After verbalizing some of these sentiments in my Followers Track class at Camp Hollywood this weekend, I was pleased and surprised to receive feedback on how “liberating” this was to some of the students. I take it for granted that every follower is aware of these, and while perhaps they implicitly are, it became clear that instructors aren’t talking about this enough. (It should also go without saying that these notes are just as valid for leaders, but for a variety of reasons, this is not as much of an ‘issue’ as it is seems to be for followers.) In a nutshell:
If you ever worry about the fact that you don’t look like the people you see in competitions – in physical appearance or quality of movement – you are not alone.
However, you don’t need to feel badly about this. Your body type might be different than those in the spotlight. You might like to move differently. You do need not to – actually, SHOULD not – aim to be whatever archetype of lindy hop dancer is in your head. There is no “one” lindy hop, and there is no ideal. It would be terrifically boring if there were.
In short, move the way YOU like to, expressing your unique ideas. For my part, I’ll do my best to provide you tools to help you figure that out.
Not that you need my permission for any of this, but in case you were had some of these thoughts and are feeling less than adequate or valued in our community, may these thoughts bring a touch of inspiration to keep finding your own path.