Judging Criteria – “Spirit”?

At TUX (the best small but big lindy hop event in Toronto, amiright), there were two competitions – a newcomer jack and jill and an open jack and jill. I was honored to be asked to judge the open jack and jill though I have a sneaking suspicion that I was only asked to keep me from drunkenly smashing into other dancers during the competition (the first step is admittance). One of the judging criteria for both competitions was “spirit” or the essence of lindy hop. The question of the day during my bus ride home – given all things are equal from a competitor skill level point of view, how does one even judge “spirit”?

Is it like this?

But obviously not everyone is going to be as awesome as the Harlem Hotshots…

Toronto Bachata Competition 2010

I shot some videos and photos from the annually bachata competition out here in Toronto. Most of the videos were shot directly behind the contestants so you’ll see a interesting angle with the judges and viewers. Check it out.


The Decision That Almost Killed the Scene

Drop In Class Yonge Bloor Blues

Kevin and Alcina teach the drop-in class for the blues dance.

So I’m sitting here at Starbucks underneath the Yonge & Bloor Studio after Toronto’s monthly blues dance last night. I’m replying to emails and Facebook messages about classes and future dances with a giant stupid grin on my face. Why you might ask? Well we just had a fantastic dance last night that was well attended by a fair amount of aspiring blues dancers and new dancers (as opposed to 100% new dancers) and I think I can say that Toronto’s blues dance scene is here to stay. Huzzah \o/.

Time to quit!

Joking… maybe.

Honestly though, it might have played out differently if we had tried to continue to push through the idea that we should try to appeal the blues dance to everybody and specifically the swing dance scene. I’m pretty convinced that this would have single handedly killed the blues dance scene before it even had the chance to take off the ground. The fact is these days, the majority of the dancers going to the dance and taking dance classes are from other dance scenes or complete beginners. Obviously, in an ideal world the dancers from swing would come to blues because, well, they already are fantastic leads and follows. However, instead of us waiting around for blues to be accepted by our friends in the swing scene, we’ll build a great scene that will be waiting for them if and then they decide to come (with open arms).