I’ve been quiet for a good long time, but for the best of reasons…I spent my spring planning my wedding. Post-wedding, I’ve been relaxing over the summer and working at stellar events, such as The Process (Richmond), Lindy on the Rocks (Denver), and ILHC (D.C.). I’m now packing for one of my favorite events of the year, Camp Hollywood. I’ve got a lot to live up to now that I’m a fully-inducted Camp Hollywood Hall of Famer!
On a serious note, there have been several serious conversations occurring in our community of late. I don’t know that I have incredibly unique perspective to offer, and if anything I think the interwebs is full of too many bad opinions and not enough educated ones. That said, I will take this opportunity to share a few opinions (and hopefully as the Mike Faltesek-endorsed “most trusted face in lindy hop”, this will carry just a small bit of weight:
1. Competitions in lindy hop, at their best, encourage people to work hard and provide a venue to showcase the fruits of those labors. That said, lindy hop is ultimately art, and a competition result only has so much value in an artistic sense, which is to say, not much at all. Let’s not codify our competitions any more than is necessary. I vote, no points.
2. Similarly, choreography is great in competitions. So is social dancing. Organizers are obliged to be clear in their competition descriptions if they want a certain outcome. If the organizer want to enforce a lot of rules, that’s the organizer’s prerogative. If not, judges should be free to judge according their priorities, experience, preferences, and values. Freedom allows people to push boundaries and test the edges of ‘what is lindy hop’. Pushing those boundaries help us define what lindy hop is/is not, and the community can course-correct. For competitors, my advices is: just don’t do what everyone else is doing.
3. We are all bear responsibility for the wakes we create with our behavior, intentional or not. Responding with true humility and class (even if you think you are not in the wrong) will always be well-received.
After all that unusual seriousness, I’m now going to play with my cats. That too, is always well received.