Consider Leveling Down

Anyone who has attended a weekend event with auditions or level-checks knows the anxiety and worry that accompanies being held under the microscope, amongst throngs of unknown dancers, under the tightest time restrictions, when you are guaranteed at most a half-second of consideration from your swing dance idols. For many students this is their first […]

YDLTIS 03: Use Your Words

“Whether you follow, lead, or switch, use your words before and after a dance.  It’s common to be more informal with good friends but when in doubt err on the side of being polite.” Good for: beginners Modeling conversations works well when you are teaching or in another position of authority. I’ve incorporated these model […]

YDLTIS 02: Flashy Faux Pas

“Keep flash like deep dips, assisted lifts, and air steps OFF the social dance floor. The original dancers knew it was dangerous outside of performances or competitions, and that’s still true today.” Good for: int. dancers and above, esp. after air/dip classes It’s easy to get carried away when you learn something with that undefinable “cool” factor.  And when […]

Looking back, looking ahead

Recently, I took a private lesson from Catrine Ljunggren, who was visiting from Sweden.  Well, technically I took two lessons.  The first was an hour-long conversation, which could have been more, about how she and other Swedish dancers began dancing the Lindy Hop, how they found Al Minns in New York, how they met Frankie Manning, […]

YDLTIS 01: Ambi-Opportunities

“We have a lot of dancers who can dance either role here; please make a point of supporting them and ask them what they would prefer to do!” Good for: all levels, during class or during the dance If we are encouraging new dancers to choose dance roles based on their interest and not their gender, the hardest part has […]

“Ambassadors” of Lindy Hop

Frankie Manning was known as the “Ambassador of Lindy Hop” because he was such a positive, friendly, and affirming representative of swing dance and the swing community.  Following the month of May where we celebrated Frankie’s birthday month at WNH, I’ve been thinking a lot about the hole that Frankie’s presence leaves in the community. […]

Dancing the Body Politic

As an organizer of an event taking place immediately after 2016 Election Tuesday and all the feelings associated with it, I felt like I should say something about our event this week. These views do not reflect the views of Wednesday Night Hop or its team and are just my personal reflections. I think we’re so […]

It’s Always Never Completely the Lead’s Fault

Things I think about when dancing with less-experienced leads AKA just because they’re new doesn’t mean you are AKA if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate: Balance: Sure, I can pose as a yoga tree with fluttering branches, but can I actually keep my center in an underarm turn without pulling on […]

Ninjas and Unicorns

I sometimes call myself Ninja Gay.  ‘Cuz it kind of creeps up and surprises you.  It’s like that quiet friend who you thought was safely in the next room, but then speaks up suddenly right behind your ear.  And this surprise (honest, expected, inoffensive) happens because of a neat little equivalency we carry around in our […]

Popularity Problems

After an extended absence wherein I traveled to Corolla, NC for The Balboa Experiment, I’m so happy to back home and writing again!  Time to finish up this series on learning modes, and how to succeed in them, but also stay tuned for a very special teaser at the bottom of the post.  =) SOLO PRACTICE […]