Joutube

Joutube is a resource page to get swingaporeans started on using Lindy Hop video on Youtube to aid in their careers as a Lindy Hop dancer.

7 swingaporeans: Taufan, Sing, Desmond, Jing Yi, Pam, Brian and Kalai, will share their favorite videos and their views on what they get out of watching Lindy Hop videos.

Kalai

1. When did you start doing Lindy Hop?
July 2004

2. How long after starting Lindy did you start watching Lindy videos?
Probably a year or so after starting Lindy, I think I searched for Hellzapoppin on the internet. That was my first self-search. From 2007 onwards, I started watching Lindy videos online quite frequently. At that time, I just went from link to link and watched any video related to Swing. I got wow-ed by all kinds of videos – Frankie’s talks, Charleston routines, slow Lindy, fast Lindy with airsteps etc. I then started searching for videos from particular events/competitions and of particular dancers from around 2009 onwards. I must say I’m really grateful to video-sharing technologies and the people who share the videos!

3. Describe how watching videos helped improve your dancing?
I think firstly it inspires me in a crazy way. It’s simply mind-blowing to watch how talented and creative everyone is, and it inspires me to work harder to continue to improve myself.
Secondly, it helps me to literally improve my dancing as I can re-play a move that I’m interested to learn over and over again. I’m able to focus on different aspects of the movement with each replay. There is a wealth of technical information in the videos. Nowadays, one can slow-mo a video or compare 2 videos side-by-side, if you’re interested to go a level deeper.

4. Please pick one Lindy video that you’d like to share and provide some comments for it.
I’m totally in love with Maeva Truntzer and Alice Mei (both follow dancers) at the moment, for their knack of whipping out the crazy in a dance without sacrificing their impeccable following. They really kick ass in Jack & Jills, go watch them!

Anyway, I’ll share this video again though I’ve shared it on my FB profile before.

Of course, Max is a wonderful lead who can lead complicated as well as simple moves, is very musical in his dancing and gives the follow space to express her creativity on the floor (when he’s not leading those complicated moves, that is). In this video, I was captivated by the way the moves fit the music to a tee and by the amazing following capability of Maeva.

I think parts of this showcase was pure social dancing while other parts were moves that they had practised together before. Whichever the case, Maeva followed every direction Max set her to without skipping a beat and stayed together with him in his little freezes and bounces. Also, they have a very good understanding of the music, so they are able to respond to the breaks they hear.

I love the song they are dancing too also: Shoot the Sherbet to Me Herbert. Enjoy!

Brian

1. When did you start doing Lindy Hop?
July 2001.

2. How long after starting Lindy did you start watching Lindy videos?
At that time, videos were rare and so much harder to get. I was frequently web-trawling for videos abt 2 yrs after I started dancing, around 2002/03. Youtube, was a much later experience. U literally had to download videos before u could open them and see what was in them.

3. Describe how watching videos helped improve your dancing?
I started watching videos to steal steps for choreography, in the beginning. Later on, when VLC player came onto the scene, with it’s slow-mo capability, I used videos to figure out many tap steps, which are too fast for the naked eye, and also many lindy techniques by looking at the body posture and foot placement in slow-mo.

4. Please pick one Lindy video that you’d like to share and provide some comments for it.
Harlem Hot Shots


unfortunately, I have to break the rules and list 2 videos! But they are under the same “topic” so I think it is a fair break, and I hope an exception can be made.
These 2 videos represent performance lindy hop as defined by the best performance troupe of that era, many of whom are still actively teaching and performing, but no longer together. These are the pioneers of the 1st generation of harlem hot shots, and u will recognize among them –
Mattias and Hanna Lundmark
Sakarias and Frida
Daniel and Asa
Fatimah Teffahi
Lennart Westerlund.
Unfortunately also, this group is no longer touring and performing together. I first saw a video of the HHS performing/competing at Harlem Jazz Fest in 2003. They were by far the best performers in that jam, blowing all the others out of the water with their well practiced choreographies. Few people realize the immense amount of work it takes to put up a routine like the basie centennial ball, and make it look so good. The Harlem Hot Shots were also the driving force for what is now known as vernacular jazz, bcos they were performing vernacular jazz even before it was popular in the United States. Without this Swedish influence, our modern day lindy would just not be the same.
There is a lot of talk nowadays about social dancing and improvisation, leading and following and connection. All of which is important. But when I look at these 2 videos, I see the determination, dedication and hard work and hours of practice that goes into making a lindy hop routine look spectacular, and it is something that people tend to forget when they think about social dancing and leading and following. There is no substitute, for styling or performance skill, except, repeated performances and practice. Professionals only make it LOOK easy. It is something that looks easy because of the effort put into it. Singaporeans tend to be reluctant to part with the time and effort it takes to perfect a craft, but it is the same everywhere, in any industry, for anything worthwhile, for any creative project. I think the misconception is that effort, tends to be laborious and dull. I cannot say this applies to lindy practices, when done right. If dance practice is not fun, not enjoyable or satisfying, it is not done right. And if it is not done right, no amount of practice will feel good enough to pursue for the long term duration it requires to reach that level of perfection.
In short – practice hard, because there is no other way, but if practice feels off or sucks, it’s not because there’s anything wrong with the idea of effort or practice, it’s probably because you’re not applying “effort/practice” in the right way. Why do we revere our 1950s hawkers and their hokkien mee or chai tow kuay? Practice. You think the old man bent over the wok got so good without the “30 years-6 days a week-selling plates and plates-of food” type of schedule? ……………… Yup, I didn’t think so either. So get to it! Have fun practising, whatever it is you’re doing, whether its dance, music, or craft.

Pam

1. When did u start doing lindy hop?
I started lindy hop in Jan 2002. I remembered I just started my first job, had a bit of my own money for the first time, and this was the first hobby I desperately wanted to pick up. I remembered showing up for Lindy 1 class in Jitterbugs (Orchard Point days yo!), just a month shy of a first edition of SEA Jam!

2. How long after starting lindy did you start watching lindy videos
erhm, I started dancing in the pre-youtube days. =P (fortunately, not pre-internet), my earliest memory of watching videos was of a group of us huddled around the VCR player (can’t rem if we had a DVD player then!) in the reception area of the Orchard Point studio with whatever stash of videotapes Sing brought back from Herrang or Catalina. I was a very young dancer then, everything just looked freaking awesome to me.

About 1-2 years after I started dancing, we started a chat forum on Jitterbugs website, which was where we started obsessively shared videos, tips, discussed technicuqes/moves, coordinated socials, and talked about everything and anything under the sun (weather, clothes, shoes, mood). It was still pre-youtube days, so the videos we shared were somewhat limited as well.

I think its only in 2006-2007 that more lindy hop videos started to appear on youtube, thanks to efforts by people like Patrick and Natasha. That’s probably where I started to become more aware of such videos as well, especially from the international community of dancers.

3. Describe how watching videos improve your dancing
To be honest, I’m not a chronic dance-video watcher as compared some people (you know who you are!), and I really pursue videos based on personalities and role models I want to watch, especially female dancers whose dance style I wanted to emulate and whose physique is somewhat similar to mine. It inspires my own dancing, helps me understand what I can aspire towards, also gives me ideas on moves I can steal (and make my own).

I think its much harder as a follow to learn moves from a video (maybe some creative steals at most), so I watch more for techniques stuff like posture, turn technique, quality of movement, musicality and creativity. Oh and a lot of time is spent obsessing abt ladies swivels. =P

4. Please pick one Lindy video that you’d like to share and provide some comments for it.
so many videos hot to pick one! =P ok, if I really really have to choose, here’s one:

My latest role model in recent years, is Jo Hoffberg. She is a grogeous gorgeous dancer to watch, and carries a certain je-ne-sais quois only seasoned performers and dancers have (I sometimes think this is inborn – either you have it or you don’t). I enjoy watching her because she emodies the technique I constantly aspire towards – being light in movement yet grounded in the bounce, and stays so musical and just so fun.

In this video, I particularly liked:
1) her technique/following, fluid-ness and quality of her movements is superb.
2) the musicality both of them exude is spot-on.
3) most of all, this dance was so fun to watch! most of us as follows feel as if we’re constantly at the mercy of our leads and how much space we are given to play. (and then, even when we are give “space”, we feel so lost abt what to do!) Jo’s managed to inject so much of her own personality and sense of fun into the dance, that it makes it enjoyable both for her partner and the audience as well. Just check out her steal at 1:13 – hilarious! Its a combination of many factors – knowing your own personality and how to exude that in your dancing (embrace the fun!), knowing and responding to the music, having a few steal tricks up your sleeve and knowing when/how to steal, and having the confidence to execute the step with *flair*. Its something I’m always interest in and constantly work on. =)

Jingyi

1. When did u start doing lindy hop?
May 2009, for a bit and then Oct 2011 to date.
Never thought partner dance would be any fun, but i was pretty much convinced after the first session

2. How long after starting lindy did you start watching lindy videos
Nov /Dec 2011, when I decided to go to HKSF 2012, and I wanted to see who this teacher was.. My very first video was an ilhc showcase video of Kevin and Jo…

3. Describe how watching videos improve your dancing
a. Styling – watching how different people move and match/listen to each other and to the music.
b. Exposure to possibilities of moves, techniques to explore, try out or emulate.

4. Please pick one Lindy video that you’d like to share and provide some comments for it.
lindyfest 2010 -instructor jam

This video features a variety of amazing dancers – Skye & frida, Kevin and Jo, Todd & Naomi, Peter strom and Ramona, Nick williams and Nina, Max and annie, to name a few.
It’s fun and inspiring to see how people make the same song feel special and different.
Memorable parts of the video include-
– Skye and frida- good ol lindy, pulse and rhythm
– Kevin & Jo – Jo’s beautiful spin at 1.01; the light, effortlessly smooth way Jo moves
– Ramona and strom – I like how she’s always having fun playing with the music and footwork;
– Max and Annie’s complex moves and connection. Always something new to learn and figure out how to make work.
– Nina and nick/andy – its interesting to see the subtle matching Nina does dancing with nick and with andy. shows that a follow can learn to listen/wait for and match the lead.. Plus Nina’s swivels are amazing, and its cool how nick really listens and matches footwork with notes the band plays.

Watching videos remind me that there really never is a boring moment in lindy, inspires to go and be part of the amazing stuff out there some day.

Desmond

1. When did you start doing Lindy Hop?
22 March 2009 . Thanks to Dr Tan QingHui who showed me a lindy hop video of Kevin & Carla at Beijing airport in a midst of a mission trip. After watching it , I proudly exclaimed :”That’s Easy, I Can Do That” . Guess I spoke too soon. It is a difficult dance to learn but what I loved about the dance is the groove , speed , aerials just to name a few which fuels my passion to keep on learning and practising relentlessly to become a better dancer.

2. How long after starting Lindy did you start watching Lindy videos?
6 months , Sep 2009 (ILHC Videos) , as suggested by Taufan Rusli.

3. Describe how watching videos helped improve your dancing?
o Learning new moves
o Discover different type of swing music especially those that were not played in the local scene
o Observe How the Pros do it ( body movement , musicality and have fun) & innovate aka COPY.

4. Please pick one Lindy video that you’d like to share and provide some comments for it.
a. Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown 2006 – Liberation Division video.

I love fast lindy and it’s not difficult to see why I picked this video to comment. The explosive energy from the dancers , the crowd thunderous cheering , the awesome live band playing for dancers make you want to get up and be a part of it just like watching a F1 race. This video also features some of my favourite leads – Todd Yanaconne , Max Pitruzella & Nick Williams.

What I can learn from the video
1. Technique in fast lindy eg. connection and pace
2. Countless aerials , 1:48 , 3:26 , 3:49 any follower keen to practice with me?
3. Jam Circle etiquette – observation and safety

What must I do after watching the video
1. Run 4 times a week minimum 10Km/session
2. Dance 3 x a week

Sing

1. When did you start doing Lindy Hop?
Dec 1988

2. How long after starting Lindy did you start watching Lindy videos?
We used to watch old VHS tapes, and collections from my friend Ron Leslie. Youtube has really changed the way that we can gather information and learn.

3. Describe how watching videos helped improve your dancing?
It helps remind me of the historical roots of the dance and how it looked like back in the day of the Savoy. And now it is a great source of inspiration to see how dancers have interpreted Lindy hop and added their own experiences and ideas to consistently evolve the dance.
It’s very challenging to keep up!

4. Please pick one Lindy video that you’d like to share and provide some comments for it.
There so many great videos that come out everyday. And I love everything that Skye and Frida do, especially their “jump through the window”.

But the 1 video i want to pick is from The Spirit Moves from the documentary by Mura Dehn.

Pre youtube , this was our staple source of information of steps and styling.

At that time, i was not interested in learning steps, but i was interested in understanding how the body should look or move during the moves. I liked how each dancer interpreted the moves and made it his or her own.

In the Trunky Doo, flourishes were added, omissions were made etc , but you can still see the step is a Suzie Q or a shortie George.

In the California section, Frankie’s ease of movement is testament to hours and hours of dancing (practice).

And in the Savoy Ballroom clips, i am inspired by the unbridled movement, probably not learnt in any school or studio but just a heartfelt joy of the dance and the music.

Taufan

1. When did you start doing Lindy Hop?
September 2005.
2. How long after starting Lindy did you start watching Lindy videos?
Half a year after I started.
3. Describe how watching videos helped improve your dancing?
– Source of ideas for new moves
– Inspiration for choreography
– Inspiration for musicality
– Getting acquainted with international competitors/teachers and a sense of what they’d teach in international workshops
4. Please pick one Lindy video that you’d like to share and provide some comments for it.

ULHS 2005 Revolution competition spotlight video.

I tend to like watching competition videos because it is a treasure trove of:
i.      Individuality in Lindy Hop. I’ve noticed that Lindy Hop dancers tend to be quite different in their styling. It always amazes me that some of them probably learned from the same teacher but they danced so differently.
ii.      Unique moves. The individuality gives rise to each dancer’s preferred move. It’s great to see great dancers taking turns showcasing their moves. It’s easier to notice moves when there’s only one couple dancing at a time.
iii.      Range of musicality. Watching competition videos really give me an idea of how diverse musicality is and how it can be expressed by the simplest or most complex moves.
There are #5 couples in the video, but I’ll focus on couple #1 (Todd and Naomi) in my write-up on this video because I’m a fan of Todd’s dancing.
There are a few things that I got out of the video:
i.      Music: The competition was done to “For Dancer’s Only” which was and still is an awesome song!
ii.      Sugar push: I’ve only started dancing for half a year when I watched this video and I was instantly taken with “sugar push” which Todd led Naomi to do at 00:19, 00:48, 03:38 and 03:47. It took me awhile to learn it but when I did, it was one of the 4 staple moves that I do all the time.
iii.      Breaks: The way Todd handled break is quite interesting. He chose to cease motion for breaks at 00:09, 00:21 and 00:29. At 00:14, he did a smooth slide at the break. What amazed me at the time was the fact that they all fit the music and they are simple stuff that even a beginner can understand how the moves worked to the music.
iv.      Emphasizing strong notes: Todd at 00:34 to 00: 35, 03:30 to 03:35 and Naomi at 06:11 to 06:13 are examples of how dancer can add to the feeling of strong notes in a dance. Again, those are moves that I believe are so easily understandable by new dancer and imitated as well.

If I have to summarize all of the points above about what I learned from the video, it’s probably: “A great Lindy dance can be simple, as simple as being able to be understood by new dancers, yet be very musical”

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