We had a wonderful time at Boston Tea Party 2015. This combination of West Coast Swing and Lindy Hop is an experience not to be missed. New event directors, Nanette and Amy, did a great job of keeping Dan Mezrich's legacy alive.
The Crossover Jack and Jill
There aren't enough words to describe the conceptual beauty of the Crossover Jack & Jill. Top-level WCS leaders dancing with top-level Lindy followers and top-level Lindy leaders dancing with top-level WCS followers - dancing to both Lindy and WCS music. Can they make it work? Is it truly, "all swing"?
It's just amazing to see the nuances of each dance form as the first Lindy song is played and the styles are matched, then switched fluidly to West Coast Swing. Of course, it's also great when it doesn't match so perfectly - it reveals how challenging each dance is even if it is "all swing".
Once this division is complete, there is a sensation in the ballroom that is hard to describe. "Imagine All The People" just getting along bouncing to the same jazz rhythm. Well, that's what happened when the Shim-Sham Shimmy exploded in the middle of the dance floor with hundreds of people taking part, and hundreds of people watching the magic. Then, with the wave of DJ's wand, the Wobble turned the room into a dancing frenzy.
It was one of the few times where I didn't run to be a part of the dance. I wanted to watch the amazing moment developing in the grand ballroom. These are the ephemeral moments that every event tries to create but cannot be contrively staged. It is the spontaneous magic of music and dance.
Congratulations to all of our community members who danced in Strictly Swings and Jack & Jills. Here are our results (let me know if I missed anyone):
Strictly Swing (Novice)
Daren Roeder & Renee Charlton - 6th Place
Sandy Menoret & Josh Albert - Alternate
Jack & Jill (Newcomer)
Let me know
Jack & Jill (Novice)
Daren Roeder - Semi-finals
Shantryce Essilfie - Semi-finals
Sandy Menoret - Semi-finals
Amy Garcia - Prelims
Jack & Jill (All-Star)
Erik Novoa & Yuna Davtyn - 5th Place
What Really Happened
So, you want to know what really happened?
Charlotte drove us to the Boston Tea Party
Actually, we drove Charlotte to the Boston Tea Party. Although Charlotte is getting much better in her car-seat, she likes a little break to visit with Daddy. She loves looking at all the lights, buttons, and world outside.
Charlotte wished me good-luck for my afternoon judging assignments
I had the honor of judging the Newcomer, Novice, and Intermediate Jack & Jill Preliminary rounds at Boston Tea Party. I personally enjoy watching these divisions and seeing how dancers ability changes from one level to the next.
Charlotte was exhausted while Daddy Judged - it's hard to be a rock star in the making
A fun event like Boston Tea Party can exhaust even the most diehard dancer. My Saturday schedule was packed: 10am Workshop, 11am Private Lesson, 1pm Judging, 4pm Workshop, 7pm All-Star Jack & Jill, 8pm Dinner, 9pm Fundraiser, 10pm Help Anna put Charlotte to sleep, 11pm Watch Invitation Crossover Jack & Jill, 12am Party. Needless to say, Charlotte got more sleep than I did.
Charlotte is a part of our dance life
So far, Charlotte has enjoyed being a part of our dance teaching life. She's either able to sleep through the workshops, even sleeping through R&B music and "5,6,7,8" count-ins, or she's awake in our baby-carrier being a part of class. It's almost like she understands that she's part of the learning experience. We are incredibly thankful that students don't mind a "third teacher" in the room.
Seeing Willow Colson-Wall
One of the best parts of Boston Tea Party is that we were able to reconnect with friends. I've known people like Willow (the co-event director for Swingin New England) for almost 15 years. She has known me when I was single, engaged, married, and know with my daughter. These are the type of people that I look forward to seeing at every event. It makes it feel like family.