Saturday: Greetings from Seattle. Camp Jitterbug 2009 started off this year with a bang! The Jump Session Show was filled to the brim with top notch dancers from across the globe. Although I wondered how they would fill the 2 hours, after being there and watching the show, I wonder what other awesome routines they had to cut out. From comic to sexy to athletic, all exceptional, these routines only hinted at the high quality of dancers here and the amazing instructors.
From the high energy and exuberant Skye and Frida to the contemplative and prodding Andy and Nina, these classes and the great dancers within them have truly inspired me. Andy’s message to the class this afternoon focused on presence and striving as much as is possible to find the perfect movement (not necessarily move) to lead perfectly at the perfect time. He and Nina played a variety of music to prod new interpretations and tap into our creative abilities. Skye and Frida have given so much of their energy and passion in the three classes I’ve taken from them and the joy that they feel and express is remarkably conatagious.
I am truly indebted to the instructors, classmates, and organizers of Camp Jitterbug and so excited for tomorrow.
Sunday: Greetings from Seattle. The amazing classes of Saturday were followed by an equally impressive dance leading up to a dance that was even more fun. Needless to say I didn’t stop dancing until about roughly 3:30 in the morning and it was only out of fear of losing out on the final day of classes that kept me from staying until the late night dance closed at 5.
I had assumed that waking up the next morning was going to be a little difficult, but the excitement of the weekend woke me up before my alarm and the first class with Lennart and Jenny of the Rhythm Hot Shots lived up to those high expectations. When I thanked Lennart for the class, which focused on rhythms, he emphasized the importance of precision and correct placement of emphasis in order to clearly express yourself and avoid looking off-beat.
But something another instructor, Peter Strom, said stuck with me more than anything else over the weekend. It went something like, make the follow as comfortable as possible in whatever you’re leading so that she wouldn’t want to do anything else. To me, that description of the lead follow relationship describes a persuasive argument given by the leader and asked of the follower. It more clearly stated what I aspire to as a leader and clarified one of my goals in my own Lindy Hopping.