Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Zendah Grotto Mini Workshop 4/20/14

Sometimes things get busy and you forget to do a recap video before the next lesson.  And sometimes you end up having to try to dance on asphalt in the parking lot while planes take off over-head.  You can tell by the pine trees in the background that we're definitely in Florida, haha.

So, this isn't the best rendition of this move, but hey, this is about helping everyone remember what we taught and not about showing off.  Mmm, this humble pie is pretty good.

Alright, here's the deal.  This move requires a combination of things we focused on with both previous lessons - directional momentum and rotational momentum.  Without both functioning correctly you won't hit the turns at the right time and you're not going to make it back around (kind of like how our move ends a little short with me sucking up all the movement and leaving Melissa in place.)  In a more ideal rendition we both would have captured the rotational momentum and moved around together.

Next week we're doing a recap lesson where we will go back over anything we've taught so far this year, so bring your questions and ideas because this one is about what you would like to work on!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Zendah Grotto Mini Workshop 4/13/14

I think we might have exploded some brains this week with the concept of extending the swing out by adding extra beats in the middle.  The video shows a simple version of this where we add extra "5, 6's" to create a longer 10 count swingout.

We also played with rotational momentum and continued to nail down the concept of efficient use of energy and movement.  Last week it was directional movement, back and forth, this week it was rotational.

Join us a again next week, 6pm at the Zendah Grotto, for more!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Zendah Grotto Mini Workshop Recap 4/6/14

Last week we discussed sending out the follow in different directions.

In exploring this concept our class discovered that we need to focus on where our energy is moving and make it more directed back and forth down the line of dance.  Our scene has a tendency to move circularly and to short cut the directional energy in our swing outs.

It was a very eye opening exercise and I hope everyone was able to take something new away from it.

As usual, we'll have a new lesson this week at 6pm with a whole new set of fun things to share!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Zendah Grotto Mini Workshop Recap 3/30/14

We've been working on traveling, consistent motion in a direction and while spinning, and redirecting energy. All that adds together into this fun combination.

Come join us next week at the Zendah Grotto for more! for more info.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"All Of Me" - Sydney Bechet

If that opening piano section doesn't make you want to dance I'm not sure that you have a heart. And if the following section doesn't get you moving I'm also curious about the existence of your soul. 

The more I listen to Sydney Bechet the more I begin to understand his genius and the talent of his musicians.

This song along with other dance hall favorites like "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me" and "Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho" seems to stand right on that dividing line between Hot Jazz and Swing.  The songs swing, for sure, but the instrumentation feels more like Hot Jazz with a melody and counter-melody dancing around each other. It makes for a playful combination of two instruments that you don't get in much swing music with larger bands and written instrumentation.

"All Of Me" makes me want to dance slowly, smoothly, expressively. Those of you who know me know that I enjoy fast Lindy Hop and Balboa and usually pass on the late night Blues events, but if those same late night blues events played more Jazz like this and less of what they normally do, I'd be much more willing to stay out late.

Let's bring back the "Slow Jam" and request a song like this again soon, circle up, and take turns killing it, slowly, smoothly, expressively.

Aww yeah.

That's my Jam!

Youtube's of the other songs mentioned: