March 2020- London Lindy Tech w/Kevin & Jo
LindyTech is the shit. High level learning PLUS time factored in to practise and absorb the material PLUS small class size? Yes please.
I did both levels of LindyTech last year and it nearly killed me in the best way. That’s right, BOTH levels. Which meant the 3 hour class the Friday night, on Saturday morning having 2 hours learning as an intermediate lead and then 2 hours learning as an advanced follow, the a 30m minute lunch, then 2 hours learning as an intermediate lead then 2 hours as an advanced follow. And the same on the Sunday.
I would do it all again! I only wish that I had been able to to the hour long practise session that’s scheduled after each class. (so if you do one level it’s a two hour class and hour practical each morning or afternoon session) - which is a fantastic inclusion in the timetabling because it means students actually have some hope of truly practising and processing the concepts covered. Too many times I’ve walked away from a class loving the contents but by the time i have an opportunity to come back to it, that freshness and many insights have melted away. So, yay.
July 2019- Post beantown fame
If we’re connected on Facebook you’ll likely know I love a meme.
I really REALLY enjoyed Beantown camp this year. Being Head DJ was a so exciting and I was lucky to have a badass team of DJs to be part of. There were many highlights for me (including Michael Gamble sending someone over to ask what a song was- squee!), but I adored doing the Soul competition.
I love soul music but am frequently frustrated when I see lindy hoppers trying to do swing dance to it. (This is why I’ve also started teaching the odd soul dance taster) This was foremost in my mind when I was selecting the music for the soul comp: I wanted some soul bangers that DID NOT SWING, and that felt familiar but weren’t necessarily hugely well known. I also wanted to keep the tempo pretty chilled as then dancers would not be able to hide poor technique or ideas behind fast movements. You can see the video here- at some points I felt like my choices were being cheered as much as the dancers!)
After the competition it was only right to follow it up with some more soul and funk, and I will take any excuse to get groovy. So I did! Poor Shelby who was following me (and did a sterling job, for the record) made this meme to honour the moment and I was so touched! (FYI Shelby, as well as being a prolific dancer, teacher and DJ is also a hugely in demand personal trainer. Check his page out here)
Nov/Dec 2018- Jo Hoffberg’s online solo jazz challenge
As if you don’t know who Jo is. Jo is an all round badass dancer, rockstar performer and incredible teacher.
Jo is known in our global community for many things, and I want to single out her teaching in this instance. She’s constantly on a personal quest to improve how she imparts knowledge to her students, and cares very deeply not just about WHAT they learn, but HOW they learn. I think this is really what puts her in a league of her own.
When Jo asked me to provide the playlists for her new Online Solo Jazz Challenge I was chuffed to little bits. I mean, this woman is a rock star, and she uses her authority to help raise the profile of others. She’s a talent nurturer, and that she sees something in me is something I will always be proud of.
The challenge runs over 4 weeks, and she was very explicit in what she wanted in terms of tempo ordering. Each week has a different playlist, and there is also a general warm up and cool down list in addition.
Other than BPM ordering and a few words to describe the feel of the music, I had complete free rein. The music world has been my oyster! Well, the music world within Spotify has been my oyster. We needed a platform which was easily accessible which had the ability to make private playlists. There were many songs which I wish you could have heard but I suppose you’ll just have to try and catch one of my DJ sets in person some time!