Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Time to Straighten Up and Fly Right

About 500 years ago I used to swing dance. I used to swing dance ALOT. OK OK I used to drink bucket loads of cardy chardy and then swing out. The dance that I did is called Lindy Hop.
What the hell is Lindy Hop? I hear you wail. Well according to Wikipedia:

The Lindy Hop is an American dance that evolved in Harlem, New York City in the 1920s and 1930s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time. Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston. It is frequently described as a jazz dance and is a member of the swing dance family.
In its development, the Lindy Hop combined elements of both partnered and solo dancing by using the movements and improvisation of black dances along with the formal eight-count structure of European partner dances. This is most clearly illustrated in the Lindy's basic step, the swingout. In this step's open position, each dancer is generally connected hand-to-hand; in its closed position, men and women are connected as though in an embrace.

If you watch the youtube clip above it shows a funny take on How To Lindy Hop.


I learnt to dance with Ray & Chrissy Keepence about .... shit... at least 13 years ago when they had classes called Katz Korner.  (You may have heard of Mrs K from her amazing Lindy Charm School For Girls . It was heaps & heaps of fun. Basically, as I stated above I would get all frocked up, crack open a bottle (or two) of the grape & dance until I fell or stumbled over.
And of course, the more I drank the better I danced!!! NOT!

For a while there I was dancing about 3 -4 nights a week at classes and then again on weekends socially.
Once a month I would go to Swing at the Oasis where we would dance in public and then on Sundays we would head out to Hope Harbour and dance amongst the diners to the live swing band. That used to be great fun as alot of the diners were elderly and loved seeing us 'young-uns' dance and we would often grab some old bloke up for a shuffle around the floor.

Me with Ray & Chrissy of Katz Korner (pissed again)

I also remember (vaguely through my drunken memories) that we would hit Rosie's nightclub in Surfers Paradise and Lindy Bomb.
Which basically means a bunch of us would take over the dance floor and swing dance to modern music.  I was great times.  However, after a while the shit that is LIFE took over & I got divorced and had alot of emotional crap happening that I gave it up.  Oh sure occasionally I would rock up to a dance & cut a rug but not much.
When TBF & I got together I was very excited because he used to teach Lindy Hop with his ex and he is quite the mover on the dance floor.... but again LIFE got in the way.. IVF... Money issues.. Blar Blar Blar.
So 2013 came around and I took stock of what the frick I want to DO with my life & my time.
WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY? Well, pugs & french bulldogs make me happy but I already have 2 dogs so that was out.  I thought back to all the times when I was dancing and it dawned on me that I LOVED it and I MISSED it.
If you see me on the dance floor I've always got this 'special' goofy grin on my face.
I am by NO MEANS a fantastic lindy hop dancer. I tend to take over the lead and sing too loudly into my partner's face but I would rate myself as above average.
I always say that I knew I could dance when I realised that I could have a conversation about what's been going on at work while swinging out.
So when I heard that Empire Swing were starting classes at Chermside I got very excited.

So last night I trundled off to my first class in like a billion years. I was nervous. Luckily, I found that it was like the preverbial riding a bike. It all came back to me.  I was really surprised to see more blokes at the class then girls. Not a bad thing though. MOST of the guys were really good and very strong leads which is bloody essential in Lindy Hop as otherwise the chick doesn't know what the hell to do.
By the end of the class the sweat was pissing off me and I felt so gross & sticky but I also felt GREAT. I'M BACK!! I thought.


Rob & Emma were fantastic teachers and very thorough and easy to follow.
The only thing that gave me the irrits a bit was some of the guys, even though they told me they have been dancing for nearly 2 years now, STILL have to count. I may have annoyed some of the fellas because when they asked "Should I count us in?" I rolled my eyes and said "I don't count. I just listen to the music". Hmmmm I may not have made many friends.
I did feel a bit of an outsider but I feel like that all the time anyway. Most of the people were friendly but some may have been a bit put off with my over exhuberance. I rarely fit in. sigh.
Anyways... TBF is coming with me next week which will be so awesome.

I'm happy to be back into Lindy Hop again.


  1. So excited to see you two back out on the floor again! Now don't go putting us to shame ;) Also, felt like CLAPPING out loud at work after watching that video! The speed! The fitness! Amazing! It's not really a dance style that appeals to me to actually learn, but sure is impressive to watch!

  2. Sounds great Vikki, I would love to be able to move like that.

    I cant wait to see a clip of you carving up the dance floor!

  3. oh I DREAM to be able to dance that fast! I can do some fancy footwork but I'm too scared to do any aerials!