Thank again for being so engaged with the event both in class and during the practice times! This weekend left a big impression on us and we truly had a wonderful time with you.
The main idea that we came back to over and over again during the workshop was about the process of activating your own spirit and resourcefulness as a dancer. If we recognize that dancing is as much a mindset as it is about technique, and know how to activate that within us, we can create many more magical moments for ourselves while social dancing and even while practicing the dance.
In this vintage clip of social dancing you can see that the moves are actually kept to pretty simple variations. And that there are many moments of letting go of each other to dance solo with each other. We believe that this is both because the solo and partnered dancing was much more integrated compared to how modern lindy hoppers often dance, and because it allowed the dancers to get much more connected to the music and to more completely express themselves.
Another video that we think explains the idea of freedom and expression really well is this analysis video about how Jeff Goldblum plays jazz piano. The conclusion that the host draws is that even though Goldblum might not be the best technical jazz pianist out there, he has an ability to get into the moment and truly play what he feels rather than demonstrating what he has practiced. So often in our dancing, we lose track of this side of ourselves; we go on “creative auto-pilot” and don’t allow ourselves to truly just be there and only dance what comes to mind in the moment it is happening. If we can remind ourselves to keep our mindset open to what’s happening now, and not get caught up in what we thought should happen or what we practiced, then we will have a much more creative and enjoyable experience and will dance more authentically like ourselves.
These videos are just a short recap of the moves we did; we also worked a lot on breaking away from our partner and coming back together again; and using a few footwork options (step-drops, hold-ball-changes, etc) our solo play and/or to come back into partnering).
Here’s short Spotify list of some of the non-swing songs we used for warm-up and for getting energized. At the top of the list are also two particular swing songs that Kris DJed…
“My Blue Heaven” by Jo Jones
It has a very clear swinging beat; listening to the drums can help us find the right timing when we want specific rhythms in our dancing (e.g. we used it when we were training the “hold, ball-change”).
“Nell Don’t Wear No Button Up Shoes” by Al Sears
This was the song we used to be in a lindy-hop-party mindset; we imagined we were at the club listening for the first time to Al Sears and his band play their hot new single, and we wanted to enjoy it as much as we could 🙂
Join our Experiment!
As we mentioned, we want to also invite you to join an experiment. We are trying out a new online training program, where we get a chance to meet several times per week to properly prime ourselves and have great training moments together.
To join that experiment sign up here: Use this link to get to the sign up form 🙂
This training will start on October 6th and go until October 31st 2020. We hope to see you there!