Oh, the lovely organizers of SwingIN. Alas, I attended this only as a dancer, not a workshop intensive student. Still, quite enjoyable.
Let’s delve in, shall we?
Venue(s): 4/5 Fountain Square and Riolo were lovely, but Grove Haus was sweltering Friday night. Dancer faux pas, I believe. All the vents were covered with dancer gear so no air got through. Sunday night at the same venue? Possibly 10 degrees cooler than the humid tropicana that was Friday. Otherwise, all the venues were pretty clean and well-kept. I really enjoyed the multiple rooms, smooth floor and plethora of floor-to-ceiling mirrors at the Riolo.
Atmosphere: 5/5 The live bands! Yes and yes again. Jerron Paxton, that man can swing on any instrument. How very, very talented. I remember just gaping in awe as he touched a piano. Yes sir, that’s what we call jazz magic. The Robert Bell Hot Swing Combo! They swung us into the night with amazing variations on some favorite classics while throwing in a few of their own originals. Super talented, super fun to dance with. A pleasure to be in the midst of such great musicians.
Dancers: 4/5 A mixed bag of dancers for this marvelous event, but the hep cats were still a swingin’. Great reunions with travelling swing friends, as well as some splendid new friends. Some people were a bit reluctant to get on the floor for who knows why. At this point, I’ve heard every excuse in the book, but I’ll give credit to certain dancers for their, ahem, creativity to avoid a dance. Others just looked, for lack of a better word, underwhelmed by it all. However, the overwhelming majority of dancers left me feeling warm and welcomed with their eager smiles.
Overall: 4.5/5 I really enjoyed SwingIN as a mere dancer without all the workshop benefits. It was fun, but it did cue me into how it feels not to have workshops fill your day. While I did have more energy for the dances, I found that the social aspect of the dances to be a bit more strained. I stuck more to people I knew instead of people I just met. That being said, I loved hanging out with the lovely Amanda Bernice of Kansas City fame. My partner in crime in that fair Indy weather, who could complain? If anything, SwingIN really humbled me as a dancer. My first JnJ (the horror) and first taste of behind-the-dance-scenes. It was simultaneously exciting and slightly embarrassing, but I’ll tell you one thing. SwingIN was the place to experiment because that scene is quite wonderful. So, with that, thank you to all the organizers who made the 2013 SwingIN such a great learning experience.
Swingin’ SwingIN. Did I mention what a great name for venue this is? Absolute perfection.
Love & Lindy,