Swingin' For Breakfast

Little White Lies
Boilermaker Jazz Band / Nice Work If You Can Get It

"Little White Lies" by Boilermaker Jazz Band.

8 plays
The Stories: Sherlockyoubastard/LindyFox

That photo is less and less appealing to me ever time I see it. Oh boy. As you can see by the watermark, Jerry Almonte took this still lovely picture!

What got you into Lindy Hop?

My best best friend took me and a few friends, one summer night, to Mobtown Ballroom. It was striking, it was weird, and I loved it. That night I really only saw, and did, East Coast Swing (my little group hung out in the back where the Lindy Hoppers apparently did not); the best dancing I saw was when Michael Seguin asked my best friend to dance. She was an ECS beginner like me, but she was dancing with Seguin. It looked great. Anyway, we didn’t get to come back until mid December. I remember one of those nights I was paying serious attention to what was going on around me and in the jam. I got all fired and decided: I’m gonna learn that stuff. I took my first Lindy Hop class three weeks later and I fell in love.

What do you love most about Lindy Hop?

Before Lindy Hop came along in my life, I was not a dancer. At all. I still have yet to consider myself one, really, so the feeling I get when I can feel and hear my body and the music making sense with each other makes me so happy. I love the music and the musicality! I love the feeling of some nice and easy, not too fast, not too slow Lindy Hop too. This was not an effective answer.

What’s your favorite dance story (personal or historical)?

Ohhh man Nina Glikenson’s story makes me happy. It’s like Lindy Hop was MEANT TO BE. I also love the story of Mobtown Ballroom. One of the best dance stories of them all. Watch here!

Do you lead, follow, or are you ambidancetrous?

I am ambidancetrous, but I usually follow when social dancing.

What is your favorite dancing video?

I’m always gonna love this one. It was one of my first ten watches. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT1j8KOMjNE

Do you teach?

During my junior year of high school the friend who brought me to Mobtown started a dance club with me. We taught East Coast together, and then during the second semester of my senior year we started a Lindy Hop club together! So yeah!

Do you DJ?

Only for my Lindy Hop club 

What is your favorite song?

I love Blues My Naughty Sweety Gives to Me, I have a funny obsession with Are You All Reet whenever it comes on. I love Sidney Bechet’s version of Summertime. I also love Sidney’s version of At the Jazz Band Ball. I like a lot. I love dancing to playful, nicely paced ragtimey stuff.

Who do you consider to be your dance mentor?

Sarah Sullivan. Sarah is so freaking amazing at everything she does. She always gives me helpful tips, compliments, and critiques. She is a great teacher and helps me more than she probably thinks.

-Lindyfox

Illinois Goes to Chicago
Jonathan Stout And His Campus Five / Moppin' and Boppin'

"Illinois Goes to Chicago" by Jonathan Stout and His Campus Five.

52 plays
The Stories: Sarahsellaphix

sarahsellaphix:

What got you into Lindy Hop?

I went with some friends to see my jazz band instructor play.  Before then I’d never really heard or seen swing dancing, but I realized quickly that I liked it and felt more comfortable dancing then I ever had in my life.  But I didn’t hear the word Lindy Hop for a year.  I saw people NOT rock stepping and was all the fuck is that.  Later that summer I took a Lindy Hop class.  It was 2001.

What do you love the most about Lindy Hop?

How much it matches me. I’m not required to present a certain kind of sexiness.  I love the footwork.  The music hits me just right.  The connection feels great.  

What’s your favorite dance story?

When Chick Webb said, “I don’t give a good goddamn what those raggedy ass Lindy Hoppers say or do They can all go to hell. And their mammies too”.

How long have you been dancing? 

Since 2001

Do you lead, follow, or are you ambidancetrous?

Ambi

What is the most awesome event that you have been to?

Ultimate LIndy Hop Showdown 2006

What is your favorite dancing video?

Still the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown 2006 Revolution Finals.

Do you teach?

Yup! I taught at an exchange once, just when Hawkeye Swing Fest was getting going.  My female friend and I taught jazz routines and did Stops in the instructor jam.  I teach in a local arts center now, usually a beginner series when we get enough interest.  

Do you DJ?

I DJ’d once.  Someone insisted.  it was probably the worst set that ever existed.

What is your favorite song?

Still.

What’s your favorite genre of swing music?

Crunchy, bump-bumpin, ‘trad’ jazz.  

Who is your favorite band/musician?

I love Meshiya Lake’s combos starting with Loose Marbles.  I have their CD they burned on the street.  

Who do you consider to be your dance mentor?

Christy V now Palmer.  She gave me my first dance lesson and continues to be a dancer I admire.

(Source: swinginforbreakfast)

Mack The Knife
Bobby Darin / Mack The Knife - The Best Of Bobby Darin Volume 2

"Mack The Knife" by Bobby Darin. 

96 plays
The Stories: Justin Todd

My story starts when I was eating lunch with a large group of people, and a girl approached me and handed me a flyer for Monday night swing lessons at the college I was currently attending. I looked at the flyer and said “Hey, Monday nights! I am not busy. Let’s do it!”

I was not doing this for a specific girl. I was doing this to learn how to dance with a lot of girls.

So I went to my first lesson, and there was a total of 5 other people there, two of which were the teachers (both girls). I was, more or less, thrown into it, even having to dance with a guy in the rotation (Hey, I didn’t come to this lesson to learn how to dance with GUYS!!). But I was told that I was picking it up fast, and that I had a steep learning curve. These encouragements, along with the fun of the dance itself, kept me coming back to the lessons. Eventually, I was persuaded to come to the weekly social dance downtown on Friday. It was SUPER awkward, because I only knew the basic of east coast and a tuck turn, while there were people who had been dancing for years and could have been on Dancing with the Stars! Or so it seemed at the moment. I still dance with these people and I see now that some of the “fancy” moves that intimidated me at first are just variations on moves that are quite simple.

So I kept dancing at the Monday night lessons, the Friday night social dances, and I even got into some private lessons with our teacher (who really was helping me more than I realized at the time). Then she invited me to go to Tallahassee, FL for a workshop called “Seminole Stomp”. I reluctantly agreed.

This weekend changed everything for me. It was an awakening weekend. I had recently been looking for spiritual value in swing dance, something more than just dancing. Before I left for this trip, I felt as if I was getting in too deep with a group that did not really talk to much, or even mention, anything related to Christianity. I deeply desired that aspect in a group that I was getting very involved in, but I couldn’t find it.

But when I walked into my host’s house in Tallahassee, he had bible verses all over his walls. I discovered that he was an avid swing dancer who was part of a campus ministry, and he enjoyed dance as much as I did! This, along with a few other similar instances, encouraged me to stay in the dance.

That was a little over a year ago, and I have traveled multiple times since then. Now, I promote and teach dance at our Monday night class, along with 4 other of my dance cohorts. For me, swing dance is not about the dance as much as it is about the people dancing. It is about the connection, both on and off the floor. I seek this connection and provide this connection, to the best of my abilities, to anyone I come in contact with in the dance world.

When I Get Low I Get High
Exit 13 / Smoking Songs

"When I Get Low I Get High" by Exit 13.

272 plays
The Stories: Sarah (Cleveland) - Saribear

By the way, SparX is totally happening next year and you should definitely go…

What got you into Lindy Hop?

I got into lindy because a friend asked me to go to Case Western’s lessons with her, and I said yes. I liked the people, so I kept coming back, and then ended up falling in love with the dance and the swing dance community.

What do you love the most about Lindy Hop?

I love that I can have such a personal and intimate connection with someone I’ve never even met or who’s name I don’t even know and how it can result in an incredible dance. I also love the worldwide community and its interconnectedness. I can go to pretty much any city and have an immediate group to go to.

What’s your favorite dance story (personal or historical)?

Well of course now I can’t think of any…

At Toronto Toss Out, I asked Bobby White if he wanted bottom or top. The look on his face was priceless. I was showing him a cool fist bump… :)

At this one dance outside of Cleveland, it’s mostly high school students who go, and they don’t do much lindy, but have learn other styles of dance like waltz, etc. I’ve only gone to this dance once. At one point a polka song came on, and I knew enough to know that it’s basically just triple stepping while spinning, so I started polka-ing by myself over to my water bottle to get a drink. A lead sees me, sees that I know (kind of) how to polka, comes in a sweeps me off my feet. We polkaed around the gym for the rest of the song and were the only ones doing it, so everybody watched. We were spinning so fast I felt like I was flying.

Another favorite moment was dancing on top of a table on top of a mountain outside Wellington, NZ. My dance partner from there is coming to the States for Frankie100!

How long have you been dancing? 

Almost 3 years now!

Do you lead, follow, or are you ambidancetrous?

I’m primarily a follow, but I lead when I feel like it or for beginner classes, and sometimes for the classes at Case if I feel like the leads can’t properly lead what I want to teach. I’m stuck in the leading rut of I can do the moves I know really well but have trouble improvising.

What is the most awesome event that you have been to?

Well I’m counting on Frankie100 being pretty high on the list after it happens in May… But actually, I really love small events because it’s so personal. I guess for the most awesome, I would choose the first Chicago Balboa Weekend in July 2013. Despite the issues I had that weekend with my old dance partner, it was my first bal workshop and it crazy improved my bal. It was at the end of the summer, and I had pretty much been taking a break for most of it because I was working three jobs and just didn’t feel like dancing. A week or so before Chicago, I had gone to Ann Arbor for dancing and had a horrible time because I felt out of shape and felt like all the people I danced with expected better from me. I had been keeping up with my bal though, so I didn’t feel that way in Chicago, but by the end of the weekend the bal had influenced by lindy and I felt back in it! I even got 2nd place in the Jack n Jill! I went to Chicago’s weekly Sunday evening dance and had some of the most amazing dances and a lead even asked if I would marry him after a particularly fantastic Charleston dance. I also went to their weekly Monday night venue and had more amazing dances and met even more amazing people. It was the perfect high I needed to get me back into dancing before school started again and I had to start teaching. I came back to it more excited than ever.

What is your favorite dancing video?

Oh, so, so many… There’s a few that I never get tired of watching- currently it’s JB Mino and Tatiana Udry’s showcase at Paris Jazz Roots 2014. Hot damn. The two other main ones are William and Maeva at SCOZ 2013 and Dax and Sarah’s ESDC 2012 showcase.

Do you teach?

Yup! I teach the lessons at Case Western Reserve University! (Although I’m about to graduate, so not much longer) and occasionally around Cleveland for Val Salstrom when she’s traveling. I think my favorite thing to teach is advanced charleston moves.

Do you DJ?

Occasionally. I’m not a huge music nerd, and if it remotely swings, I don’t typically have a complaint for what it is (unless it’s too much rockabilly). Not the best quality for a DJ. But I have some decent playlists that I can break out and I pay attention enough to know what’s good or bad.

What is your favorite song?

Oh gosh, that’s another tough one… I adore Sammy Davis Jr.’s version of “Love Me or Leave Me.” *shuffles through itunes* I would also say “Smooth Sailing” by Ella Fitzgerald.

What’s your favorite genre of swing music?

I do love that electroswing! But talking about real, truly swingable music, I love New Orleans style jazz. I love that bouncy beat that’s awesome for lindy, kickass charleston, or fun balboa. (Can you tell what styles are my favorite???)

Who is your favorite band/musician?

Caravan Palace!

In terms of alive and currently doing swing gigs, I would definitely say Mint Julep Jazz Band. They’re just amazing. And I probably have to say Solomon Douglas because I’m friends with him…

By the way, if you ever want to dance to swing music every night of the week, you have to go to Wellington, New Zealand. All the different swing bands in the city know each other, and they just grab members and start playing on the street.

Who do you consider to be your dance mentor?

Hmm… I guess currently I don’t have one. The couple I was taught by has moved on, and although the follow of the pair has been my inspiration for a long time, I feel like I’ve developed my own way of dancing that’s a big different. It took me a long time to figure out that I don’t necessarily have to dance like her or have the same dance friends she does and that I’m allowed to like moves she doesn’t. I’m slightly frustrated by the Cleveland scene currently (lots of people, but relatively low skill level. There’s only just now beginning to be a push for lindy and balboa lessons and most don’t travel.), so I’m in the market for a good follow mentor that I can actually talk to and get advice from on a regular basis. Pro-wise, I would definitely say I love how Laura Glaess dances and look to her dancing for inspiration.

Pardon My Southern Accent
Jeff Healey / Among Friends

"Pardon My Southern Accent" by Jeff Healey.

100 plays
The Stories: Sorenwolf

I have been dancing consistently for about a year and a half now, though I first learned a couple years before that.

I love the connection between the lead and follow. being able to move in sync without words.

I am mostly a lead but I have been working on my following.

I kinda teach. though not very much. 

I might start DJing…

Favorite song is Skeewiff and Buster Bailey’s Light Up