Mary Freitag

Santa Swing 2012 Highlights and Upcoming Events!!

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2013 at 11:51 pm

excited

I am so excited to dance in 2013!! 2012 was great, but I had been working a job that didn’t allow me to travel as much, which caused me to miss out on lots of my favorite events to attend…but I have moved on, and am so lucky and excited to be working doing everything I love this year, AND have the flexibility to travel too…now just for the saving $$ part ;P

Check out these upcoming events I’ll be at…they are gonna be killer:

Feb 15th-18th Skye and Frida in Seattle (Dj’ing)

Feb 22nd-24th Swinging at the Savoy with Chazz, Norma, Ramona, Frida, Skye and Todd (Dj’ing)

March 1-3rd Inspiration Weekend with Skye, Frida, Thomas, Alice, Mike and Casey

March 14th-16th Lindyfest and Lone Star Championships with Everyone…literally (Dj’ing)

April 5-7th 505 Stomp with Peter, Naomi, Andy, Nina, Kevin and Jo

June 23rd-25th Le Hot Sauce with Yours Truely, Jeremy, Kelly, Mickey, Mike, Casey, Alice, Conrad, Carla….etc!

Also planning on going to Beantown, Herrang, and of course Camp Hollywood!! Ah, traveling is so fun, and inspiring!!

 

Now, back to Santa Swing. The energy was so fun, it usually is at New Years’ dance weekends, but this was especially chill and laid back, a time to hang out with friends and have some fun dances. Shout out to all the lovely organizers, man, such a great job – really, really well run. The competitions were fun to watch and in 1st place in both the Strictly, (and paired randomly together) in the Advanced Jack and Jill were Conrad Friesen and Alice Pye (both the lovely co-organizers with me of Laughing in Rhythm…representin’🙂 So lucky to get to work with such badasses🙂

Strictly

Jack and Jill (watch Alice at 1:13….so awesome!)

p.s. I freaking LOVE that they had the contestants do spotlights…love, love, love that format😉

 

And, Alice and I also had the super fun opportunity to perform a routine we had choreographed to Three Bones by Lucky Millinder.

 

See ya out on the dance floor!

 

Book Review: Swingin’ The Machine (a must read!!)

In Dance Epiphanies, Randomness on May 29, 2012 at 7:46 am

A definite must-read for any Lindy hopper looking to take a deeper look at the development of the dance we love.

Favorite quote, pg. 280: The children of the new chugging, dynamic technical civilization valorized the human form moving through space explosively, not ethereally; using gravity, not defying it; having fluid, continuous motion, not abstract poses or “airiness.”  Swing-era dance culture broke down the European mask of sophistication; the lindy deemphasized the idea of good form or dance rules and empowered individual self-expression…

pg. 323 The culture and history of these machine ages just don’t mean a thing if we don’t understand (the achievements and costs of) that swing.

Summary from back cover:

Between the two World Wars, innovative forms of music and dance helped a newly urbanized population cope with the increased mechanization of modern life. Grand spectacles such as the Ziegfeld Follies and the movies of Busby Berkeley reflected the American ethos of mass production, while big band swing captured the power and rhythmic flow of an expanding industrial soundscape. In Swinging the Machine Joel Dinerstein re-envisions American modernity by arguing that African American vernacular culture provided the primariy means of aesthetic adaptation to the accelerated tempo of the “machine age.” From blues singers and boogie-woogie pianists who stylized train sounds, to tap dancers and lindy hoppers who brought mechanical rhythms onto the human body, black artists created a popular modernism that has endured as a permanent feature of American life.

The One-Buttock Dancer

In Dance Epiphanies, Words of Wisdom on May 2, 2012 at 12:51 am

Watch this Video before  reading onwards🙂

 

So, I’ve started taking singing lessons (so fun!), and my teacher said something that made me think of the above TED talk….she said that the singing happens between the notes.  I was singing too many impulses, and not making the music flow.

Andrew and I taught a lindy class the other night, and without realizing it, I kind of tied all of those thoughts together as they relate to dancing.

When a beginner starts to dance (or sing😉 they put impulses on every step. They kinda fall on top of every step. Then, maybe after a year or so, they have a break in the flow after each move. Maybe a couple years in, it is down to stops in the flow after a sequence of moves. Eventually, they can make the dance flow seamlessly from one idea to another, so that the dance isn’t individual little independent pieces that don’t have a relationship to each other, but one big beautiful journey and idea.

One thing that is the start of tying everything together is pulsing. All of the couples in the videos (that I’v posted at the end of this post) have phenomenal rhythm, just stunning.

Another thing that can inhibit someone from becoming a one buttock dancer, is if they interpret the music with too many impulses – I usually associate this with the term: micro-musical. Usually evidenced by: stopping momentum and flow all the time, ideas that aren’t related because they are taken out of context of the whole of the song, being overly dramatic in weird ways, only dancing to the soloist (hitting every little thing the soloist hits).

One buttock dancing means the dancing happens between the notes. Hitting every note (or every 4th note) isn’t the interesting part, the one buttock dancing is!

Here are some videos of one buttock dancing that inspire me to be a one buttock dancer🙂 Enjoy!