sWinging It – Week 15

sWinging It

Learnin’ to Lindy where everyone’s friendly

 

Week 15 (Lesson Week 12 – last in the cycle!)

Before I jump into the last week of my first cycle (OK I started week 10 of the one before but I don’t think they count), a quick aside on the Christmas Party.

I had a great time! Pretty much everyone was dressed up (myself included) and up for a good time. Dancing to a live band for the first time was fun and challenging. I need to work on my fast Lindy. I did a lot of Charleston and was very pleased I’d learnt some 20’s Charleston at one of the MSDS* lessons. I was also very thankful for the few blues lessons I’d had on some of the tracks so I guess I could do with learning some slow Lindy too.

Other than dancing with loads of people and catching up with loads of people (and eating loads of cake!) my obvious highlight has to be coming runner up in the Lindy Hopper < 2 years category! I’m not sure if this was because of my dancing (really?) or my blog (they did say service to the community) so I’m going to pretend it’s both ;-). All of us got to start a snowball afterwards and snowballs are cool so that was fun!

(Editors note: Full results are over here!)

Congratulations to everyone who won or came runner up in all the categories and thanks to everyone who put my name down!

Week 12 was about musicality. Andy C and Sophie talked about a common structure for some songs. AABA – Each letter has 4 x 8 counts and different letters have a different feel and so call for a change in the dancing style. For example we did 4 lots of ‘normal lindy’ to each A and a set of 4 Charleston moves to the B. We also did some solo jazz at the end of a phrase (a set of 4). This was very enjoyable but I suspect will take some time to make work in the social – I’d need to start recognising a song as AABA in order to change the style and also find some way to communicate to my follow we were going to do something different at the end of the phrase (which also requires recognising and planning for the end of a phrase). Well at least I’m one step closer because I’m actively listening to the music again!

Solo Jazz was another great routine by Amy. I found this one tricky towards the end as I just can’t get the timing right going into the last break and I didn’t grab the name of the track to practice with (which really helps with knowing if you are out on the timing at that point). Facebook has fixed that (thanks Amy!) so I now know when I am nailing it and can practice comfortably at home. The only downside to Solo Jazz this week was my complete failure in bringing a spare top which meant I spent a good part of the start of the social dancing drying off in the window (eew).

I did a lot of dancing during the social and had great fun. Without going into details I’ve got a lot going on at the moment so I needed lots of dancing and the floor was happy to provide. 3 minutes of a song with nothing but the music and your partner to concentrate on is a wonderful antidote to life. Or as one person put it recently, ‘Lindy makes everything better. Science Fact.’ I 100% agree.

Afterwards a group of beginners went to the pub to celebrate the end of 12 weeks along with who I now think of as the regulars (myself included). It was a great way to celebrate the end of 12 weeks. I got a lemon beer in the Gas Lamp. It was amazing! My wallet didn’t appreciate it quite so much.

Next week is the last week before the Christmas break. No lessons just fun including a J&J ( Jack and Jill**). This is where leads and follows are randomly paired and perform a social dance (or more than one) in a competition. Not sure I’m ready to take part in this yet but will enjoy watching it!

Dan

*Manchester Swing Dance Society. I’ve mentioned them before – they are a great group of people (most of which tend to come to Manchester Lindy at least occasionally).

** Jack and Jill presumes gender in the roles of lead and follow so some people refer to it as J&J. Given I’m not a fan of gender stereotyping in any form I will go with J&J or any other gender neutral term.

If Dan was a lindy move which would he be?

Lindy Circle. Every time he thinks he is going somewhere he ends up back at the start! This is a reference to his dancing but could spookily be a metaphor for life. Anyway he is working up to a promenade (with pecks of course!)

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