Okay to attend a lindy exchange without knowing lindy hop?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by RoyHarper, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. RoyHarper

    RoyHarper Member

    I think that raises another good point. If a complete newbie shows up with some friends who are willing to teach him or her, and if they can do so unobtrusively, then that's certainly much better. I think that sort of thing is best done prior to the lindy exchange, especially since one presumably wouldn't want to keep one's friends away from the merriment. However, if they pull this off without getting in anyone's way (for lack of a better term), then I don't think anyone would complain.
  2. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    actually, not quite, because it is possible to dance only east coast swing to the same music, and a substantial minority of the people attend an event here in pasadena known as "lindygroove" do so. someone i know (a former DFer in fact) who knows no lindy whatsoever started going there and because he was a new face, everyone readily accepted his invitations to dance even though he could only dance some mediocre east coast swing and had no intention in learning lindy. after about six weeks, the lindy hoppers began turning him down. he took it personally and stopped going.

    it seems to me that if you go to a lindy event, you should accept that the rest of community is expecting at the very least that you be able to do at lead/follow a whip competently, and accept how they may respond if you can not do so.

    i personally prefer blues (& WCS) to lindy (though i hate all the turquoise crap that gets played) so i can understand the desire to attend an exchange that might have some blues dancing. if i liked the live band or DJ playing, i would probably go to the lindy events but not expect not to dance very much.
  3. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    I think it's fine if someone goes who may not know Lindy, but knows ECS or Single-Time Swing. People can dance those to the same music, after all...

    I know basic Lindy, but have danced ECS or Jitterbug at Lindy events, too. Just dance and have a good time...
  4. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    @tsb - when i wrote "swing/lindy", i implied they were interchangeable ;) But you are right, going to a lindy focussed event with just swing knowledge is also asking for disappointment.
  5. RoyHarper

    RoyHarper Member

    Ray Sison, it's okay to dance some ECS -- or even other styles such as shag or balboa -- at a lindy exchange. Experienced dancers often mix and match multiple styles, even within a single song.

    However, I don't think it's entirely okay to attend a lindy exchange if you have absolutely no intention (or ability) to do lindy hop. In short, I agree with tsb; if we're at a community dance, we have to accept any reasonable expectations that this community might have -- and I think it's entirely reasonable for the participants in a lindy exchange to expect people to know a simple lindy swingout, at the very least.

    I know, I know. Some folks say "Just go there and have fun," and I appreciate that kind of positive attitude. At the same time though, we must remember that other people are there to have fun as well. Dancers generally understand that some people are beginners, and most of them will adjust accordingly. If we haven't even reached the beginner stage though, and if there is no beginner lesson, then we shouldn't fault people for getting irritated at us for trying to jump in.

    As I said earlier, there are a few things we can do to help things go smoothly. If someone only wants to do blues dancing, for example, then that person can skip the regular sessions and only attend the blues late night dance (if there is one). I also like the idea of wearing a tasteful badge that says "I don't know lindy hop yet, but I'm willing to learn!" That lets people know what to expect and it encourages experienced dancers to help you out, if they feel so inclined (and many would be willing to do so).
  6. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    Roy, points very well taken... :cheers:
  7. RoyHarper

    RoyHarper Member

    And so is your positive attitude. :)

    And of course, in your case, you clearly do have lindy competence, but simply choose to do some other stuff as well. I love that, especially since most bands will play some awesome songs that are good for ECS, but for which lindy would be a rough fit.
  8. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    :cheers: right back at you, for your positive attitude! Have a great day! :cool:
  9. RoyHarper

    RoyHarper Member

    BTW, I usually don't want to talk about myself, but... I never did answer SpitFire's question regarding the kind of swing dancing that I do.

    I do plenty of ECS, lindy hop, and Charleston, plus tiny bits of a few other styles. I haven't gotten the hang of balboa yet, and my WCS is so rudimentary and rusty as to be useless. I'd also love to learn some collegiate shag, plus some more of the ECS-like boogie woogie moves that are more popular in Europe.
  10. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Cuteness factor has a lot to do with how fun going to a dance event without knowing the dance would be. If your hansom enough or cute enough, everyone will want to teach you. If not, having some skills equals sitting around less ;)
  11. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    yes, but only to the folks who aren't there just to dance. and it's more the leads than the follows IMO.

    and to roy: i like the idea of the button - and wearing it generally implies that "i know enough about dance to understand that the more experienced partner usually has less fun because they're spending more of their energies compensating for their partner, and i don't take that for granted."

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