Why so few middle aged Lindy/Balboa dancers?

Doug

New Member
#1
The average of the West Coast dancers the country western dancers and the Tango dancers around here is middle age. Salsa dancers are younger, but not young.

Lindy and Balboa dancers are primarily 20-somethings. Why do you suppose this is true?

We sure would like some fellow "age-appropriate" dance friends, but it is not easy to find them in the Lindy/Bal world. Easier in Balboa than Lindy, which is another subject entirely.
 

tsb

Well-Known Member
#3
i imagine the energy level has something to do with it. but from what i've seen, tied in with that is the perspective of youth. if i can use music as an analogy, younger musicians tend to think that their chops are tied into the speed with which they cram as many notes as they can fit into a phrase, whereas someone like b.b. king has lived long enough to realize that a slow bend held for a number of beats can sing more than a fast riff. similarly, the younger wcs dancers i've seen who are technically skilled tend to be what i'd describe as 'cute' in their styling vs. showing 'feel' for the music at a slower tempo & the phrasing that i see in more mature dancers. this kind of styling lends itself more to lindy IMO.
 

Doug

New Member
#4
tsb said:
similarly, the younger wcs dancers i've seen who are technically skilled tend to be what i'd describe as 'cute' in their styling vs. showing 'feel' for the music at a slower tempo & the phrasing that i see in more mature dancers. this kind of styling lends itself more to lindy IMO.
I think that I see what you are saying, and a similar thing exists in the Lindy world in the form of "whatever tempo you can dance I can dance faster..". But the range of tempos danced in the community ranges from 120 to 220 bpm, with a lot of allowance for musicality in the lower, say 120-160 bpm, tempo ranges. And Bal can easily be musically expressive at tempos up to 220-240 bpm even by those only moderately accomplished.

One of the things I absolutely love about the Lindy/Bal complex is that I can dance from 80 to 260 bpm by switching between the dances. Especially when one notes that down-hold balboa timing is identical to NC2S and can easily be danced at double time the music just as though it were NC2S. The result is that we can go anywhere that there is jazz or blues - live or DJed - and have a great time irrespective of tempos. A number of my WCS friends tend to shy away from a lot of live music because the music won't accomodate their dance, or has too wide a range of tempos, or ....

So it seems to make sense to add to their dance arsenal and puzzles me that more don't do so.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#5
I wonder if it has anything to do with the bands who introduced "neo-swing" back when the swing resurgence of the nineties was happening. Those were punk/ska bands, right? Well, how many middle aged punk followers do you know? Some, sure. But probably not a lot, comparatively speaking. I wonder if the current swing demographic has something to do with the fans of those particular bands.

The other thing that crossed my mind was "Swing Kids," the movie. That was full of teenagers, and was a really popular movie that got the swing name out there.

I guess what I'm saying is that the swing crowd today might just coincidentally be the demographic targeted by the media images of swing when the recent swing movement got started. Farfetched, maybe, but hey. What the heck. Farfetched is what we're here for. :wink: :lol:
 

tsb

Well-Known Member
#6
Doug said:
tsb said:
similarly, the younger wcs dancers i've seen who are technically skilled tend to be what i'd describe as 'cute' in their styling vs. showing 'feel' for the music at a slower tempo & the phrasing that i see in more mature dancers. this kind of styling lends itself more to lindy IMO.
I think that I see what you are saying, and a similar thing exists in the Lindy world in the form of "whatever tempo you can dance I can dance faster..". But the range of tempos danced in the community ranges from 120 to 220 bpm, with a lot of allowance for musicality in the lower, say 120-160 bpm, tempo ranges. And Bal can easily be musically expressive at tempos up to 220-240 bpm even by those only moderately accomplished.

One of the things I absolutely love about the Lindy/Bal complex is that I can dance from 80 to 260 bpm by switching between the dances. Especially when one notes that down-hold balboa timing is identical to NC2S and can easily be danced at double time the music just as though it were NC2S. The result is that we can go anywhere that there is jazz or blues - live or DJed - and have a great time irrespective of tempos. A number of my WCS friends tend to shy away from a lot of live music because the music won't accomodate their dance, or has too wide a range of tempos, or ....

So it seems to make sense to add to their dance arsenal and puzzles me that more don't do so.
after thinking about it a little, the idea of doing NC2S with its styling at twice the tempo creates a logical disconnect for me. i think i'd be uncomfortable after 30 seconds and want to sit down. and this comes from somebody who has no problem borrowing salsa moves & putting them into NC2S.
 

Doug

New Member
#7
tsb said:
after thinking about it a little, the idea of doing NC2S with its styling at twice the tempo creates a logical disconnect for me. i think i'd be uncomfortable after 30 seconds and want to sit down. and this comes from somebody who has no problem borrowing salsa moves & putting them into NC2S.
Me too. But spose you dance it with a Balboa styling? The Bal basic is Q,Q,S, Q,Q,S which is the same timing as NC2S. Just as NC2S is traditionally danced to VERY slow music at double-time the VERY slow music, Bal works well to SLOW music by dancing at double-time the SLOW music. But not with NC2S styling. :)

OTOH, we do steal a lot from NC2S to put into our Balboa.
 
#8
NC2S steals from lots of other dances to begin with, so it's certainly fair to treat it the same way. There are already the classic "nightclub", Latin, and country interpretations of the dance, even without messing with the tempo.

Doug said:
The Bal basic is Q,Q,S, Q,Q,S which is the same timing as NC2S.
As well as foxtrot, bolero, rumba, salsa, 8-count single time swing, and doubtless some others. There are not that many ways to move repetitively over 4 beats, no big surprise here :)
 
#9
Doug said:
Just as NC2S is traditionally danced to VERY slow music at double-time the VERY slow music, Bal works well to SLOW music by dancing at double-time the SLOW music.
Do Your Thing (MP3 sample from track #12 of the Basement Jaxx Rooty album) is interesting in this regard. At first glance it's WCS (a bit fast by current standards, around 124 BPM), but there's an underlying energy that makes me want to do something double-time with it. Not sure what Balboa fans would make of it.
 

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#10
jon said:
Dancers run in age cohorts because they're more comfortable that way. Also the Lindy revival is historically recent.
And perhaps since the lindy crowd is quite young it may be discouraging older people who may feel out of place from wanting to learn the dance and attending lindy dances; that's just a guess.
 

DWise1

Well-Known Member
#11
Spitfire said:
jon said:
Dancers run in age cohorts because they're more comfortable that way. Also the Lindy revival is historically recent.
And perhaps since the lindy crowd is quite young it may be discouraging older people who may feel out of place from wanting to learn the dance and attending lindy dances; that's just a guess.
That may well be true in a number of communities, but ours is being fed by dance classes that have a sizable number of middle-aged and older students as well as "college-age" and a few inbetween. Plus, there seems to be a phenomenon (perhaps a suitable question for another thread) of non-dancers of both genders suddenly taking up dancing as they approach 50 (some approaching more closely than others, or even overshooting the mark).

So when this old f**t goes out to a local venue, not only are there women there who are closer to his own age, but he also already knows many of the young ones from class, many of whom actively seek him out for a dance. Though I will admit that I am much more at ease approaching a strange older woman (ie, not acquainted with her) for a dance than a strange young woman (especially if she is more attractive); in the latter case I feel afraid that I'll appear to be a dirty old man.

But what about the flip side? How does the young crowd view the older crowd? What I have seen has for the most part been favorable or at least not unfavorable. However, our swing club's online open forum had to be closed because of "young punk Lindy hoppers" who had joined in and started flame wars and general havoc with their inflamatory posts and generally foul conduct. Part of their rant was against these middle-aged geeks "invading" their territory; mainly that our Lindy wasn't as pure as theirs and besides we tired out too quickly. But then I remember as a high-schooler the same kind of rants being expressed against the Marines stationed here -- except of course for the part about tiring out too quickly. And when I was stationed in North Dakota the only animosity towards airmen that I ever heard from the locals was one first-year university student who didn't like the competition (basically what I remember being expressed in high school).

So is our calm and accepting atmosphere here in Orange County Lindy Land representative of venues in the rest of the country, or are we a happy little anomaly?
 
#12
jon said:
Do Your Thing is interesting in this regard. At first glance it's WCS (a bit fast by current standards, around 124 BPM), but there's an underlying energy that makes me want to do something double-time with it. Not sure what Balboa fans would make of it.
Yes it certainly does have a high energy double time feel. One could certainly Bal to it & indeed I would if this is what were being played. But most Balboa dancers wouldn't. It does not swing.
 
#13
Spitfire said:
And perhaps since the lindy crowd is quite young it may be discouraging older people who may feel out of place from wanting to learn the dance and attending lindy dances; that's just a guess.
Well it hasn't discouraged me!
 
#14
Doug said:
jon said:
Do Your Thing is interesting in this regard. At first glance it's WCS (a bit fast by current standards, around 124 BPM), but there's an underlying energy that makes me want to do something double-time with it. Not sure what Balboa fans would make of it.
Yes it certainly does have a high energy double time feel. One could certainly Bal to it & indeed I would if this is what were being played. But most Balboa dancers wouldn't. It does not swing.
I just listened to the sample and I don't like it for Bal either. Or any other dance I do.

Doesn't swing. Period.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#16
Hmm. It looks like nobody likes my media images theory. :roll: I stick by it anyway. What we see on TV influences how we perceive things, period... even if we think we're intellectually superior. So there. :wink: :tongue: :lol:
 
#17
pygmalion said:
Hmm. It looks like nobody likes my media images theory. :roll: I stick by it anyway. What we see on TV influences how we perceive things, period... even if we think we're intellectually superior.
I don't watch TV, aside from the occasional movie on DVD... ooh, does that mean I can be "intellectually superior"?
 
#18
Doug said:
suek said:
Well it hasn't discouraged me!
Waaaiit. Weren't you that 20-something with the purple hair that I danced with at the Rendezous?? Or does everybody under 55 just look young to me? :shock:
well you're half right. I do have purple hair. Thx for the compliment.
 
#19
Doug said:
The average of the West Coast dancers the country western dancers and the Tango dancers around here is middle age. Salsa dancers are younger, but not young.

Lindy and Balboa dancers are primarily 20-somethings. Why do you suppose this is true?
I'd like to echo what jon said about the lindy revival being recent.

I suppose the tango community has been around for some time, samt thing for salsa. What about the East- and West coaste swing, did they emerge before the lindy revival?

I suppose part of this ""whatever tempo you can dance I can dance faster.."-mentality, that Doug described, is part of being young... Probably this will decrease as the lindy poopulation gets older - unless the aging lindyhoppers leave for other dances and we don't really believe that. Do we? ;)
 

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