Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Different Kind of Audition Format (Shameless Rocktober promotion)

So auditions. They're kind of necessary and kind of tricksey. People have all sorts of opinions on them.

On the plus side, auditions allow for teachers to tailor the information for each group specifically, which is more productive for everyone.  They also help balance classes, and allow organizers to keep class size reasonable and predictable so we can have better experiences in appropriate spaces.  Auditions are also the reason that we can have fast-paced "intensive" classes at all. You have to have everyone near the same page or those don't work.

And yet, I personally find the typical format super stressful. I don't think I'm alone in that. If I had to put my finger on what I don't like about them, I'd say two things:
  • I don't like the uncertainty. 
  • I don't like the publicity. I just don't like getting up in front of all my friends and all the strangers who I might want to dance with later, with the sole purpose of being judged, in public. 
  • I don't like getting up additionally early. (Ok 3 things.) 

So, since this IS my blog, I'm going to take the time to tell you about a little something SwingColumbus is putting together in my home scene of Columbus, OH. (Also, I'm on the planning committee.) It's a workshop weekend called Rocktober. The auditions are different than anything else I've heard of for a weekender.

design by Binaebi Akah

Rocktober will offer 2 tracks, one "Open" track and one "Audition" track.  

The audition track will be more expensive, because it's capped at 40 dancers (20 leads and 20 follows) and those 40 dancers will have 10 hours of instruction with Kevin and Jo.  Kevin and Jo all weekend!  

The open track will be capped at 60 dancers (30 leads and 30 follows). Instructors for this track are not yet set in stone, but we promise they will be good. And if you choose this track, you will have them all weekend.

*UPDATE June 18, 2012: Mike Roberts and Laura Glaess will be the instructors for the open track!*

"How will that work with registration?" you might ask, "Making one track more expensive than the other?" 

The auditions for the audition track will be conducted ahead of time, by video. So you'll know what track you're in before you come.

(more explanation and link to submission form below the jump)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

re: Lindy hop as "challenge" (now with more Venn diagrams!)

So this post is a response to the thread of an idea that's been batted back and forth between Rebecca Brightly and Bobby White, as well as a couple other people.

The first posts is "31 Signs you're not an advanced dancer yet" (Brightly). It is an interesting article by itself, but my response is only to a very small part of it, a nearly-parenthetical aside toward the end of the piece.
"We don’t start lindy hopping because we want easy popularity. We take the journey to becoming lindy hoppers because we crave challenge."
This is a very inclusive "we" statement, as BW points out, positing motivation for basically all lindy hoppers.  Is it true?

[long post after the jump]

Monday, April 9, 2012

Random rant on being told to do it "naturally"

Possibly my biggest pet peeve in taking dance classes is when I am told to do some movement "naturally" without any additional explanation.

I am intensely awkward*. You tell me to do some shit "naturally," and I will do my best, but it will still be wrong.