Gene Kelly – I Like Myself

I want to be Gene Kelly when I grow up.

Despite the obvious, mind blowing talent displayed in this number, I actually kind of really liked the message of the song/lyrics.

  • Always disliked myself. But now there’s this really incredible, wonderful person in my life. And if this amazing person likes me, then I must really be awesome too. So if they like me, and think I’m amazing, then I guess I am amazing, and I should like myself.

Just something I s’ppose I’ll keep in mind.


Korean Lindy Hoppers

Okay. New life goal: go back to Korea and Lindy Hop. Because seriously, the Koreans are pretty legit.

 

And:

 

 

Both of the couples’ styles seem to be rather whimsical and quirky, with a lot of emphasis on solo jazz movement. Which means, of course, I can dig it.


I cannot stop watching this.

The International Lindy Hop Championships were this past weekend, and the swing dance community has been all abuzz with the videos of the competitions and routines.

This routine is my favorite out of all the ones I’ve seen thus far. Firstly, it’s because I absolutely LOVE this song, this specific version of “Billy Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home,” which is sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

I think I also really like this because the arc that Juan and Sharon create, with how they play with the music, lyrics, and dynamics,  is similar to what I feel when I listen to this song. Granted…I can’t choreograph like they do, but I can really relate to the energy they put into this piece. It’s so relaxed, fun, and cheeky.


The men who dance in heels

And do so oh so fabulously.

I came across this video because a friend shared it and it popped up on my newsfeed. That…that is just freaking impressive. I think I have a new favorite choreographer.

And this routine has the most views on his channel, for good reason.

 


So I’m a DJ now

Yeah that’s right. I totally DJed a set at the most recent Blues dance here in Atlanta. As it was my first time DJing ever, I only had an hour to play. General consensus? Everyone loved my set! I’ll admit I was a bit nervous…I imagine it’d suck as a DJ to be playing a set and have no one dancing. The horror.

Anyways, if you’re curious, I’ve turned my set into a spotify playlist, which you can access if you have an account.

Otherwise, here’s a track list

(Title, Artist)

  1. Blue Prelude, Koko Taylor
  2. The Beast, Milt Buckner
  3. I Just Want To Make Love To You, Paul Rodgers
  4. Mama Talk To Your Daughter, J.B. Lenoir
  5. Angel in the Day – Devil in the Night, Dr. Michael White
  6. Darkness, Tab Benoit
  7. Jukebox Boogie, Doctor Ross
  8. The Shadow, Shawn James
  9. Six Cold Feet, Hugh Laurie
  10. Feeling Good, Kim Massie & the Solomon Douglas Swingtet (not available on Spotify) 
  11. Sunday Kind of Love, Etta James
  12. You Are My Sunshine, Leftover Cuties
  13. Cry Me A River, Julie London
  14. Big Long Slidin’ Thing, Dinah Washington
  15. Sinkin’ Soon, Norah Jones
  16. Wild is the Wind, Nina Simone

Can’t wait to DJ more!


The 4-weekend dance event streak

I’m pretty thrilled to have a weekend where I don’t have a dance event to go to.

Not that I’m trying to make it sound like I dislike dance events. They’re awesome. Obviously. But I’m glad to have this weekend where I can mostly rest…and give my wallet a break.

It started with the Charleston Lindy Exchange – or CHEX, which I talked about in this post over here. That was weekend 1.

Weekend 2 was Grand National Dance Championship in Atlanta, a west coast swing and shag event. I learned the basics of shag sometime last year, but I’ve since forgotten it. What I can remember is that it feels a lot like triple-step east coast swing, but you place your steps in different places in shag, compared to ECS. But man, watching some of these pros dance shag – they are so freaking smooth. I can see how the two dances have a lot of crossover. It was a cool event – a really big event, at that. There were so many competitions, different divisions, showcase performances…that the social dancing didn’t start each night until almost midnight. This was a bit annoying as I didn’t care too much for the shag events and younger divisions of the competition. I just wanted to dance, damnit, and I couldn’t stay until the wee hours of the morning seeing as I had to drive home each night. Still, what social dancing I did have, was great.

I also decided to compete in the novice Jack and Jill. This was my first official west coast swing Jack and Jill l I competed in. I didn’t expect to make it far, but I did make it to semi-finals, which was super neat. This was a massive event with dancers from all over the country, so just being able to dance with these folks was truly amazing.

What I also took away from all the competitions and performances is that west coast swing is kind of the ballroom dance of the swing dance genre. Ballroom to me is very flashy, with its costumes, and emphasis on tricks – moves that involve fancy aerials, dizzying spins, basically anything to elicit that “wow!” response from the audience. West coast swing has all of those elements. The aesthetic of west coast swing focuses on being “cool,” or “sexy,” which is fine for those who seek that kind of energy. I like to dance to have fun, and I don’t take myself seriously at all, which is why I find a more kindred spirit with lindy hoppers. But damn do I still love the feel of west coast swing.

Weekend 3 was Down South Camp Meeting, also in Atlanta, and it was a lindy hop workshop and dance event. This weekend was awesome because I learned so. frekaing. much. in the classes. The instructors that were brought in are absolutely top notch, and had I not been saving up for my trip to Chicago the following weekend, I definitely would’ve paid to have a private lesson with one of them. Still, I added a few new moves to my lindy hop repertoire while also getting great feedback on small things I could improve on. There was a also Jack and Jill competition, and I placed 3rd! So exciting. I was actually able to come to DSCM because I won a pass by placing 1st in another Jack and Jill at an earlier event I attended, Swing Out Savannah. This was my first lindy hop JnJ I ever competed in, and I was completely flabbergasted that my partner and I won first. I was not expecting to win. To place, maybe, but first? Whew. Man. Placing in dance competitions is a pretty awesome feeling, especially since it usually means winning passes to more dance events! All in all, DSCM was a pretty fantastic event.

Weekend 4 was the Chicago Underground Blues Experience. Or CUBE. So I was in Chicago for the first time last weekend. And I absolutely loved it. CUBE has got to be the most chill event I’ve ever been to yet. CUBE takes place the same weekend as the Chicago Blues Festival, which is apparently the largest, free blues music festival in the world. I think there were something like 4 or 5 different stages at any given time with people playing live blues music. So during the day, a bunch of dancers would go out to the festival and find some space to dance at a stage. Getting tired and hot? Head off into the city, get something to eat, grab a beer, then maybe come back. Later on? DJ’d dancing at a venue until 4AM. Sleep, wake, repeat.

Chicago is a really cool city. It’s very much got that super urban vibe, like New York City, but maybe not quite as crowded. I had some amazing food which included tacos, Chicago hot dogs, and Chicago deep dish pizza, a rather tasty margarita, and perhaps a new favorite beer. Public transit was a breeze to navigate. Also: the fact that you can look up not just travel routes, but public transit routes  on the Google maps app on your smartphone? That’s goddamn brilliant.

I really wish I could’ve stayed through Sunday night, because from the facebook chatter, it sounded like things got pretty wild. Damn. From now on, if I’m asking off work for a dance weekend, I’m asking the Monday off instead of the Friday. All the cool stuff seems to happens that Sunday night. Geez.

And now I’ve got a two weekend break until I visit Greenville again. I will gladly take this much needed rest.


I want a little sugar in my bowl

Current favorite blues song. On. Repeat.

I was in Charleston, SC this past weekend for the Charleston Lindy Exchange (CHEX). Everyone I’ve talked to who’s been to this event said nothing but good things about it. And you know what? It totally lived up to the hype. Awesome live bands. Great venues. Dance on the beach. And so many good dances with so many friends, new and not-so-new.

I did that thing again where I slept in my car for one night. I booked a room in a hostel for the second. Hey, I’d just rather shell out the dough for one night while I pinch a bit more by sleeping in Carla. Although, it’s getting tougher to sleep now that the weather’s getting increasingly hotter. Yeesh. Essentially, what I pay for is a bed to sleep in but more importantly, a freaking shower. I’d totally sleep both weekend nights in my car, but dancing for a number of hours works up a sweat, which leaves me feeling all sorts of grimy. That Saturday afternoon shower after 24ish hours without one, including several hours of dancing…heavenly.

Speaking of, I stayed at Notso Hostel. It’s a neat place. Clean, organized, well-maintained, the gal who seems to run the shindig knows what she’s doing. The room I stayed in was a bit cramped though, especially since there were 3 other guys sharing it. And, waiting for the bathrooms to open up is kind of a bitch, but hey, it’s cheap lodging. Parking can be dicey as the lot behind the house can fill up quickly, especially on the weekends; I ended up parking on the street, tempting a parking ticket. I think. Luckily I managed to avoid one, and I was able to enjoy a very tasty breakfast at Dixie Supply Bakery and Cafe once I left the hostel. The cafe is a tiny place that’s nestled next to a corner convenience store, and parking is sparse, but goodness, the food is good. I had the Dixie breakfast special – a no frills plate consisting of two eggs, meat (bacon), starches (grits and a biscuit). Simple, but very tasty. If I were an omelet kinda person, I’d have definitely tried one of their specials. Their shrimp and grits also sounded very appetizing, but, I wanted the most bang for my buck. And boy did I get it. I was quite satiated and didn’t feel the need to eat until I left Charleston later in the day, at almost 6PM.

I really need a day to just explore all of Charleston. I didn’t do any exploring this time around, and only a paltry bit the last time I was here for HCBX, but gosh, it’s a really pretty city.