A few things have happened recently to remind me, yet again, how much I am now an old-timer of this younger generation of Lindy Hoppers. Never fails to amaze me that everyone wasn’t there in the early ‘oughts when we were wearing huge pants (excuse me, “pance“), occasionally under skirts for the ladies (“skants”), dancing to Eva Cassidy and doing the Swing Rueda and generally having NO IDEA what good dancing is but nevertheless being very invested in how the Savoy vs. Hollywood debate would shake out.
So, for me, the year 2006 doesn’t seem very long ago. It’s almost like it was yesterday that Naomi Uyama was sweeping the ULHS ’05 contests and nobody had really ever heard of Juan & Sharon or Max & Annie. Anyhow. Given that the Lindy scene was still very much in, oh, let’s say its “adolescence,” it took a lot longer back then to grow and improve as a dancer than it does these days. So even though I had learned how to swing out in the fall of 1999, my dancing was terrible (and I mean terrible) for at least 3-4 years. (Watch me doing some very mediocre dancing in 2006–this is me after 7 years of Lindy Hop–in the background of this video. Beige shirt, jeans, black DanceStore.com sneakers. Yah.)
All of which is preface to say… I just now randomly found this excerpt from an email I wrote to a friend in 2006 about the Jam Cellar Grand Opening in their new (not so new anymore) location at the Mansion.
Last night was the greatest night of dancing of my entire life!!!! The Boilermakers played and they swung SO HARD! I danced with Skye twice and he totally smiled at me and I thought we danced really well (at least the first one) and I danced with Nina’s fiance Luke and he smiled big too and was really complimentary and said he enjoyed dancing with me, and Austin (from Houston–one of the twins) asked me to dance and then was also super complimentary and asked me to dance many more times. AND… and this is one of the best parts… AND when there was a jam circle (where like Skye & Nina & Naomi were going out there) this guy Austin came over and asked if I wanted to go in and do some swingouts, and so I said OK, and I went out there with him (guy who I’d only ever danced with this one night and just a couple times) and we freaking ROCKED it! I did some hot swivels in my swishy skirt and then I busted out this kick-away and everybody totally cheered loudly for us (and me!) and we were AWESOME! And like nobody who wasn’t a ****ing rockstar had gone out there except me with this dude! And I ****ing ROCKED it! aaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love my enthusiasm. 🙂 Many of you will also know, based on certain details of this email, how long ago this little missive really was.
Here is a photograph of me taken on that night, doing said kick-away:
That’s it. No big moral of the story here, just… how cool that I was so excited. Despite my (in retrospect) clear mediocrity. But boy, I do remember how much I loved that night of dancing.