There is a sense of community among swing dancers across the world. We are all like family in a way. I can travel anywhere in the world and be part of the club with instant friends. These people are fun. Interesting, adventurous, stylish, friendly, and everyone feels passionately about the emotions in the music. That's what we share. When that perfect song is playing, it's almost impossible to stay in your chair. Everyone dances with everyone, and you don't have to know each other. Here are the photos from day 2 of the Galway Lindyfest 2012.
Chris and Hazel (above right and below) were two of my favorite people from Ireland. Hazel is an amazing dancer and actually an instructor for circus. Very talented girl! And Chris was one of the first people Annie and I met in Dublin. If you look really closely, you can see that his bow tie is actually made out of wooden dice. So classy, I love it :)
WIth this kind of dance, the choreography isn't planned out ahead of time, you don't even need to "learn the moves." Everything is about connection. When the lead moves this direction, the follow can feel it, so she moves as well. In this way, I've found that the dancers are like two more musicians added into the music. They can add embellishments or keep things simple, but they are contributing something to the feeling and style of the song. It's difficult to find the right words to describe this feeling accurately, but it's the number one reason I love dance. 10 talented dancers at the same skill level will each have a completely different dance to the same song.
Below is Annie dancing with another of my favorite Irishmen, named Oisin. He is a professional traditional Irish musician and only got into swing dance about 6 months ago. But he's doing so well and was a pleasure to be around. It's funny though, because technically I know English but several times I had no idea what these people were saying because of their Irish accents! Oisin joked that they should have streaming subtitled for us Americans. I'll definitely have to look into that next time I come back! I found myself smiling and laughing and nodding often... and having no clue what I was responding too. Oh well.
I pulled out my camera to get a shot of the room and didn't realize that all the humidity and body heat from the dancing had fogged up my lens. I'm thinkin' maybe I should charge extra for the not-quite-intentional-but-pretty-cool-anyway effect it created for the photo below!
Thank you dancers and friends from Ireland for making me feel welcome. Check out the galleries of photos and feel free to purchase prints or right click and download for facebook here: