After the Bell: Montreal Swing Riot

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Here are some videos of my experience dancing at Montreal Swing Riot. I have some serious homework to do after this event…

Work on general conditioning and cardio – I was pretty much winded half-way through the event and was hard pressed to recover and catch my breath. Maybe it’s too much blues dancing or too much drinking, but working on my cardio is something that is pretty much essential for my future dance well-being in Montreal. Not only do people dance pretty fast here, but I will also need it for the SCX team (they have a full on show with multiple routines in a row that I will have to perform in February 2013).

Fast dancing (and keeping on rhythm) – I think over the course of the past year or so, I have taken a more lethargic approach to dancing and it was hard for me to keep on the rhythm as the music got faster and faster. I don’t think anyone ever becomes super comfortable with dancing at higher tempos (or what I perceive to be higher tempo) but I should definitely get in some outside help to get me better at this.

Cleaning up basic partner work – with all the social dancing in the city, it’s sometimes easy to just phone it in for dances in terms of technique, leading, and triple steps. Especially for me. Again, gotta work on this.

- Randy


Short Showcase 1 – with Myriam from SCX. For funsies!

Short Showcase 2 – the Shorty George and Big Bea inspired routine. Partnered with Amanda from Toronto. We didn’t really prepare for this routine but I had a lot of fun doing it haha. Also, we super messed up the ending, and the middle part, and a little bit of the beginning.

Solo Jazz – Prelims

Solo Jazz – Finals

Solo Jazz – “Final” Finals – against Myriam from SCX

Strictly Battle – with Myriam from SCX

BluesShout 2012 Roundup

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This is my BluesShout roundup post! Wahoo! The first half of the post really is just all the vids that I shot while there. Everyone loves watching dance videos right? I’m sure most of you blues fanatics have already seen my BluesShout videos on Facebook but here they all are just in case. I would really appreciate if you guys/gals are able to post the names of the performers and competitors (and what order) so I can appropriately tag them.

The second half of this post are some notes and musings about my blues dance process for the past year in regards to “training” in blues dancing. A lot of people I know in the dance community are real naturals for getting things in a dance context. Sadly, I’m not one of those naturals. My way of offsetting my cumbersome self is to take lots and lots of notes (even though most of it usually is incompressible). Fun times.

Videos

Links: Strictly Slow – https://vimeo.com/44703513 || Strictly Fast – https://vimeo.com/44837774 || Performance 1 – https://vimeo.com/45007643 || Performance 2 – https://vimeo.com/45021947 || Performance 3 – https://vimeo.com/45023260 || Open Jack and Jill – https://vimeo.com/45034699 || Pro/Am (Lead) – https://vimeo.com/45208230 || Pro/Am (Follow) – https://vimeo.com/45205350

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Things to Work on After BluesShout 2011

Really great dancers from BluesShout 2011

Really great dancers from BluesShout 2011

Big dance events, especially big competition dance events have drama all their own, and while BluesShout 2011 at times seemed to be a whirlwind exercise of mental fortitude, I came out of BluesShout with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to actually learn how to dance. The following blog post are some of my notes after this great event.

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Nixing Bad [Dance] Habit #1

We all have bad habits that we’re not proud of. Some of mine include chewing my nails, constantly going on conversation tangents that makes sense only to me, alcoholism, and as my coworker delightfully puts it – supporting a culture of high fives. For dancing however, the number one bad habit that cheeses me off the most personally is looking down when I dance.

Why do I keep doing it? My shoes ain’t so pretty.

Most of my dance friends who I train with know that I’m pretty much a studio mirror aficionado – meaning that I’m constantly staring at myself and the choreographer. I can’t help it… when I’m in the studio and solo dancing. However, for social partnered dancing, no matter how hard I try to quit looking down, it always creeps up on me again. Bad habits… shesh. The irony is that I’m always ribbin’ my buddies about looking down yet I am not at the least surprised when I am caught doing it too. Okay maybe I’m just ribbin’ on Tien.

So here it is – I resolve to work on not looking at my shoes or the dance floor hence forward. For the three people who read this site, feel free to call me out on it when you see me on the dance floor.

If this doesn’t work, there always the the alternative and easier solution – resolve to only ever be behind the camera.

Done. Or is it?