Jive Junction You're not wrong Walter, you're just an asshole. -The Dude

14Aug/120

Whoops

Most anyone who knows me knows that I do not "spread the lindy love" or proselytize about swing dancing to the uninitiated without prompting.

Recently I went to Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp (phenomenal for anybody who wants to learn more quickly, by the way; I cannot recommend it highly enough) and met a clarinetist named John who plays Thursdays with a band called "Doozy" at the Culver Hotel. He and I got along musically speaking and since the Culver Hotel is a nice place only a few minutes drive from my house, I and a few friends went to check it out.

The band plays what I can only call "cafe jazz" which is not to diminish their musicianship in the least. Their lineup of guitar, reeds, accordion, string bass, and trumpet plus a singer with a cocktail drum kit and their original songs bring to mind sunset in Paris, lovers strolling by, smokers depositing cancer in your lungs, and a very fun, retro vibe.

I danced a few songs with Chelsea and the band seemed happy to have dancers there. A random woman from Cincinnati asked me to dance; turns out she'd attended Camp Hollywood a few years ago. After the band played their last song some people nearby asked about dancing and where to learn. So, whoops, I guess I unintentionally "lindy bombed" a venue.

It makes me wonder, though, whether I've been pissing on the wrong tree all this time. Maybe we should break out into spontaneous dancing when we feel like it, when the moment is right, when your pals are happy to be there and everything is friendly, loose, casual. When you aren't performing for anybody, when you make dancing seem accessible.

I remember returning from a dance trip on the east coast years ago and my traveling partners were doing swingouts in JFK, and a San Diego dancer walked up to us and said with amusement "I just landed from Sweden and the first thing I see are lindy hoppers." And I also remember backpacking through Europe and hearing hot jazz and swing music literally everywhere I went. The first few times I thought it was coincidence, but then I realized it was just much more integrated into their society than ours. How beautiful it would be to have music playing and just be able to dance to it on the spot, without worrying that you seem like a dork, or uncool.

Posted by Julius

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