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KRISTINE SWINGS! (dance)



I am a dance-aholic. And I don’t wish to ever be cured! I’m a fan of everything that involves moving rhythmically to music – including waltz, salsa, belly-dance, tango, and doing the Charleston as I push my cart down the grocery store isles.

My primary passion however, is the Lindy-hop

I love, love LOVE this dance with every movable bone in my body! In a nutshell: Lindy-hop is my primary hobby, my passion, my exhilaration, my most enjoyable source of exercise, and the total expression of my inner-self, let loose to rhythm and music. Lindy is my anti-depressant, my stress-reliever, my social outlet, and my chance to fly with my feet still on the ground.” I am quite certain that I will never marry, unless I marry a swing dancer – because only a swing dancer could truly understand and not be jealous of my immense love affair with this dance.

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WHAT IS LINDY HOP?
Glad you asked. Lindy is the form of swing dance that grew out of the Savoy Ballroom in Manhattan New York back in the 1940's. A group of black dancers known as the Whiteys, one which was the amazingly talented Frankie Manning, tore up the dance floor with their fast eight count moves and air steps. A clip of the movie Hellzapoppin features the Whities at their break-neck best.

in the late nineties, New York swing dancers learned that Frankie was still alive and dancing and through him the lindy hop was reborn to a new generation! Thank God for Frankie! (In fall of 2003 I got to dance/train with him myself!)

Today there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of lindy hoppers all over the world. Almost ever major city has a lindy hop scene, and large scenes delight in hosting lindy hop exchanges at least once every two years. Exchanges involve hundreds of dancers converging into one city for a full weekend of all-day/all-night dancing. Local dancers host out-of-towners who crash on their living room floors for the few hours we do manage to sleep.

Today's lindy varries a lot in speed, though most of us tend to prefer slow-medium speeds. .


LINDY VIDEOS: These video clips show lindy hop at varrying speeds, both competition pieces (some with air steps/aerials) and social dance

1. moderate speed lindy hop

2. Sommers and Dorry, typical medium-slow

3. Yuval & Natalie, world champions = Lindy Hop competition at its BEST - complete with arials. (I trained with them! They rock!)

4. It's not lindy, but who could forget the classic GAP khakis commercial from 1998 that rebirthed the swing dance craze:

5. More lindy videos:
- www.eiraneiran.com - www.youtube.com>You Tube" search "lindy hop"

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WHY I LOVE LINDY HOP:
There are as many reasons why a person gets hooked on dance as there are dancers. Until the dance bug bites and claims a piece of you too, it would be hard for me to truly convey to you why I love swing dance as much as I do.

But let me try:

As a follower, I can only describe the incredible sensation by comparing it to flying. My feet move, but if I’m connected and fully submitted to my partner's lead, he moves me and I just go along for the ride. It’s like doing a three-legged race with both of your feet and bodies unattached but still in perfect sync. It just feels fluidly good.

As a lover of music, dance to me is also a celebration and active participation in a musical piece. When I let myself really feel the music, I start to dance with it rather than to it...As though somehow my body had become a piece of the melody or an accent on the trumpet blast, if that makes any sense.

Swing dance allows me to manifest my truest self. I can feed off the energy of the music and release even more of it as I let myself go nuts with delight. The music often dictates the emotions that my theatrical self will convey through the dance, ranging from melo-dramatic to goofy, right down to teasingly sexy when I feel like playing around.

I’ve been swing dancing off and on since spring of 2000. If you’d seen me then, you never would’ve believed that I’d be dancing like I am today. You’ve heard of “two left feet”? I thought I had THREE! I knocked the glasses off the face of one of the best leaders, on my first night at the Ottawa Swing Dance Society… in short, I was a terrible dancer and I knew it! But I loved it so much that I promised myself I would learn to do it right, whatever it took.

Six years later I’m finally starting to be able to afford lessons and lindy-hop exchanges (local dance scenes take turns hosting a full-weekend of dance - all day and all night, until 5 am or so). I want to learn more, more, and more. I’m learning to lead lindy now, and one day soon I really hope to find a partner to take aerial classes with… (ahh the good old days of having a swing dancing boyfriend/guaranteed partner…).

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MY LINDY HOP LIFE:

I have now lindied in the following cities/swing dance scenes:
- Ottawa, Ontario (includes CREX exchange, July 2003)
- Wakefield, Quebec (on the covered bridge)
- Montreal, Quebec (includes MTLX exchange, Aug 2005)
- Toronto, Ontario (includes TOE4 exchange, Sept 2006)
- Kingston, Ontario
- Quebec, Quebec (includes QSRV exchange/wrkshop, Feb 2006
- Chicoutimi, Quebec
- Washington, DC
- Fairfax, Virginia (Virginia State Championship/exchange, Oct 2003)

I have lindied under the following conditions:
- in the rain
- on grass
- in a dry and very dusty farmer’s field
- in water (doesn’t work very well)
- on a boardwalk under the stars
- in a grocery store
- bundled up in winter gear
- on ice (perfect for shag)
- _______ metres (______ feet) above ground level (CN Tower, Glass Floor)
- after 48 hours without sleep
- with various injuries
- at a party playing nothing but techno
- in a country swing dance competition (with borrowed cowboy boots!)

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GLUE-GUN GIRL (COMING SOON)now, allow me to introduce you to my dance shoes. I haven’t had the heart (or money) to give them up yet, hence the duck-tape and glue gun holding them together for over a year now. Simple sandals from Payless or Zellers, they just don’t make anything like them these days. These pretty babies have taken me from my awkward first basic lindy steps to dance floors across North America. Oh the many, many steps they have made, the countless wonderful dances through the long nights of lindy-hop exchanges… I know I may have to pull the plug on them soon… my bank account will dictated exactly when. In the meantime I refuse to choose between an exchange and a pair of shoes. Duck tape is cheap.

PICTURES AND VIDEOS!

(COMING SOON) Pictures and Videos from all my exchanges and swing dance events.


Email: kruszer2@yahoo.com


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