Lindyland, it’s been too long!
I’ve mostly been trying to avoid the humidity and mosquitoes here in Taiwan. The Yilan lindy scene is nonexistent, though I did see a couple dancers (from Taipei?) up on Wai Ao beach Sunday morning. Slacking on my RhythmJuice game, but otherwise just ready for Taipei Lindy Fest to start this weekend. Matt, Katie, Barry and I were up in Taipei Friday night for a Fulbright shindig, so we went up to Tav Swing to meet some of the locals. It was really fun, and I got a few great dances in! However, like in many other parts of the world outside of Chambana (miss you, Illini Swing Society!), follows have to ask leads more than vice versa. Further, the “better” dancers (as we all know, this is very subjective and based on the size of your ego) quarantine themselves to each other. What is up with all this exclusivity? Tres ridiculous, I think. I believe one guy danced with a total of two follows the entire night and spent the rest of it on his phone…It’s like a weird comfort thing that I use to subscribe to? Yo no se anymore. I had fun, and managed a reunion with two Frankie 100 volunteers–holla, Dory & Steven!
I also danced it up at the Fulbright Welcome Party, much to the surprise of most of the attendees. It’s like fun wanted to die, but we soul-trained and jitterbugged it back to life. I mean, c’mon. There was a live band. The bass player knew tango for goodness’ sake. Dr. Vocke, the head of Fulbright Taiwan, also knew how to jitterbug! HOW COULD YOU NOT?
Anyways, I got the pre-JnJ prelim jitters, if you know what I mean. And not the jitterbug kind either, the Imma-throw-up-on-my-Keds kind of nervous. It reminds me of the good ol’ days last semester on Swing Dings. However, thanks to wise words from Jamin Jackson and Kenny Nelson, I think I’ll probably be alright. Basically, in the land of competitions and auditions, you have to get back to your roots and sink in. Some other rather unexpected tips: dress nice. Dress code for TLF Friday is red, so I’ll have to find some nice red gear, though I’m leaning towards a different color outfit with red shoes, just to stand out…not sure yet. Not to mention, break out the fancy stuff in your dancing too! Don’t compromise fundamentals for flair, but don’t be afraid to embellish either. Nathan Bugh gave us a talk at Lindy Focus and basically told us that’s what lindy is all about…adventurous embellishment. Jamin’s tip on structuring the 8 counts was a great reminder as well. Start building up to give some different flavors. My sensei, Bradley, also gave some great tips about changing your level. Dance low, dance high, and everything looks a bit more exciting.
Also? Facial expressions are everything in this game. I think I’m a winner in this category, don’t you?
The best advice I always get from advanced dancers and the wiser crowd is to have fun. When you’re in a comp, you get the chance to dance in front of an audience. How great is that? Smile, smile, smile.
Gotta brush up on my rhythm in the days leading up to the comp.
Wish me some happy feet for the JnJ!
Love and lindy,