Doin’ the Jive – Party Rocking in Seattle 30’s style

One of the greatest things about living here on the West Coast, beyond the sun and mountains, is that Seattle, the mega hub of Lindy + Black Coffee, is only a 2.5 hour drive away.

Seattle punches me in the heart, as I fondly remember falling in love with Lindy with my first experience at Seattle Lindy Exchange in 2007. I will go down whenever I can, and as of recent, it’s been 3 our of the 4 weekends in a month! In my opinion, it is THE place to go for lindy hop because of it’s focus on the local scene. From beginners to internationally renowned instructors, everyone is great, and everyone is working on something all the time. It is inspiring to say the least.

Those of you in Toronto, will get a chance this weekend to experience a piece of Seattle this weekend, when I hear that Joshua ‘Black Coffee’ Welter is coming out there to teach the ‘Doin’ the Jive’ mob dance, created in Seattle, by Seattle dancers, and played by Seattle’s ‘Careless Lovers’.

I was so excited to hear that, I made a video for y’all and the Doin’ the Jive video from this weekend after the jump.

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Band Portrait: Careless Lovers

Tien and I checked out the Careless Lovers in Kirkland (just outside of Seattle) for a weekday showing and took a couple of pictures and shot this impromptu vid:

They were missing their trombone player but they were still super fun to dance to and really interacted with the audience throughout their sets. I’m sure we all know this to be true it it’s still worth mentioning – it really does make a difference when musicians are also dancers!

The Best Ideas…

are always best when stolen.

So I have been driving down to Seattle the past two Tuesdays to their weekly blues event, Burn Blue ( and have been taking notes. The ideas? Having official hosts for the dance and unofficial taxi dancers. [Side note, if you do not know, I’m currently out in the west coast doing some what I am calling dance training but it can be more accurately described as an honest butt wuppin’.]

Dance Hosts – Burn Blue has rotating official hosts that are in charge of answering questions, making announcements, and generally being the go-to person for the dance and the organization. Wow. This is a great idea because so far there are numerous people in the Toronto blues dance scene who are a lot more charismatic than me yet default to directing to me. This is probably my fault, truth be told. Having official hosts for the dance hopefully will remove the idea that the scene is run by a single person. I also have a fear of public speaking, so having someone do announcements would be better for everyone involved.

Unofficial Taxi Dancers – at the entrance of the venue, you can grab yourself a glow stick that designates you as a “taxi dancer”. What this specifically means is that you are open and willing to dance with people who asks you. So simple, but from what I can gather, seems to put a little bit more friendless to the entire dance. You also encourage everyone/anyone to be a taxi dancer instead of pre-selecting people like our swing dance association. The costs would probably be under $5 CND but the awesomeness of knowing who to ask to dance when you are new to the dance or the scene is priceless.

So yup, there you have it. Two ideas i’m gonna “borrow” for when I get back to Toronto ;-)

Dancing at Seattle’s Camp Jitterbug

Seattle has been one of my favorite cities to visit ever since the first time I placed foot there in my university years. In fact, the Seattle Lindy Exchange 2006 was the first out of town experience and holds a place in my heart.

Camp Jitterbug is an event held in Seattle with competitions, performances, social dances and workshops drawing a MASSIVE amount of people from all over the country all wanting to learn from the best. They have multiple track levels ranging from Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced, Advanced Plus (Advanced+), and Masters with the latter two requiring auditions. It touts itself as ‘The Awesomest Lindy Hop Event Ever!’ and I am inclined to agree with it.

Since moving back to the west coast, I have been anticipating about re-visiting Seattle to dance again; partially to benchmark myself with my first visit, as well as how I fair dancing with Seattle based dancers.

How did I do? I SUCKED… but it sure felt good.
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