Movers and Shakers is a new series highlighting some of the people behind the growing Lindy Hop scenes throughout Florida.
This week we interviewed Tim Korkuc from Orlando.
How are you currently active in your scene and what have you done over the last year to grow Lindy Hop in your area? What have you learned from your work?
Currently I run lesson series' through my organization Dancers Hideout on Tuesday nights (this month’s series’ are the Tranky Do, and Balboa 202), I DJ pretty regularly at the local dances (Swing Knights Friday night dance, and Orlando Swing dance’s Bi-monthly Saturday night dances, and of course the famous Dancers Hideout modern nights).
I’m the Faculty Advisor to the Swing Knights (which is the Student run organization at UCF). I teach private lessons, and have in the past filled in for instructors when they’re out of town. Oh and I guess I almost forgot, I also am on the committee for ORLX, and City Girl Swing Out (which happens this August 9-11th. ;D )
I’ve learned that it’s impossible to grow a scene by yourself, unless maybe if that was your only job. You need teachers, DJ’s, organizers, promotion, and volunteers. And while I guess it’s possible to do all of the things, you’ll stay sane much longer if you have the support and help of a bunch of other people who also want “what’s best for the scene.” I put that in quotes because everyone has a slightly different idea, and having other people with other ideas also helps keep some balance to the scene so that it’s not dominated by one person or another.
I’ve learned that traveling can be great for your individual dancing and your scene, but your home scene can really miss you if you start spending a lot of time out of state. Traveling is vital for bringing back the new ideas that people are bringing to the dance that we so love. It’s also great for letting others know about your home scene, because if they don’t know there is one, and that there are awesome people there to dance with, how would they know to come visit?
Tell us a short story about your dance history. When did you start swing dancing, Lindy Hopping, other styles? What initially drew you to Lindy Hop?
I know it’s Cliché but that’s exactly what brought 14yr old Tim to Swing Dancing (yes I’ve been swing dancing since I was 14). I was sitting bored in world history, and a friend of mine asked me what I was doing on Saturday night. The town I lived in was quite small so my response was “nothing”. He invited me swing dancing, and I initially scoffed at the idea. “Dancing?!” I said back to him. To which he responded with something along the lines of “there will be tons of girls there, you should really check it out”, and so I did.
Before I could even sit down, I was asked to dance. I wish I could say it was my devilish good looks, but that’s definitely not the case. There were probably 6 girls to every guy in the room, my friend had been dancing for some time at that point and had a reputation for being pretty good, so it was likely assumed that because I walked in with him (after my mom dropped us off, because we couldn’t drive yet) that I might be good too.
I couldn’t dance at all! Despite being a drummer and having a decent sense of rhythm, and being a wrestler with a decent awareness of how to move my body, I couldn’t seem to put them together. The first time I “lead” an underarm turn, I asked the girl I was dancing with to help me by lifting my arm when I was supposed to! But I was hooked, the music was fun, the girls were cute, and there was this new movement that I really wanted to be good at.
Years later I can definitely say that I dance because I truly love it and the music, but at first it was definitely all of the cute (and very patient) girls that I got to dance with every Saturday night.
What do you love about this dance? What keeps you dancing?
I love the music; I love the physical aspects of getting out and interacting with the music with my body; and I love learning and challenging myself to do new things within the dance. And even though it’s not one of main reasons I go dancing anymore, follows are still one of my favorite things about this dance. And, let’s be clear, there are plenty of places to go meet and hang out with girls, but you’ll never find a place with so many that are as awesome as swing dancers. You get to interact with another person without talking (of course you can do that too) dancing to the music and finding out how the person you’re dancing with interprets the song while you make your own way through.
What are you currently working on in your dancing right now?
Lots! I’ve been learning a lot of Balboa, I’ve been practicing and teaching Aerials, and I’m always tinkering with my Swingout in one way or another.
I’ve really been trying to embrace the concept of less leading my partner and more dancing with them. Oh and I’m really fighting hard to stop looking at the floor when I think I’m doing a cool solo move. :D
Who is a major inspiration to your dancing? Can you link us to a favorite video of this person? If you can’t pick just one, then post a few!
What was the catalyst that pushed you to become personally invested in building your scene?
Simply put: more dancing, more people to dance with, more people to learn from.
If you could request only one song to be played at a dance, what would it be?
Seriously? Only one song? I’ve re written this answer a dozen times now… and I might have settled on Boilermaker’s… no Gordon’s… no Basie’s…. AHHHH!!!
Can I skip this one? It’s killin’ me… there are just so many songs I love it’s really hard to pick one.
Shiny Stockings! I’ve settled. This song is basically always awesome, but for a specific version the one be Ella Live at Juan-Les-Pins, the one where she goes “awwww, count basie!” :D that makes me so happy, also the “play pretty for the people roy!"
What events do you always attend? Which ones inspire you the most?
ORLX, Lindy Focus, and Swing into Spring. These are the ones I always attend. I feel like it’s super easy to be inspired by focus, but it’s still awesome, and inspiring!
ORLX is a favorite because I don’t have to leave my bed, and so many of my awesome friends come into town.
Swing Into Spring is just an amazing event, if you haven’t been, you should fix that ASAP (which will be February 2014 in Colombia SC).
And probably the most inspiring event for me is ILHC, I’m pretty competitive by nature so this comp weekend really gets me worked up to go and work on my dancing! I can’t say I always go cause I’ve only been once, I just know the effect it had on me was extremely strong!
What do you envision for your scene in the next year? Next 3 years?
Bigger scene, better dancing. That’s the goal.
If you could share one bit of wisdom that you’d like everyone to know, what would it be?
Doing things that are easy will only make you good at doing easy things.