Group Picture at Liberty Swing 2022

WOW! Liberty Swing 2022 was an amazing event. It offered multiple levels of workshops by some of the nation's top West Coast Swing professionals, competition divisions for all levels of ability, and many hours of social dancing. This was the first event that I attended for which I was not part of the event staff in the last 22 years of teaching West Coast Swing, so I was able to experience this grand event from the same perspective as my students. Here is my brief review.


For most of my West Coast Swing career, workshops were open to all event attendees. Liberty Swing had 5 different levels of workshops: Level 1, 2, 3, Advanced, and All Star. This enabled dancers to attend workshops that were appropriate to their level. Lower-level workshops focused on technique refinement and expanding basic patterns; higher-level workshops focused on dynamics, musicality, and making our dance more three-dimensional. These leveled workshops helped dancers to optimally target their learning. I personally took workshops with Maxime and Torri Zzaoui, Ben Morris and Victoria Henk, Benji Schwimmer, Sean McKeever and Alyssa Glanville, and Jordan Frisbee and Tatiana Mollmann.


Liberty Swing has the best opportunity to compete in the northeast. It has Pro-Ams for students who want to compete with their professionals. Liberty Swing also has Jack and Jills (random partners) and Strictly Swings (arranged partners) for newcomers, novice, intermediate, advanced, all star, sophisticated (over 35), masters (over 50), and champions. It also has routine divisions for teams, rising star (amateur), classic (no lifts), and showcase (lifts allowed). Many of the divisions were so large that they were segmented into preliminaries (100 couples), semi-finals (50 couples), and finals (12 couples). For next year, I'll be planning on competing in many more divisions. 

Here are the results from our group:

Newcomer Jack & Jill
Michelle Yang - 7th

Novice Jack & Jill
Anne Humphrey - 2nd Alternate for Semifinals
Paul Okura - Prelims

Advanced Jack & Jill
Erik Novoa - 13th

Here is a video of the "all skate" from the Champions Strictly Swing:


Social Dancing

Because of the amount of attendees at Liberty Swing, the event has a superior social dancing scene with all levels of people dancing with each other in the same space. Because the dancers are friendly and approachable, our group was able to social dance for hours on Friday and Saturday nights. Social dancing at an event like Liberty Swing allows dancers to practice what they have learned in the workshops and to develop their skill by simply just dancing in an informal way. Social dancing is also wonderful at creating new friendships in the dance community. 

The Music

I enjoyed hearing all the music at Liberty Swing. Of course, there were many songs that I knew, but there were so many songs that I did not have in my collection. Here are some of the songs that I downloaded:

edamame (feat. Rich Brian) by bbno$
My Universe by Coldplay, BTS
Let Me Move You (From the Netflix film Work It) by Sabrina Carpenter
Waited All Summer (Ft. Mercedes) by PHLAKE
Crush On You by Nic Hanson
Broke Boy by Malia Civetz
Bad Intentions by Alexander Oscar
Something About You (Chill Mix) by Elderbrook & Rudimental
6’s to 9’s (feat. Rationale) by Big Wild
No Excuses by Meghan Trainor
If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be) by Leon Bridges
Girls Like (feat. Zara Larsson) by Tinie Tempah (feat. Zara Larsson)
Me Too (Vinnie Beatz Remix) by Meghan Trainor
Undress Rehearsal by Timeflies
Go to Work by Tim Omaji 

Here is a video of the All-Star Jack & Jill winners, Allan Thivoz & Emily Huang:


The Extras

Liberty Swing separates itself from the many other national and international events by featuring extra activities. Friday night featured a pizza party for all attendees (around 1,000 dancers) and Saturday night featured an ice cream and cake party for everyone—both of these extras were included with the event registration. Additionally, there were two fundraisers. The first fundraiser allowed the attendees to dance with any professional for 1 minute for one dollar. For many people, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. I got to dance with Torri Zzaoui, Victoria Henk, Maxime Zzaoui, and Jordan Frisbee. The second fundraiser offered a 2-minute private lesson for $5 with any of the professionals. Dancers lined up in front of each of the professional for their important feedback. I took my 2-minute private lessons with Torri Zzaoui, Jordan Frisbee, and Brandy Guild. These extra activities made this event very special. 

I'm so proud of our group. We experienced the event together—taking workshops with each other, cheering for each other, and eating cake with each other. I'm looking forward to Liberty Swing 2023 already.