Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blues comps at lindy events and cross-competition

So there was a very active thread recently on Bug's Question of the day, about
Why don't more blues dancers go to events like ILHC and Lone Star to compete in the blues divisions? Why don't the lindy hoppers who compete in the blues divisions at ILHC and Lone Star come to Blues events and compete?

I pretty thoroughly regret* having jumped into the fray the way I did, but tangents about specific events aside, if I may take the liberty of synthesizing some of the answers, there seemed to be some consensus that, beyond the overlapping-but-not-identical pool of competitors, competitions at blues-specific events ("blues comps") and "blues" OR "slow" comps at lindy events (often used interchangeably even if labeled one way or the other) have different judging outcomes because the two communities value different things. One of the specific things that the blue community values is a particular blues aesthetic. Little to no value is placed on a blues aesthetic at an unspecific "slow" competitions.

In counter to that, some people were all like "what does that even mean?"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A happy coincidence (in which I westie to country music.)

So our local weekly swing dance is at a country bar. Because they have a lot of line dancing and country dancing, they have a real dance floor, which is pretty sweet.  Also they have half priced burgers and beers before 9 on Wednesdays, which just happens to be our local swing night.  This is also pretty sweet.  The happy hour special was in place before Wednesday became swing dance night, but they've kept it in place despite the now-much-larger crowd that's in there mid-week.  By whatever alchemy, our group and this venue have hit a sweet spot, where the dancers buy a lot of food and drinks, and we get to have a weekly venue at a bar and not a studio, and it has a real dance floor.  And the venue management likes having us there.  Win all around.

But the bar does have a crowd of regulars, and it's in a not-unpopular area of town, pretty near campus, so there's always a steady subpopulation on Wednesday nights that's not there for the swing dancing.

Last night, a couple of instructors from a local dance studio randomly walked into the bar to have a beer, near when our music was ending, though they danced to the tail end of it. After the swing music ended, the bartender put the country music back on, and played a song at my request:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dance goals in 2012

So, just recently saw a facebook post about "what are your dance goals in 2012?" which was quickly deleted, so I didn't end up posting there, but I figure this definitely fits in the category of "what my blog is for."

So without further ado, cla dance goals 2012:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lindy Focus Trip report (aka/LFPT.)

Holy shit, y'all. Lindy Focus. Now that I've had a couple whole nights of sleep, I almost feel ready to try and write again.

Lindy Focus was awesome, in the "inspiring awe" sense of the word. (This was my first Lindy Focus.) The scope of the event is just incredible, with something like 700 people coming for the week (more on NYE), 3 areas to major in ["main tracks"] (Lindy, 8 levels; Balboa, 2 levels; Advanced Jazz; Comp and Show), and 12 more things to minor in ["side tracks"], from fundamental movement training to burlesque to tap to 2 levels of Charleston emphasis to aerials and even blues. Oh, and also dancing every night from 9 till LATE (multiple late night options: lindy, bal, or blues), with 4 of the 5 nights boasting live music from incredible bands. It is almost too much to take in.

No, it really was actually too much to take in. One can only be in one place at a time. There are only so many hours in the day, and one has to devote a few of those hours to sleeping. Presumably.

And while it sounds very structured, the camp was not, in fact, over-scheduled. There was enough time pretty much every single day to just wander off and dick around and see what people were up to. There was actually a whole day in the middle of the camp with no main track classes, full of side tracks and electives and talks and open practice. I took a nap, even. It was glorious.

Look, I made sections:

FAVORITE MOMENTS (including but not limited to):

- Seeing so many dance friends from *everywhere* and making new ones
- MIDWEST REPRESENT nye pizza party and group photo
- realizing I do have girl skills, doing one roomate's makeup and another friend's hair. It was a wicked faux-hawk, but still... it was hair, and I did it.
- balboa in flip flops 'cause I stumbled into a practice session and wanted to dance.
- swingout battle in the bal room at 630am and 230bpm. The DJ turns around and is like... "wait what? I LOVE YOU GUYS!"
- having someone tell me just past midnight, midweek, that they WERE going to go to bed, but after dancing with me they felt like dancing all night.
- mind-reading dances with a buddy from baltiMORE  late at night, when we're both too tired to care if failure happens.
- baltiqurque. and, hey, I *can* still lindy hop after that much liquor. or at least everyone was kind enough not to disabuse me of the notion.
- learning the phrase "c'est que what the fuck," which needs no translation.
- being the follow who happened to be dancing with a badass dancer when a couple of other badass dancers came up to him to be like, "show us that thing!" and being along for the ride.
- Chance juggling my shoes to end the dance after I lost one and kicked off the other.
- sunrise on new year's day.
- (that's what the dead hooker said.)
- a bunch of specific dances, but I told those people in person that they were awesome (or at least smiled dopily and gave a big hug), so they don't need named here. jus' smiling to myself.
- a couple of girls told me that I was fun to watch. compliments from other follows are the bestest.
- none of this is in chronological order.
- I'm still wearing my bracelet.
- live music!

Talkin' about least favorite moment, spending money and classes, all below the jump, long as usual...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dispatches post-Lindy Focus (5 of ?)

Woke up in my own bed this morning for the first time since before Christmas.  Wow.  Swung.over.

There is a reason there are no posts after Friday afternoon of Lindy Focus, btw, lol.  The reason goes something like.... Baltiquerque, dancing till 6 am, classes, NYE, dancing past sunrise and then staying up till like noon-thirty, karaoke focus time, staying up till 4 or 5, driving home, snow, going to bed at a reasonable hour and sleeping in.

But there will be a more extensive trip report soon, promises.  I will probably do several posts, because there is just SO MUCH and a few divergent things have sparked my brain.