Our friends, Jolien and Curtis, are getting married!
Last night their parents organized a group lesson for their friends and relatives to prepare for the wedding. They’ll be getting married in November and Alex Pangman and her Alleycatz will be playing, so learning to dance in order to be able to enjoy the band was the main goal.
Here’s a practice video that focuses on 6-count moves. It’s not exactly what we taught yesterday, but it fits into the same model.
I used to teach a lot of these kinds of lessons, but now that I’m mostly retired it doesn’t come up very often. We had to make the decision of whether to teach 6-counts or 8-counts. Overall, I prefer to teach 8-counts first because they’re so much more musical. However, it’s easier to get dancing quickly when you teach 6-counts. Based on the group that we had, we decided to go with 6.
One of the biggest challenges with 6-counts is that people get out of sync. When we put on the music to let people practice, some beginners inevitably get lost and have to start again. There’s always a temptation to count in the entire group, but the people who have continued to dance are on a completely different count than the music, so the group isn’t in sync. You definitely end up having to sacrifice both the music and unity in a 6-count situation.
It was a really fun group of people and they did a great job. Can’t wait for the wedding!
Can we PLEASE start to properly acknowledge women in Lindy Hop? I just read a comment that completely ignored the woman in a video of only two people dancing and she was frigging killing it, some of the best dancing I’ve seen, but people were only commenting about the man. My mind is blown. What is wrong with us that so many of us do that, even if it’s unconscious… Especially if it’s unconscious. BE conscious! This is a dance that gives and takes in the partnership more than any other dance I know of. If we can go on a huge campaign to change the name of the Jack n’ Jill, we can certainly start to open our eyes and give women proper acknowledgment. It needs to start NOW.
At the risk of missing people, I’d like to acknowledge some of the incredible women who have made an impact on my dancing and who are friggin’ AWESOME. It’s impossible to make a complete list and I don’t want to slight anyone. This is just a personal list and it includes people who have been important to me at various times, both from my local scene and the bigger Lindy Hop landscape:
Diane van Haaren
Eva Lagerqvist Jansson
Ewa “W” Burak
Marie Nahnfeldt Mattsson
Thank you to all of these women for the inspiration that they’ve given me!
I’ve been inspired by Åsa Heedman, previously Åsa Palm, since I first saw her dancing in 1999. I had been dancing for over a year but had never seen a follower bring such ownership of her own musicality and personality to the dance before. Seeing her changed my view of the dance completely.
A couple of months after seeing her dancing, I had the chance to take my first classes from her at the Herrang Dance Camp. That’s when I met Daniel Heedman. He was in my class and was also experiencing Herrang and her classes for the first time. He went on to become an incredible dancer in his own right, and eventually Åsa dance partner and husband.
These two have one of the most beautiful dance partnerships in the world, and they’re my favourite dancers in the world. They just keep getting better and better. The soul that they bring to this new clip epitomizes everything that I love about Lindy Hop and jazz dance culture. (Yes, it’s mainly solo dancing, but it’s an important part of our partnered culture too.)