Thoughts on swing dancing and Lindy Hop, one word at a time…

Take Risks, Show Me Something

“I have to disagree. I would say that a complete lindy hopper is one who makes errors every single dance. If you don’t make a mistake, than you are just dancing inside your abilities and not pushing yourself. I think a complete lindy hopper always dances on the edge of their abilities constantly pushing them to new heights.” – Mike Faltesek (2004)”

Today I want to throw down the gauntlet and challenge anyone out there who is seriously trying to improve as a dancer (including myself) to take some serious risks or to quote an overused phrase “Show me something!”. If I have one serious criticism about the Lindy Hop community is I think we have gotten too complacent with falling into a system of linear progression through classes and competition.  When the goal for people for the majority of people in their dancing becomes moving up to the next arbitrary box/level/tier in their classes or competitions by doing X, Y, and Z… I think we have a problem.

It’s understandable why this happens, it is much easier to have goals laid out for people in an easily identifiable manner. Figuring out what is important to oneself for dance and then attempting to reach out into the unknown to make that a reality is a seriously difficult endeavor. There is no solitary class you can take to make that happen or an instructor you can pay for in a private lesson to give you that key, it takes some adventure and discovery to go down that path and it is a different experience for each person.

I’m not giving you a formula or magic guide. I’m telling you to find out what “Lindy Hop” is for yourself. Show me something.

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One response

  1. Jaycee

    The number of people who can invent an aspect of a field all by themselves is small. For the other 99.9% of us, learning from classes or competitions, however arbitrary, is a way of progressing in the genre. The fastest way for us to progress, given we have day jobs and don’t have the luxury of dedicating ourselves to study full time while surrounded by other full-time inspired dancers, is to learn from teachers (however defined).

    If we didn’t have local teachers, youtube, blogs, competitions and exchanges to learn from, how much could we devise by ourselves? Precious little. I’ve been dancing about 2 years. I’ve ‘invented’ one movement people local recognise as being me. In truth, I probably unconsciously stole it from a youtube video. Everything else I know I’ve cribbed from formal classes or by watching other people.

    I think you’re raising the bar too high.

    Jaycee.

    December 22, 2012 at 8:26 am

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