This past weekend was the infamous Dayton Swing Smackdown: an epic three-day adventure of nothing but swing dancing and the best music on the planet.
The weekend featured 13 hours of dancing, two days of lessons, a Jack and Jill competition and a team competition.
There were five couples as featured instructors this weekend, including the wonderful Mark Calkins and Shannon Varner, aka the Lindyroos. I’ve had the pleasure of having them as instructors a few times. Other fabulous instructors this weekend included Joel Domoe and Melanie Myers, Peter Strom and Naomi Uyama, Laura Boon and Mark Muthersbaugh, Lisa Macharoni and Andy Boggs, and Jon Tigert and Mandy Spencer.
There were two track of lessons, intermediate and advanced, so this was not really a weekend for those totally new to the swing scene, but there was a nice range of skill levels; and I know I definitely had some some excellent dances with more experienced dancers,
The highlight of the weekend was the competition. There was the standard Jack and Jill competition, which was an excellent display of freestyle dancing as always, but this time there was also a solo jazz competition, and a team competition. I had never seen a solo jazz or team competition before, so it was definitely an exciting thing for me to see. I have some video of the solo jazz competition here:
My favorite part of Saturday night, by far, was the team competition. Eight teams from all over the Midwest competed for cash prizes and passes to the Hawkeye Swing Festival, in Iowa City.. I was so impressed at the amount of work these teams put into their dances and all of them put on impressive shows. Congratulations to the Dayton team for winning. They all looked fantastic. This is a video of the winning team’s routine.
This was a fantastic weekend full of old friends, new acquaintances a much-needed stress reliever. For those of you who were there, I hope you had as great a time as I did. For those of you who weren’t there, you should definitely look into hitting up the Dayton swing scene, and I look forward to meeting you soon!