2013: Dance Resurgence

Tien Fighting

Over the course of 2012, I have progressively been getting more restless with my dancing and have been tossing around different ideas to improve. I haven’t been stagnant but I could have done more in ways of dance training and growth. I bet we have all felt this way before.

Resurgence: re·sur·gence (r-sûrjns)
1. A continuing after interruption; a renewal.
2. A restoration to use, acceptance, activity, or vigor; a revival.

It’s the start of a new year, and as always, a time for reflection and a fresh start. It’s time for us to all stop tossing around ideas, wishes, and plans. Let’s make 2013 a year to resurge in dance! For myself, I’m focusing inwards, towards training myself in the areas I have been weak to achieve the future goals I have in mind.

  1. Solo dance practice / workout

    I have been looking at practicing once a day for at least 30 mins, ideally in the mornings to help me wake up. This would not focus just on blues dance, but also all the other dances I have dabbled in as well; Salsa, locking, popping, lindy hop, tango, jazz, hip hop.
    Randy made a great post about his pre-practice routine that I’ve been meaning to adopt.

  2. Coaching

    I’ve tossed this idea around a couple of times last year and this year I’ll be looking at finding a few folks who want some coaching to improve aspects of their dancing.

  3. bluesShout! 2013

    This will be a tough one, but I have been looking at attending bluesShout! in the last couple of years. I would be ecstatic if I could make this trip happen.

  4. Produce one blues choreographed routine

    I’ve been tossing around this idea in the latter half of 2012, and have been searching for just the right song for me to choreograph.

  5. Blog more

    This is a simple one. I have a lot of dance stuff that I have collected in the last year but have never posted it up on Hamfats. This needs to change and I’ll be adding a note in my calendar reminding myself to post more.

  6. Build my music collection

    I’m finding that the music in my local scene is starting to get stale and in order to do something about it, I’ll need to jump in myself and pop off a few tracks. I had the opportunity to play a couple of times in 2012, and have already set up my first gig but this year on Jan 18th for tps://www.facebook.com/events/263319143795759/?suggestsessionid=1162016381357260014″>The Blues Cafe (Facebook) I’m looking at acquiring my DJ title belt.

Onwards into 2013! It doesn’t look like the apocalypse will happen anytime soon, so I hope you all have your plans set ahead. Now I’m off to the Las Vegas Fusion Exchange to get my fusiooooooooooooooonnnnnnnn on, and the start of my dance training regime.

Let me know what your plans are, or any advice you wish to impart in my endeavour. Hopefully I will have a few things to take away and share with our 3 readers.


Preview: Rhythm City Mess Around 2012 – Todd Yannacone & Nina Gilkenson | Andrew Thigpen & Karen Turman

One of the worst things about the winter is the viral bugs floating around. I swear this winter, half of Vancouver population was infected by a super cold virus, and being dancers it’s a wonder how we even remain healthy throughout the year. I predict, we’ll be the one of the first wave of infections when the Zombie Apocalypse takes hold; but I digress.

The one good thing about having a cold is that it forces me to sit back when volunteering for workshops and really focus on taking photos of the event, and boy is it great to hold on to a Nikon D90 once again. Yippee! This time though, I had a manual prime 8mm f3.5 fisheye lens to play with throughout the weekend. From the photos you will see the fun times I had with it. On one hand, the fisheye lens was a breeze to use, point then click, great photo — most of the time. The trickiness about the fisheye is that the field of view is so large, I have to consider so many factors in the way I shoot, other than the distortion.

  • My off-camera flash arm cannot be too far forward
  • Bending my body forward at the hips to avoid my own feet in portrait photos
  • Where the ceiling-bounce flash hits as the area will show up in photos
  • Distance from the subject (you really need to be super close to negate the depth you get in a fisheye)

The results are worth the effort trying to keep track and learn all the tricks on the fly. The next thing I will need to focus on, is nailing the manual focus, and adjusting to using a manual aperture ring as well.

PS. RCMA (Rhythm City Mess Around) 2012 was a blast. The photos above is just a preview of the photos I took that weekend.

Chillin’ like a villain @ UBC Robson Square

In the last little while, I have felt bombarded with a mess of things to do in the dance scene other than just dance. At some point I will have my chance to do my own Half Year in Review and you’ll see what I have been up to. But, finally, in the last week, I have been able to just pause and breathe for a moment. Usually I am led to one of my favorite summer spots of the year – UBC Robson Square.

Pictured above, Robson Square is one of the main areas for dancing of all kinds to be found here. During the summer months, there’s Friday night Dancing at Robson Square (rotating forms of dances, mainly ballroom) and Sunday Afternoon Salsa. But what keeps on drawing me back is the street dancers who come and practice there every day.

There’s lockin’, poppin’, whackin’, hip hop, b-boys/b-girls, and crews of all kinds that rotate in and out of the area. You’ll find new dancers to some of the best instructors/dancers in the city watching, training, and giving advice to each other. Most of them there, probably because it’s free, open, and perfect for dancing and they are absolutely inspiring to watch. It makes me feel like I should be training as well.

Maybe that’s what I’ll do. Who wants to join me? :)

The Weigh-In – Lindybout Round IV

Some of you folks may remember about a year ago, while Hamfats was in it’s infancy, Randy had a chance to compete and capture the moments at Lindy Bout 3.

As for myself, I have never attended any past Lindy Bouts so I am PUMPED for tomorrow as it is the start of Lindy Bout 4! While I will not be participating in the competitions this year (I wish I could!), I will be there taking shots and recording the action this weekend. Once again thanks to Kane, a Vancouver dancer and organizer.

As you may remember, Kane gave me the opportunity to shoot for a day during Rhythm City Mess Around using his equipment, a Nikon D70, an older but still reliable workhorse.

I am also glad to say that there will be two Torontoians at the event; Stephanie Taylor, a transplant in Toronto from Vancouver (also a key organizer for Lindy Bout) and Alcina Chiu who flew out for the weekend to dance and compete. Cheer her on and stay tuned! I will hopefully get some photos out as the weekend commences.

Vancouver’s Rhythm City Mess Around

When I moved back to Vancouver from Toronto, I had missed out on a great opportunity to take classes with Daniel Heedman and Åsa Palm who visited Toronto to teach workshops. But the week after, they came to teach in Vancouver for Rhythm City Mess Around, along with Mike Faltesek & Casey Schneider from Seattle (one of my favorite instructors, and only 3 hours away!)
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