Swing A Dance 2014 Pro-Am

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One of the highlights for me as a participant at Swing A Dance this year was the pro-am finals. The idea behind the pro-am jack and jill is that the amateur is randomly paired up with a superhero/heroine professional and each amateur gets a full spotlight to showcase their stuff. I’m actually pretty jealous that this competition format wasn’t around when I coming up in “the lindy hop” because I think I would have had a blast.

Check out the video below for some sweet amateurs… heh.

Swing A Dance 2014 Pro-Am Finals from Hamfats.ca on Vimeo.

Teaching in Saguenay

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Last week Myriam and I got the great opportunity to teach in Saguenay for their “Jazz Me If You Can” workshop. A large focus of the workshop was on a particular theme that I personally love – solllooooo dancinnggggggg!

Myriam and I created a solo routine for beginners and a routine for more experienced dancers for the workshop. I love the process of creating so much because I get to really solidify the moves that I already do with coming up with new movement ideas. As teachers, it’s always a bit of a struggle to find the right difficulty level for a group of students that we are not familiar with but the participants in Saguenay were amazingly game for anything and everything – including the newer dancers! Read More…

I Got Rhythm Performance at MDF

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Swing Connexion performed one of our routines at Montreal Dance Fest – “I’ve Got Rhythm”. While team performances are still fairly nerve racking for me because I never want to let my teammates down, this time around I felt fairly confident that I wasn’t going to fall off the stage. Okay, yes I know there was no stage this time around but if there were, I wasn’t going to fall off it.

There were three aerials that we had to do for this routine – the backflip, the pancake, and the dive-jump. The backflip and the dive-pop, I got that like butter on toast. The pancake however… yarrrghhhhhhhh! The mechanics of this aerial is fairly simple but for some reason, I can only really get it right about 75% of the time. While three out of four attempts ain’t too bad, you can be sure that the fourth attempt will be during the performance each and every time. Yargh.

Overall though I’m pretty pleased at our run – there were some formation issues here and there but nothing overwhelmingly glaring mistakes and we all felt pretty good about it.

PS – You should join one of the billion swing troupes here in Montréal, it’s a lot of fun!

Words for Lindy Hoppers – Seattle edition

Written by Tien Le – Oh internets. You surprise me sometimes, especially when all y’all find the stuff that we store on Vimeo. More surprising is that sometimes what we do sends to resonate with others and then it goes EVERYWHERE before we even realize it.

One day after uploading my Kelly Porter “Words for Lindy Hoppers” video, I get a message that goes like this:

Randy: Your Kelly Porter Words for Lindy Hopper video is getting lots of airplay in random places.
Me: Really?
Randy: Yep.
Me: WHO RANDOMLY VIEWS OUR STUFF?!? Especially on Vimeo. Seriously, we have no cat videos. None whatsoever.

Anywhos, it is really inspiring to have people actively following us on all our social media channels. We started this site to continuously inspire ourselves and to capture the moments that take place around us in our dance journey. My Words for Lindy Hoppers project started because I wanted to capture a few words from Steven Mitchell and Virginie Jensen to keep the Toronto dancers inspired after an amazing workshop weekend. Through time, I have refined the video asking just one question, “If you had one thing you have to say to all Lindy Hoppers, what would it be?…and GO!” *starts filming*  It is so much fun to be able to film these videos and everyone’s answers always makes me laugh or feel inspired hence the “awesome” or laughter before the clip ends.

Stay tuned! I have a few more videos that I’ve been procrastinating on, but I can’t wait to put them up for you. I’ll do so soon, and the project is far from complete!

When Kelly Porter’s video went viral in the community, I had uploaded a few videos from my time in Seattle at “The Classics Vintage Dance Workshops” (2012) and haven’t had a chance to put them up on this site yet. If you haven’t seen them, above is Kelly Porter’s video, and the rest can be found below:

– Tien

Read More…

Hobos and Vagabonds

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“Swing du businessman” preview show by Swing Connexion at the event “Dig Tha Feet 2013″, featuring Myriam Baril, Randy Panté & Zack Richard – “the Hobo Routine”.

Working on this routine with Zack and Myriam as one piece of of our show was a real joy simply because we got to work on our hobo characters as well as our dance choreography. Growing up, I was never one of those artsy students who did drama or music. Computers, video games, and ninjas were pretty much all I ever thought about until I started dancing in university. So it was painful at first trying to come up with this routine because I didn’t really get what I was supposed to be doing versus what I already do anyways. Am I a dancer playing a hobo or a a real life vagabond playing a dancer?

I guess a little bit of both?

I Joined These Gangsters!

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Woo fun news!!! Last sunday I had my very first rehearsals with the Swing ConneXion dance troupe. I think this is going to be a great fit for me because not only is SCX serious about constantly creating new material but they still have that silly-fun aspect of the dance that makes it worth-while. Zack and Maryse have also been nothing but super supportive ever since I came to Montréal and have always felt welcomed to just be myself when I was in CNX last year. Lastly… from the way they dance (they have this super awesome long show, “Swing Du Businessman”), I’m going to lose all my summer fat for sure! Truth be told, I’m a bit scared of all the aerials that I have to learn but hey.. I’m not the one flying through the air right?

Randy

A Few Stompo Vids

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I haven’t been to Stompology for a couple of years now but I’m sure super glad that I decided to make the trek! Amazing performances from the instructors (see videos below) and really creative social dancing throughout the entire weekend.

I wasn’t able to get to the front before it was packed so I shot at a bit of an angle, which admittedly was not the best. Next year, I will aim to stop dancing a good full song before the performances and sprint to the front!

ps – yes, that’s a picture of Miss Davis’ derrière.

- Randy