Well, it’s official folks, I have come full circle in my Lindy exchanges. With Dayton Swing Smackdown, I have officially started repeating events. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, not with this year’s amazing instructors.
Friday night kicked off at Baum Opera House, which is a fabulous venue making a return this year. The highlight of the night was the Solo Jazz Competition. It was an excellent showcase of dancing skill, know-how and musicality. a huge congratulations goes out to Chris Schoenfelder for taking first place and also to Emily Schuhmann and Ellen McIntire who took second and third place, respectively. Lindy tunes were spinning until midnight when the dancing action was moved to Elegance in Dance studio down the road for the late night. The early late night music was much too fast for my tastes, but when Paul Carryer took over the role of DJ the windows steamed up real fast and we bluesed on into the wee hours of the morning.
If I have ever been up earlier for lessons, I can’t remember it (although I would have been angry and sleep-deprived anyway). But the early morning was totally worth it. The day was jam packed with all sorts of lesson from all sorts of the best instructors. From Charleston to Lindy Hop both the intermediate and advanced track came away with so much new information that I’m pretty sure we all had 8-counts leaking out our ears. Mike “the Girl” Legget and Dan Rosenthal, Shannon Varner and Mark Calkins, Jean and John Holton, John Holmstrom and Mandy Spencer, and Peter Strom and Naomi Uyama all filled our heads with some of the best dance advice this side of the Mississippi. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to teach us and pass your dance knowledge on to us, the new generation of dancers (even if I didn’t attend your lessons).
After a super quick dinner break, I headed back to the Baum for the Jack and Jill preliminaries. I think it is absolutely needless to say that my stomach was jumping with first-time-competition nerves and left little room for food. Even though I didn’t make it through to the finals this time, it was still a great experience. And, please, correct me if I’m wrong, but there was a record number of competitors this year, too. And I have to congratulate the finalist and especially Danny Beyrer and Amanda Guied for taking first place. You guys looked fantastic out on that floor.
Ask anyone who was there and they will tell you that the crowning jewel of the weekend was the team competition Saturday night. For weeks, teams of dancers trained, choreographed and polished routines just to showcase them here. Props to everyone who competed, you guys all danced amazingly and put in some crazy long hours. Congratulations to SwingColumbus for taking overall first place again this year and to the Jitterbucks (guess which school these guys are from…) for winning the Collegiate Cup, you boys made great looking nerds. SwingColumbus won passes to this year’s Hawkeye Swing Festival in Iowa City. You can see the winning routines below and the rest of them here
Aaaannd….Back to Elegance, the place for swing dancing in Dayton. Again, the late night music was a little fast for my brain and dance skills at 3am, but there was definitely some great blues songs in there.
I slept like a baby when I finally made it to a bed that night. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to the Sunday lessons (school really gets in the way some times…) but everyone tells me that the lessons was awesome.
Honestly, I’m really sad the weekend is over. I had such a great time getting to see all of my friends and meet so many new ones. Thank you to everyone who made this weekend a highlight of my recent past.
Oh, and a huge thank you to Josh Forbes for making Smackdown a success yet again!