What We Dance
Alex and I Swing Dance. This is an umbrella term for many different styles done to many different genres of music so to be more specific we lindy hop and charleston. Lindy hop is an American dance that evolved in Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s and originally began with the jazz music of that time. Lindy hop is a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway, and charleston.
Where We Dance
We’re lucky enough to be living in a city that arguably has one of the best lindy hop scenes in the country. There are countless opportunities each week to dance to great, live jazz and an assortment of other genres. Alex and I teach weekly swing dance classes at Four on the Floor and periodically for the Austin Swing Syndicate. Both of these dances are hosted at the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs, a beautiful old building with a huge ballroom that is big enough to house our weekly attendance rate of 300+ people. We also teach for Texas Swing Dance Society, the UT swing dance club which we resurrected in 2011.
What’s Important to Us
Our focus is on social dancing. This means grabbing a friend or a stranger and improvising. When we teach and when we work on our own dancing, we focus primarily on rhythm. First and foremost this means listening to the rhythm in the music. Then making sure its in our bodies and our feet. When we think of rhythm, we are often thinking of the nice, consistent pulse that we rely on to tap into the energy of a song. Or we are thinking about the swung beat that encourages our triple steps. These rhythms govern our individual dancing. But there’s a rhythm that governs our partnering, too. That’s the rhythm of language. The rhythm of conversation. Like we already said, our focus is on social dancing.
Very related to this is our community. We have a large and thriving global lindy hop community. Once you become a part of the culture you immediately have an international network of friends and events to attend.