By far, TUX (the Toronto University Exchange) encapsulates the spirit and randomness of lindy hop the most in all of the events in Toronto. Heads and shoulders above every other event and all run by students!
Even though I feel that I’m in the old farts demographic of this event (most of the participants are new university dancers), I cannot help feel nostalgic every time go to TUX and see the smiley awkward faces (but determined and having a blast) of university dancers haha! Like most lindy hoppers, I too started at a university swing club and will always fondly remember the crazy times of learning new dance moves and meeting new soon-to-be friends all because we all shared the same excitement of running around and jumping. I mean, it’s still like that for me today but not with the same hazy feeling of careless abandonment if you know what I mean.
Running the photobooth at TUX is like herding cats. From my experience, putting a camera in front of people’s faces in a dance setting usually results in two reactions: fear/apprehension or crazy excitement. The latter usually results in dancers forgetting how to walk in a humanlike manner or remember that photos are actually still shots – meaning that they don’t need to act out what they want their picture to be like. There were many times that dancers ran into the lights or almost tripped on the cords just because they forgot they were there (but how? it’s like 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide!). Even with Alex L. and I sandbagging the lights down (with kitty litter!) and taping the cords on the floor, I think I need to come up with a different strategy for big events in terms of setup because a misplaced step could equate to a long process with the insurance company. I’m getting better at directing people though – I made an “x” marks the spot on the ground for people to stand on but sometimes people getting photographed will do whatever they want haha.
All in all though, I had a great time and I always look forward to the craziness of TUX. Turlough of Montréal and I had a selfie tour extravaganza which was full of lawls and everything I had to do work-wise went well so it was a productive$ weekend all around.
Most of the photos can be found on the event facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.588840264538474.1073741831.153501111405727&type=1 . If you want to get some high-res pics of any of the shots, just give me a shout on email (randypante at gmail dot com).