It’s take two for Time Warp Swing at the Ohio State University. Kerry Dibble and her fabulous helpers pulled it off yet again and we danced through the decades and the clocks jumped back.
Chris Shoenfelder and Liz Thatcher showed us the evolution of swing dance, from 1920s Charleston to modern Lindy and Blues. We even got a taste of genuine Frankie Manning with several of the moves these two taught us.
Chris and Liz did a fantastic job of getting us to understand the concepts they were trying to convey. The whole workshop felt like a team effort and not just being talked at.
After battling game day traffic, I finally got to evening dance. It was my second time DJing outside my own scene. And this particular dance presented quite a challenge. All of the music for my set had to come from the 1920s and ’30s. It was interesting to see how many songs I could come up with from that time period. Within that small 20 year span I could see the evolution from something that is barely recognizable as jazz into the very thing we dance to today. Kristen Marks, Rob Kapaku and Andry Rakotamalala took us right up to the present day with some of the best music ever made.
Later that evening, I competed in my second ever Jack n Jill and made the finals for the first time ever! And congratulations to all those who made it that far, and especially Rob and Claire for taking first place. You guys were fantastic!
Once again, mass kudos to all those who had a hand in organizing this event. You all did a fantastic job and I can’t wait for next year!
Recently asked: Wouldn’t it be great to do an article on how to train modern Jazz bands to play better for dancers?
Indeed. I think such an article, if done right, would require me interviewing quite a few musicians and dancers and researching the thoughts of the original big band musicians and jazz philosophers. Until I can do so, I had a few quick notes on the subject.
First off, I’ve asked this question in some way to every band leader I’ve interviewed. Check out their responses below.
In addition to what those guys say, a few tips I think help a group get started:
Short songs, around three minutes or under. Even the greatest swing bands in the world would tire a dance floor out with five minute songs where every band member gets a few solo choruses per song. (Concerning local bands beginning to play for dancers…
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