As I’ve been reflecting on key individuals who have drastically unlocked my potential as a leader in lindy hop – it doesn’t take much time before my thoughts drift to the topic of those who inspire me when I watch them dance solo.
Look, I’ve got to be completely honest. I get bored easily seeing the same shapes over and over again. If you eat lobster every day, even it starts to taste ordinary.
It’s hard to be inspired the longer you do something. However, it takes new ideas combined with old foundations to create something respectable for the genre – this is a great challenge for the modern Solo Jazz Dancer.
I feel solo jazz dancing for us modern generation jazz dancers, is in a vulnerable position. If we abandon the essence of the original jazz dancers – imitating hollow shapes is what’s left. No risk taking, no originality – just copy and pasting politically correct shapes. Nice, sweet, safe and boring.
And if we avoid jazz dancing – improvisation that is – what exactly are we doing?
The original dancers implemented radical ideas setting precedent a flexible template for future generations to emulate and build upon.
The key is balancing the best of the past, while adding our unique fingerprint to the genre without replacing the foundation. With that being said……. the dancers on my list embody this challenging dichotomy of formality and rugged individualism.
No crying about your favorites not being present, it’s my favorites and I hope you are inspired just as much as I am by there contribution.
Below are my Top 6 favorite Modern Solo Jazz Dancers of all time – for now.