Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bringin' on the Swing

I have a lot of catching up to do. Every day things happen that I think, 'oh, I must write about this!!!' but then I get distracted. So for write now I will write about one recent adventure, and then catch you up on other exciting things!

So, upon moving to Aosta, I came here with a goal of starting a swing dance scene here. I have been an avid swing dancer for going on 9 years now, and have had the good fortune of not only dancing in many parts of the world. I miss dancing. I haven't gotten to do it so much in the past three years due to a collision of unfortunate circumstances, but I am desperate to jump back on the lindy hop wagon. Years ago I started teaching Gianluca to swing dance, and he picked it up very quickly and even though I haven't taught him much lately, he somehow manages to not forget how to do anything. We started telling our friends here about lindy hop, and showing them great videos that tend to inspire people to want to start this dance. Aw heck, I'll post links to them here, too, because they are just that much fun.

ALHC 2005 Skye & Frida

ULHS 2006 "Liberation" Fast Finals

We got a group of 3 couples together this past week in the house of our friend Herve's parents. Now, teaching to Italians is a VERY different experience. I've taught classes in the US, Sweden, and Ireland, and they all tend to listen and concentrate and not cause too much ruckus. Now, one thing I've learned about Italians is that when you get a group of them together is that they cause ruckus. Lots of it. It is nearly impossible to have anything but total chaos at any given moment. However, despite this, we managed to teach them a huge amount and they did very well! I had to completely drop my usual teaching methods, since having people quietly listen, watch, and do things together was out of the question. Basically I taught and then everyone did what they wanted and then we danced with them and said if they basically had it or not, and then they continued to do what they wanted. But somehow it worked. And during all of this, Herve's dad escaped away for a minute and then as I was proclaiming, 'This is the most important thing! Please watch and listen for just a moment,' he appeared with glasses of wine that he offered us while we were dancing/teaching, because that was obviously (to an Italian, anyways), the best moment to drink wine.

So yeah, it was chaos. People dancing randomly. Drinking wine. Playing with a baby. Laughing and shouting. Basically, it was a blast and we had a tremendous amount of fun, and despite all of the distractions, everyone did fantastically and learned a lot and I think they all have the potential to become good lindy hoppers. Totally not what I'm used to, but a lot of fun.

Mission: Bring Lindy Hop to Aosta, potentially successful in the future :)

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