This is a fun little class I had the good opportunity to help in titled, “The Jungle Blues”. I truly heart solo dancing so I was pretty amped when I found out that I would be doing the advanced track of the solo portion of the weekend. While I do enjoy teaching solo dancing for beginners, I know that what really motivates me is when I’m really pushing myself as a teacher and showing what can be possible movement wise in such a short amount of class time. There’s a lot of curating going on for solo classes – what to teach (and what to spend time working details on), what to just show and move on, and ultimately, what to cut altogether.
In terms of choreography and inspiration, I wanted to have one foot in the past and one foot in the present in terms of what types of movement I would be showing. I focused a lot on hips/arm movements that I thought that majority of the dancers could walk away from the class being a little better at while at the same time really being mindful of fundamental vernacular blues movements like fishtails, mooches, boogies, low downs and pivot steps.
Oh et juste pour rire, I threw in a hip thrust in there for good measure. Traditions are hard to break.
Overall I was really happy that most of the participants were able to get the choreography in the 45 or so minutes that I had with them and hope to have more opportunities to do these kinds of mini projects at blues events. I mean, I do this all the time in Montréal… but not everyone can be in my city all the time. Or can they? (see what I did there?).
Special thanks to Rebecca and Melanie for filming. :)
Directed by Instructors/Choreographers: Randy Panté and Myriam Baril.
The Swing ConneXion Blues Troupe is an audition-based, partnered-blues dance group representing Montréal, Quebec. Our mission is to take Montréal’s blues dance scene to the next level through dance performances, training, and continual exploration of the beauty and humanity of african-american vernacular dances.
Our program includes:
* Weekly rehearsals at the Swing ConneXion studios.
* Continual fundamental blues dance technique exploration.
* Performance opportunities at the end of each project/choreography.
* Individual feedback and evaluations by the instructors.
* Fairly regular drinking outings (c’est blues!)…
If you are interested in auditioning for 2014, simply fill out the form below. If you have any questions, email or facebook message Randy (randypante@gmail) .
Here are my first shots with my delicious Einstein 640 monobloc lights. I took some photos of our team (Swing Connexion Blues Troupe) just before our performance at Snowbound Blues. Mmmm… monobloc lights. Even though I had ordered two lights, I only unpackaged one because those light stands are a bit heavy to carry around by myself… in a snowstorm. So I used a pretty simple one light setup with a 30 degree grid attached to it. The quality of light is so much different from my usual little speedlight that I use and while it took me a couple of minutes to figure out the menu system of the Einstein, I was pretty much up and shooting instantly out of the gate. Check some of them out below. I’m pretty excited about the possibilities once I learn more how to use them.
This is a fun little routine that I did with Zack for the Swing Connexion show, “Swing du Businessman”. Dancing to live music is always better than dancing to DJ’ed music… ten times more when performing. <3 Dancing starts somewhere in the middle of the video haha (there's a little skit before the actual dancing).
I already posted various versions of this routine but this one I think is my favourite.
Hey internet heads, I’m looking for new dancers for my next solo blues choreography (jazz-blues based) which will last about 2-3 months. If you are interested or want more information, simply navigate on the application link below:
If you like working hard and improving your solo dancing, this is a great opportunity to learn lots in a short period of time Maybe you’ll cry from the hard work but it will be tears of dance awesomeness.
This week we performed our solo blues/gospel routine at the Petit Medley titled “You May Run On”. I really like performing at this venue not only because it’s an actual blues dance night, but really because the decor and lighting of the venue makes it feel like a real stage rather than just an “open dance space”. Being a bar though, the space is fairly limited and the ceiling is absurdly low (there was a pretty funny moment when Any hit the lights with her fan during the intro). This routine really is meant to be danced in a bigger space and with all the dancers in the team, it was a bit difficult to navigate formations but I think we made it work.
My inspiration for this choreography were of Alvin Ailey’s contemporary choreographies of american black history. I tried to stay true to the idea of what the pieces were about while at the same time infusing it with some ideas I’ve had for a while for a choreo – fast arm movements, spins, and fans. I can’t even express how proud I am of my ladies (and of course the only dude on the team besides myself, the incomparable Elmer Ore) for all their hard work and dedication, especially those who would consider themselves new to solo dancing.