Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just Dance

I thought I would do a series of blog posts about swing dancing. I've been dancing for about 10 years now. I am by no means a professional but it is a passion of mine. I mainly dance jive, lindy hop and collegiate shag so I will probably focus mainly on those. But we will just see where it takes us!

The dance floor at Viva Las Vegas. All of my friends that went are in this photo somewhere!

I got into all of this on New Years Eve of 1999 when I stumbled upon a Rockabilly band playing at a martini bar. I was blown away by the whole thing. The music, the dancing, the clothes! It was all exactly what I'd been looking for. I started going to every show and event, I searched through thrift stores for vintage clothes and did my best to copy vintage hairstyles. After a few months of nervously watching I learned to dance and have been on the dance floor ever since. I learned East Coast first (you know; right, left, rockstep) and stroll. Then I learned the Jive which is simple but a lot of fun! After that I learned the Lindy Hop, which was harder for me because it is taught in counts which is like a foreign language to me. Once I stopped counting and just followed the music I finally got it. My current dance obsession is Collegiate Shag which is fast like Jive but complicated like Lindy.

Me dancing the Lindy Hop.

For me dancing goes hand in hand with this whole vintage lifestyle. I can't separate any of it. Sometimes when I'm talking to people that dance I am amazed to discover that they know nothing about the history of 'swing'. They have never seen the old movie clips. They don't know who Frankie Manning or Dean Collins is, nor do they seem to care. I get my inspiration from all these things so I find this concept to be strange. But I guess its what separates us vintage nutcases from the rest of the world!

Leading my friend Emma in Jive.

Hopefully this series of posts is at least a little informative and helpful. If anything it will force me to brush up on my knowledge as well! If anyone has any questions or comments I will do my best to answer them. Enjoy!


  1. i went to lessons to learn to swing dance.. I have 2 left feet and no rhythm.. so I just look like a damn fool. I want to be able to do it, but I am not any good :(

  2. Keep at it!! After 10 years I STILL have 2 left feet! lol! Its just about having fun IMO. My partner and I go and spend most of the time laughing anyways.

  3. That looks like so much fun. I've always wanted to learn but have yet to find a partner who wanted to learn with me.

    Have fun tonight!


  4. I'm the same as DeluxeVille, Me and my best friend have always wanted to take some classes but we can't get our bfs to go.

    Great pics :)

  5. Yeah its hard to make men wanna learn to dance. Luckily I learned when I was single. You should get a bunch of girlfriends together and take a class. You don't need a partner because you'll be dancing with different people anyways. And maybe when your BF see's how fabulous you are on the dancefloor he'll wanna learn as well!


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