New Ideas in Competitive Dance: Part II

Erin and Frankie

Erin Stevens from the Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association teaches a jazz step with the late great Frankie Manning

Dance Inovatin from Israel

The second innovative dance contest idea comes from Israel where there is a solo Lindy competition.  Yes, Lindy is a partner dance, but there are many jazz steps incorporated into the dance, which allow both partners to be creative while still dancing in partnership.


Jazz Dance Routines

It’s also common for teachers to put together routines so that students can practice the jazz steps.  Sometimes such a routine, like Ryan Francois’ Jitterbug Stroll, will catch on and become a popular dance in Lindy communities world wide.  The most widely known such routine, The Shim Sham Shimmy, is a classic tap routine adapted by Lindy Hoppers in the 1930s and still danced in many places today.

So again I’m surprised no one has thought of this earlier!  I’m also surprised it hasn’t caught on elsewhere since this is not the first year the Israelis have held this contest.  Check out these fabulous dancers strutting their stuff sans partners:

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by LaurieAnn Lepoff

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New Ideas in Competitive Dance

I’ve never been much of a fan of competitive dance, but even I was intrigued by two categories I recently heard about in the Lindy Hop competition scene.

Jill and Jack Dance Contest

The first is a Jill and Jack, in which, like a Jack and Jill, partners are selected at random.  The twist is that women have to lead and men have to follow.  This is always an option in a traditional Jack and Jill (no rules determine gender when you sign up as a lead or follow) but this is the first I’ve seen in which all leads were women and all follows were men.
It’s not uncommon in the Lindy community for advanced dancers to dance both parts, so I’m surprised nobody has thought of it before.  These dancers in the 2014 O-Town Showdown in Ottawa are great fun to watch as they show off their skill in this twist on the traditional Jack and Jill.  I expect this to catch on elsewhere!

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Next week I’ll tell you about the other unique contest in the global Lindy Hop world!

by LaurieAnn Lepoff

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