The most viewed Lindy Hop, Balboa, Blues Dance, and Charleston videos of 2013. Why? Because it’s December. More of an explanation and analysis below the list.
Welcome to the new home for Wandering & Pondering!
I created this site as a central repository for all my
projects and interests.
I’m a little bit more discriminating in terms of what I blog about these days, so most of the action happens on the Facebook page for this site where I post links and videos daily. If you haven't "liked" it on Facebook, just click on the box to the right.
In the mean time, it has been brought to my attention that not as many people are aware that I’ve written quite a bit about Lindy Hop and its sister dances, not to mention a number of other sundry topics such as music, event planning, and living in DC. Then there are all the posts by guest contributors.
Below is a handy guide to some notable past posts. One of the nice things about writing about an older dance like Lindy Hop is that lot of observations don’t go out of style, or at the very least, have some sort of curious historical value for our ever growing and changing dance community.
Since I brought this blog over from the Wordpress site, not everything imported cleanly. I'm fixing as much as I can, but it’ll be a long term work in progress.
I have some new posts in the works, and of course we just had the International Lindy Hop Championships, so there will be some activity soon enough. In the mean time, take a look around and make yourself at home. Don’t forget to subscribe or follow my multitude of social platforms to get updates on my propaganda machine.
Generally speaking, I will use this blog to write about my projects and endeavors, but I won’t abandon what got it the most notoriety, which is my commentary about the continuing development of the modern Lindy Hop community alongside its siblings in Balboa and Blues Dance.
If you are looking to learn about how the dance got to where it is today, then start with Artistry In Rhythm which is a 16 part look at how a social dance community communicates ideas through the lens of the Lindy Hop communityof the late 1990’s through 2007.
You can see the story continue to unfold every year for the past four years since I started this blog in 2009, I’ve made it an oddly compulsive habit of listing all the notable blogs, articles and video related to vernacular jazz dancing since then. Will this year be five? Only time will tell.
Once you’re done with that you can wade through the rest of my Dance Commentary which is listed below with posts that compliment Artistry In Rhythm and the subsequent yearly round ups first. That's followed by a complete chronological list of all the other dance posts.
I also have quite a bit to say about music in terms of live performances, DJing, and album and song reviews. I’ve done both of us a favor by breaking these out individually at the end of this post.
I’ve had a number of guest writers over the years that have contributed to this overall story of Lindy Hop. Dr. Karen Turman gave us a detailed personal history behind all the choices she and Andrew made for the important dance performances they “quoted” in their legendary Evolution of Lindy Hop routine. Skye Humphries shared his extensive answers about the dance and his life in a previously unpublished interview, and Ramona Staffeld occasionally chimes in with remembrances of growing up dancing Lindy Hop.
I’m my own harshest critic. The epic Frankie95 Review is actually the inspiration for me starting this blog. It’s a sort of self-therapeutic breakdown of the biggest Lindy Hop event to date, and includes a lot of behind the scenes insiderness about the event and the Lindy Hop community at large.
I continue to do extensie debriefs of the event I work on currently, The International Lindy Hop Championships which started back in 2008. Although, the recap of the last ILHC was in video form on the video show I co-host with Bobby White, A Word on Swing.
My Event Commentary about other events tends to be a mixture of observations about the dance and music in general as well as nitpicks about planning and coordinating an event. Somewhere in there are also recaps about the events themselves like the grand opening of the now infamous Mobtown Ballroom.
It does help to have the Facebook page for this blog to keep track of what people talk and care about. Before that, I did it the old fashioned way and listed everything on my blog. In your darkest days, you can indulge in your madness by exploring the archives of those Video and Link Highlights. Be warned: there may be no coming back.
As you can see, most of my writings mainly deal with the world of dance, but on occasion I will rant about random pop cultureness, and get a little personal, albeit very rarely. I also talk up things I see around the city I live in, and if you’re ever in town, think about talking the epic DC in 24 Hours challenge and tell me about it because I’m probably not going to do it any time soon.
Holy $#&%! Moments That Changed Modern Lindy Hop
- The Legend of Minnie’s Moochers
- Review: "Frenesi" Routine by Naomi Uyama & Matt Smiley at ALHC 2001
- DCLX: Secret Origins
- ULHS is Dead! Long Live ULHS!
- Behind The Dance: Frida & Skye at ALHC 2005
- Occupying Lindy Hop: The Gap Ad to Twenty-four Robbers and Forward
- America's Best Dance Crew-1933: The Four Step Brothers
- All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm
- Know Your Jazz Dancer: Marie Bryant
The Chronological List
- Self Promotion & Creative Risk in Lindy Hop
- Video Addendum (to Self Promotion & Creative Risk in Lindy Hop)
- Charleston and/or Lindy Hop?
- Hip Hop and International Relations Theory
- Survivance and Dance
- The Battle 2009 Solo Contest
- A Different Kind of Lead and Follow
- A Different Kind of Lead and Follow II: Electric Boogaloo
- Carla Heiney & The Boilermakers on So You Think You Can Dance
- Lindy Hop and the Future Historical Record
- Questions & Answers
- The Barbell Perspective
- Then and Now: Skye Humphries
- Australia Routine Interestingness
- Herrang Instructors by the Numbers
- Event Promotion Amusingness
- Frida=Awesome and Other Performance Observations
- Your Bio Sucks
- Creativity & Competitions
- Lindy Hop Instructor Statistical Pornography
- Event Data
- Body Roles: Lindy Hop Gender Statistics Magnified
- The Line
- WCS Futureshock
- Retro Re-Post: Focus on the Follows
- Video Review: Jo & Peter Invitational Jack & Jill ILHC 2009 and ILHC 2010 coverage
- Connection Through Culture
- Connection Collision
- Your Dancing Sucks But This Post Isn't About That
- The Episode Where the Koreans Bring It
- Live to Suck
- Then & Now: Jo & Nick
- Return of the Old School
- The State of the Lindy Online Disunion
- Hot Blues on Blues Action
- Dance Competitions: Judging and Getting Noticed
- Size Matters and other Annual Ruminations
- On Lindy YouTube Statistics
- Lessons in Jazz Appreciation from Lindy Focus
We Should Hear at Frankie100
- Rhythm Method
- Ernest Goes to School
- Jam Cellar: The Musical
It x2 (Coleman Hawkins & Roy Eldridge)
- Billie Holiday Inspiration
- Greatest Hits Pt. 2: The Hits Strike Back
- Greatest Hits
- Album Review: Sam Cooke Live at The Harlem Square Club
- Humility (Remembering Benny Powell)
- Solomon Douglas and The US Army Blues in DC
& TCO in DC
- Joint Service Jazz, August 16, 2009
- The Boilermaker Jazz Band at The Jam Cellar 7/7/09 and an Appreciation
- Review: The Brooks Telger Big Band and Combo at Glen Echo, June 27, 2009
What follows is probably the least technical illustration of what makes classic jazz great for dancing as well a behind the scenes look at the behind the scenes video about Lindy Focus and A Word on Swing.
I’ve learned a lot about film making in the last almost year. One of the things that I’ve been grateful for learning to dance is that it helped me refine my ability to learn in general. More importantly, the ability to be creative and improvise is born out of knowing what you want to accomplish to begin with and how to do it. When life throws you a curve, you can adjust and while keeping your eyes on the prize.
Ramona Staffeld & Todd Yannacone's 1st Place Pro Classic performance at The International Lindy Hop Championships was the most shared video off of the Wandering & Pondering FB page. It also happens to be one of my favorites of this year. Not long after that, Ramona contacted me to continue with her series here on this blog, but rather than go back, I convinced her to write about her most recent performance. She enthusiastically agreed, but I failed at life by losing track of the post she sent to me. I remembered it while prepping this year's round up and rather than blathering on about it myself, I present to you Ramona Staffeld in her own words.
This post is a combination of popular videos on YouTube, videos that generated a lot of chatter or “likes” on Facebook, or some other performances I enjoyed and thought were overlooked. As much as I’d like to say something about all of them, there is a lot of them. Besides, I think most of them can speak for themselves.