Over the weekend, a mystical event happened: the first ever Buckeye/Bobcat Lindy eXchange.
BBLX was a collaboration between Ohio University and Ohio State University. The planning teams from both schools managed to pull the weekend off with a flair only the world’s finest can manage. And a huge, huge thank you goes to Devon Martinelli for handling the chaotic housing arrangements.
The weekend featured 24 hours of dancing, four fantastic DJs and three fabulous live bands.
Saturday dawned bright and sunny to the wonderful rockability of Keith Jones and the Makeshifts, a perennial favourite of this region’s swing dancers.
This is what makes BBLX different from other lindy exchanges: the dinner road trip. Dancers caravanned to the Olde Dutch Restaurant and Banquet Haus in Logan, Ohio. And of course, there was more dancing involved. The Olde Dutch Restaurant featured Amish style food and a petting zoo, kept outside and well away from the food, of course. By popular vote, their roles were voted best part of the meal.
Finally, the swing gypsy caravan ended up in Athens, Ohio for another evening of dancing, this time with SEO Swing Thing for accompaniment. Singer Kathryn Givens belted her tunes much to the pleasure of the gaggle of swing dancers.
Fast forward a few hours, after the fog has descended and the horror movie atmosphere runs rampant, BBLX has migrated to Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville for the late night. This beautiful building has a spacious bottom floor with plenty of room for dancers to blues it up. The steamy blues tunes of the night were courtesy of Athens’ very own Greg Freeman and Detroit native Paul Carryer.
Dancing recommenced (much too early for some) Sunday morning as Athens welcomed the smooth sounds of DJ Sarah Chapman and the swingin” sounds of the gypsy jazz band The Coolville Hot Club.
Usually, t-shirts are given out at these things, but not at BBLX. Dancers were handed bandanas in red or green and Sharpie as they entered the dancing fray. Dance partners signed each other’s bandanas all weekend, giving everyone a yearbook-esque memento to take home.
The weekend was a hit with the dancers that made the trip to both schools. I, for one, think the weekend was a complete and total success, but I might be a little biased. If you’d like to find out for yourself just how this unique lindy exchange works, be sure to check it out next year. I’ll get information up here as soon as it’s available.
Photos courtesy of Linsi McCall