A Word on Swing Episode #4: Looking Back, Moving Forward

We take a little break from our interview with Nina to bring you our next show. We’re getting backed up with material, so we wanted to get some of it out of the way. The show after this is actually topical. It’s going to be a behind the scenes talk about the International Lindy Hop Championships which just happened last weekend. We want to get that one out while it’s still relevant, but we needed to post this one first.

It makes sense to us. Trust us.

This is yet another different format for our show. We like being unpredictable like that. Although I suspect that this will be one we’ll use a lot in the future.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to hang out with some dance geeks on a Friday night watching videos and talking about dance? Well, it’s as crazy as it sounds, and we have video footage to prove it.

We’ll admit that this show is pretty long, but if you follow our regular blogs, then this should not be a surprise.  What makes this more fun than usual is that we look a lot at old footage of current dancers and compare it with new videos of newer dancers. Then we figure out the secret to life. Do we succeed? There’s only one way to find out.

To make this easier on you, Bobby made the brilliant suggestion of including a handy index so you know what’s in the show and when we talk about it. This will be useful after you’ve seen the whole thing from start to finish a few times ad just need to reference a specific part the next time you need to settle a bar bet.


  • 0:00 – Introduction plus “witty” banter.
  • 3:15 – The first modern Lindy Hop Invitational J&J and a comparison to 10 years later.
  • 6:39 – Commentary on the development of styles then and now.
  • 9:26 – History lesson on the different “Eras” of modern Lindy Hop.
  • 13:04 – Where are we now? A comparison of scene dynamics over the years.
  • 14:11 – How do we know who’s next & how Frida Segerdahl rocked our world.
  • 16:49 – The X Factor, Skye Humphries, and the difference between Performance and Expression.
  • 21:13 – An Up and Coming Case Study
  • 24:52 – Obstacles to getting to the next level.
  • 27:34 – How do we recognize “good” on an individual level?
  • 31:29 – Does this translate to larger audiences?
  • 34:29 – The pressures to “sell out” to the crowd.
  • 38:41 – Conclusions: How’d they do it back in the day and how does technology and competitions help and hinder us now?

4 thoughts on “A Word on Swing Episode #4: Looking Back, Moving Forward

  1. Nice discussion. I think a dancer who’s stage presence is off the scale is Mikaela Hellsten. Take this performance for example: http://youtu.be/kwp-20nqVZw
    I almost feel sorry for Nicolas, because although he dances really well, my focus is always drawn to Mikaela’s face. He becomes invisible. And it is not because she is pulling faces or being freakish. She is just very expressive in a way that looks very natural on her.

  2. Pingback: ILHC 2012 Scores Are Up « Wandering & Pondering

  3. Thank you for this delicious video blog. I can’t believe I have found a new way to fritter away my time on the internet. Having been around for so many years, I am always amused to see how each person’s perspective is influenced by the year and place they started lindy hop. For Frankie, the Savoy Ballroom was “the center of the universe.” What I love about this piece is the recognition of the bigger sweep through time and a modest attempt to see the whole picture (starting in 1994, sort of, that is).

  4. Pingback: Can’t Stop The Signal: Notes on Swing Dance Video Developments in 2012 « Wandering & Pondering

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