Swing Dancers to Watch: Youth Performers

Hello, Swing World. 🙂 Beautiful, beautiful people. How are your swing-outs coming along?

Anyways, there’s this lovely event called Lindyfest Lone Star Championships that happens in Houston, TX every year. The workshops host a bevvy of great JnJ contests, from All-Star to Intermediate/Advanced and others. Besides the traditional Strictlys and showcases, I love that Lindyfest includes, like many great events, a youth performance section. This year, everyone looked fantastic. Take a peek in the video.

Photo via Eric Mull, Cleveland Magazine.

Photo via Eric Mull, Cleveland Magazine.

You have to love Cyle Dixon and Alexis Davila. You must. They don’t hold back on the energy, and it shows in how upbeat each of their performances are.

As a teacher and someone who is trying to spread the love of jazz to Taiwanese students this school year, seeing youth performances blossom gives me so much hope. Here, it can be easy to fall into a slump of moves and forget that the spirit of creativity is oh-so-necessary. I’ve rewritten Charleston and solo jazz lessons five-times over, trying to inspire students. Yes, there are the naturals. They watch it once and start snapping on beat. Most of the students are seeking moves, but I really want to instill the love of jazz. So, what do we do? How do we as teachers inspire the next generation of jazz giants? That’s what I believe. Each student has the potential to be the next great _______.

So…how do we instill it? I think it comes from within. Right now, maybe I’m not in a place to do it. I suppose I can start there and remember why I loved jazz in the first place. Maybe, if I love enough, that will overflow and sink into what it means to teach out of love.

Anyways, look at these young people. They are fantastic, and we all have something to learn from each of them. Markedly, JOY. WOW. The judges were definitely right in giving a standing ovation. This is the joy to look forward to.

Keep it jumpin’, my friends.

S.

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