At last back in the Midwest, the heartland of America.  This region has so much momentum that it’s hard to analyze how many new scenes are popping up.  Time Warp Swing is a fantastic example of young people grabbing a hold of swing dancing and pushing it to the next level

I was invited to teach at this event last year. I excepted the invitation even though I would anticipate teaching right after traveling from New Zealand via England just a few days prior.  How could I miss it? This is Home of Ohio State University! Sometimes logic and practically must be postponed.

 

 

This event leveraged some of the best elements of bigger events and crammed them into an air tight smaller event with a punch. The venue is located in the heart of downtown Columbus at the YMCA.  It was great walking up the stairs hearing the echo of music swinging through the halls of the facility as I approached the check in table. Everyone’s excitement level was high, like the first day of school. Dancers were all ready to show off their new moves dressed in vintage attire.

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This event featured a progressive theme of vernacular dance forms throughout time the last 100 years. The venue size fit the amount of people attending without feeling to packed. The polished wood floors made dancing into the late evening easier on the knees.

 

The DJs played various styles of music based on the decades starting from the 20’s all the way to the 50s.  The good part about all the different styles of music played, is that nothing ever seemed to feel too lengthy. All the music sets flowed together without one seeming to play longer than the other.  The DJs amplified the atmosphere with carefully thought out music selections that fused the tempos and overall dancers ability like a glove.

I had the wonderful opportunity to teach classes with one of my partners Grace Durant.  We were so surprised to see how quickly the students absorbed the foundational techniques. Negativity and fear could have been present, but didn’t seem to surface during classes.  Big high five to all those who participated in the class courses.

Proves that no matter how complex things may look, all things start small.  Including teaching something as presumably complex as swing dancing.

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After every class students would share feedback with us about how complex the teaching material seemed and how simultaneously simple it was to digest. This feedback energized my jet lagged body throughout the remainder of the weekend.

 

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The Jack and Jill competitions were fun and filled with new dancers excited to show off their new talent.  The novice and open Jack and Jill’s were challenging to judge and entertaining to watch.  So much young talent poised to usher in the future of the dance in the mid-west of America.  A big congratulations to all those who competed, and placed in the Jack and Jill competitions!

 

There was even a costume contest filled with cavemen, inspector gadget, a vintage married couple and a giant super Mario Brother. I wanted to be in the competition but I was little tired, and slightly more comfortable observing as a spectator.

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Every event can make incremental improvements no matter how enjoyable or perfect they may seem.  One thing that could make this event even better is to have the late night and main dance all in the same venue so dancers won’t have to drive to a new location.

I’m looking forward to seeing this event influence the upper midwest region of the US with the spirit of swing.  Big thank you to all those who volunteered to make this event special for attendees, and easy to serve for instructors.

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Thank you: Emma, Emma’s mom:), Emma’s Dad:) for opening up your home, all the wonderful food, coffee, comfortable room to rejuvinate , and the great laughs.  Kerry for all the thorough correspondence leading up to the event.  All those volunteers who ran the table, decorated the ballroom, and for all those unsung heroes strengthening the foundation behind the scenes.  Grace, you are amazing, and it’s a pleasure to have the privilege to serve the dance community with you.

I wanna be like you when I grow up:)

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I rate this event….. 4.4 out of 5 stars

 

Jamin Jackson

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