Swing Discussion Boards > A Running Lindy Diary

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by leee, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    Wooooooooh, just got back from the party with my ice packs on, and since I'm on vacation, I stayed much longer than usual -- more than 2 hours -- and so I got to do my first jam, ever! Which lasted for not even an 8-count. Is there any etiquette for such a situation, or have I no recourse but to graciously accede?

    Oh, and my first level 2 class, which was equal parts stuff I could reasonably handle and stuff that I was hopeless at -- anything syncopated, for instance.
  2. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    That's great! I had a really fun time on Tuesday. I'm getting braver about asking men to dance, and I even asked a guy I don't know and who is pretty good. Balboa to the fast songs is getting much easier...this one guy who's been kind of helping me by advising me and dancing with me, I had a hard time feeling him on the faster songs at first, but now I think I really have the feel of it.

    It's such a stark difference in the crowd from WCS. Half the time when I go to WCS, I go home feeling a little dejected because I didn't get asked as much as I would like and even though I'll go ask the men, it gets old and sometimes I'll walk across the room to ask someone and another girl gets there first, or he walks away before I can get there, or he comes up with some excuse to say no. Other nights I'll have a blast and feel like the belle of the ball, but I never know how it's going to go. I have yet to have a bad night at LH. Of course it's still new, but the people are just so much friendlier.

    There's a friday night dance at a venue I haven't been to yet. I need to check it out...maybe this week.
  3. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    Hoorah for nice people being nice!

    Oy, the travails of asking people to dance and missing the window of opportunity, especially among people you don't know well or haven't danced with long. Happens enough to me, but I have no idea how excruciating it can be for a follow.

    I too am looking at a Friday night venue that I've yet to check out!
  4. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    OK, you go to yours and I'll go to mine and we'll report back tomorrow!
  5. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    Time to check in!

    Generally speaking, wow, tons of fun. I always get a little intimidated when I go to a place I'm not familiar with, so I ended up sitting out quite a few songs, but the upshot of that was that I watched a lot of the other dancers on the floor with their awesome styling, and over the course of the night I started to ad-lib a little bit myself -- and I've basically NEVER ad-libbed before! The environment -- the swag of the other dancers, the music -- just seeped into me, I guess, because it happened to me virtually without thinking, I just found my body doing it. I even threw in some cha-cha, for which I profusely/jokingly apologized.

    And a couple of my partners made a point to compliment me on my dancing (one even asked me if I was part of a troupe that performed at a different venue -- granted, that was because I was kind of dressed like them!). I'm pretty sure they were being nice, but I decided not to overanalyze it and just bask in their compliment a little, because it certainly helped me relax and improve my dancing.

    One thing that I would've liked to do more was to try out newer moves I learned from the weekly classes -- that'll be homework for next time.

    How was your night, twnkltoz?
  6. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Weeelll....it was pretty good. I get very anxious going to a new place by myself, and I didn't quite know where it was so it started off with some anxiety finding it and then walking in and none of my friends/acquaintances were there yet. I did see a couple people I recognized from Tuesday night and asked one (had never danced with him before) and another asked me. Then more people I knew came and I felt better, and when my buddies finally arrived I felt a lot better. So, that's all social anxiety kind of silliness.

    Dance wise, it was a much bigger dance, but the majority were beginners and the average age was way younger than Tuesday. The Tuesday crowd/better dancers tended to hang out in one corner, so I stayed there and that was good. Got in quite a few good dances, so I ended up having fun. I don't think it's a place I'll crave to go to, if that makes sense, but if I have nothing else going on and they don't have a band, I'll go again.

    Tomorrow my studio has their monthly LH dance and I'll go to that, so that will be fun. I usually enjoy that one. I was hoping to make the lesson since it will be shag and I want to learn that, but I'm going to a show before and probably won't get back in time.
  7. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    So there's a day long swing workshop this weekend thatg I'm considering. But the usual concern for me applies: are workshops worth the money when I'm still on the inexperienced side of things, Lindy-wise? I tend not to do ballroom workshops either, and I'm an order of magnitude more experienced there. The workshop descriptions don't seem to indicate levels of proficiency in any direction. Should I go anyway?

    Separate question: do people tend to count when social dancing? Some patterns lately I've discovered have been nigh impossible for me to do wothout counting.
  8. ralf

    ralf Active Member

    If the cost of attending the workshop won't cause financial hardship, definitely. If there's no specific indication of expected proficiency, you can expect the instructors to adapt the material to the overall proficiency of the attendees. "All levels" classes are not uncommon, though of course even those assume you at least know the swing out and other basic moves, and a recent trend is for multi-tracked workshops to teach the same material in all tracks, with the more advanced ones getting further and/or going into more detail.

    Bring along a notepad and pen/pencil and your camera. Take notes and if the instructors provide the opportunity to video-record their class summary at the end, do so. That will help you review and remember the material later.

    I did for quite a while when starting out. Eventually it all becomes muscle memory and then you can quote Norma Miller: "The only count I know is Basie."
    leee likes this.
  9. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    Thanks, raff! Looks like I'll be going in that case.

    As for the quip, I may have to use von Count for Basie.
  10. Siggav

    Siggav Moderator Staff Member

    I went dancing to a live band at my cities jazz festival yesterday. It was billed as a swing dance but they only had a small portion of floor available to dance on, rest was filled up with seats for non dancing audience people to sit and watch the band. It was a bit weird having it be effectively a double gig, both a dance and a sit down concert. The band even commented on that

    We made do with the space and everyone got their floorcraft on, lots of balboa danced. Not just because of the space but also because the music was mostly very much on the fast side. It also kind of turned into a sauna and everyone was sweating buckets. I danced a lot, including going full out fast lindy a few times and today my entire body feels a bit sore from the amount of exercise I did. Hah..

    It was a really good night though, good mood and good atmosphere and great band. I skipped going to the pub afterwards like I usually do because I really really just wanted/needed to go home and shower. It was nice though that the festival organisers advertised it as a dance and left some floor for dancing vs. just filling it all up with seats.
  11. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Good that you made the most of it, though!

    So I started learning Collegiate Shag. Since I work at the dance studio, I feel bad following when there are extra girls so I led the first two weeks and finally got to follow this week. Tuesday I followed it in a social setting for the first time. I didn't do as well with it as I would have liked, but thankfully he only did it for part of the song and switched to lindy. I am just having so much fun!
  12. ralf

    ralf Active Member

    I've danced in the aisles at restaurants, e.g to the Boilermaker Jazz Band at Penn Brewery ( www pbase com /ralf /boilermaker_mardi_gras ). That really taxes your floorcraft.

    BTDT. That's part of why I have multiple spare shirts in my dance bag.

    Very few spaces have the air conditioning capacity to keep up with swing dancers anyway.... (back-of-the-envelope calculation says three lindy-hopping couples equal one portable electric space heater)
    Siggav likes this.
  13. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    Had an ego-bruising time this week, some of which had to do with actual dance (see here). :\
  14. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    Just checking in!

    Class this week I got a LOT of (unsolicited) advice from other students, but it didn't bother me this time. It was illuminating, though, because it reminded me that I need to keep on counting (keep getting out of time).

    Thanks to the "improving swingout" thread, I'm feeling much better about mine, enough so that I can lead it reliably when I want to, so much so that I've started to use it as my go-to move when I want to transition from 6-count to 8-count (which was my little insight last week).

    All that said, I'm not sure how much I'll be dancing for the next couple months with school starting again. :\
  15. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I have nothing new to report, except that I'm having a lot of fun. Haven't been able to take class for a couple weeks, and I haven't had much chance to practice shag on the floor, although I did once.
  16. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    Went to my ballroom group class (ECS) where the teacher started us out with "Lindy Turn" AKA swingout. So I was all excited that I could practice my swingout, except I found out that I was pulling all my partners on the five/six counts. I didn't listen too closely when the instructor went over the follow's part, but I guess they weren't told to come forward on those counts!
  17. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    It looks like I may be unable to go to my weekly group class for the next three months, which also renders the ensuing social party less attractive -- I usually leave after a handful of dances anyway, plus, I feel that I'm going to stagnate without something more concrete for me to work on. So now I'm trying to find a teacher from whom to take private lessons!
  18. leee

    leee Well-Known Member

    Haha j/k, change o' plans, same old same old coming up!
  19. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Well...good. lol

    i haven't been able to get to lindy hop for the past few weeks because of my schedule, but I did get out once. My friend/teacher led me in a song, starting with lindy, then balboa, then shag...and I hung right in there with him. It was so fun and felt great to be able to switch gears mid-song and not get lost.
  20. Siggav

    Siggav Moderator Staff Member

    I was at a lindy exchange last weekend and am sort of exhausted. The saturday night ended up with a blues after party dance at a nice venue that lasted until 6 am. After having done lindy all day and then lindy most of the sunday afterwards my legs are pretty much jelly. It was really good fun though and I managed to hit 40k steps on my pedometer.

    On the topic of switching styles within a dance, I had a fun balboa sunday night where the song suddenly switched gears into being really bluesy for a bit and my lead (who is a really excellent balboa lead) doesn't lead blues while I do so we swapped the lead over and I lead for a bit until the song swapped back to balboa, when we switched over again. It was really good fun.
    leee and twnkltoz like this.

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