-95. Mike Miloszewski was on a dance high and wanted an excuse to relive it again. And soon.
Holding a national dance competition seemed out of the question at the time, but Lindy exchanges were just becoming popular. Mike decided that it was time for DC to have its own.