How to be taught Lindy Hop

I know, this is a weird title write? How to be taught something…

championNormally, being taught something is like a passive role. People teach you and you just take it in. Or is it?

Seriously, I’ve been having a hard time, learning new stuff. I’ve had group lessons and private lessons, with a certain number of teachers, which are all awesome in some way.

Problem for me, is that I got a certain direction in group practice. I then felt good and confident about it all, even got positive feedback from other dancers. I was feeling great, and had specific elements of my dance complimented.

Private lesson #1
I am told a number of awesome things. I am excited, and I do get further feedback as to how some stuff was really good. (Some stuff sucked, but I’m being positive here, ok?)
Lesson ends, I am elated.

Private lesson #2 different teacher
I am told a number of stuff. Alot contradicting lesson #1. Even saying what I got compliments on, wasn’t really that good.
Lesson ends, I’m just telling myself I might of had a bad day, maybe I was just not feeling it.

Private lesson #3 another different teacher
This time, I got praise on stuff I was told in lesson #1 wasn’t that good. Comments from lesson #2 weren’t really applicable. So now… I’m just messed up.
End of lesson #3 : WHAT THE F***!?


Why you make no sense Lindy Hop

I was so confused. I don’t know if this has happened to you. Believe it or not, maybe I am masochist, I continued on with group and private lessons. The deeper and more advanced classes I got. The more contradictary some comments were. I didn’t know who to believe, what to apply and how to apply it.

So here’s how I became sane again: I just chose. ¬†I looked at these teachers. I looked at how they dance, and basically looked at myself dance too. I justified to myself that, the better you get, the more opinionated you are about certain elements.

So I chose. I chose who I wanted to listen and stuck and will stick with that for the moment… You know since I still am not that awesome yet, and I don’t really have an opinion of my own on everything yet. Much less on what’s considered right.

And what is considered right… well… I think it’s just an opinion. Lindy can be right in so many ways. Even wrong Lindy, can be right if applied right. (that’s a weird sentence)

Lindy Hop Choos you

Lindy Hop is about choosing

So how do you learn Lindy Hop? Choose!


Having fun in Lindy Hop – Is it wrong?

I am definitely not the best Lindy Hopper out there. I just want to put it out there, to establish my awesome credibility. I also haven’t won any competitions, I am not even a reference in my “lindy scene”. Add to that, I haven’t been Lindy Hopping for that long (in comparison to many others in the Lindy Hop scene anyways). I’d qualify myself as an average dancer, not bad and not excellent.

I’ve read many articles and blog posts about all these awesome dancers that talk about what it takes to “perform” and I also have seen alot of tumblrs pass where you can see alot of posts treating, in a damn funny way, different ways some people are not as great as dancers as you are. After seeing all this information, I find it hard to feel comfortable.

It’s almost as if being a beginner is seen as something wrong. Hasn’t everyone went through it? I sure have…
I saw a post about being able to say “No” to dancing with certain people. In all honesty, I think EVERY reason is pretty legit not to dance. From, “I don’t feel like dancing right now” to “This song sucks.” There is only ONE reason I am not in agreement with. The “this person doesn’t dance well” reason.


Not only that, I’M GOING TO HAVE FUN!

Let’s totally take something unrelated. My loved one sings pretty well. I sing totally awful. We still have fun together singing our favorite songs in the car. We’re sharing something here, without inhibition and other type of crap that would make me feel less awesome because I don’t share that talent – yet.

I feel the same about dancing. For some reason, with Lindy Hop though, there seems to be a pressure to perform, to be exact, to be an elite. I’d love to be part of the elite, just because of the talent they have. But do I need to necessarily be awesome like them to have fun?

You don’t have to be a professionnal sports player to have fun playing a sport!

The reason I feel that pressure, is that people seem to absolutely want to give feedback to beginners, who frankly aren’t ready or really just don’t give a shit for at that moment. They are already totally high on learning new stuff from their classes, putting additionnal pressure will make them trip out. Not only that, people tend to judge other people’s dancing from the outskirts. I’ve heard so much: “Oh my god, d’you see how much that person sucks?”. ¬†Literally, my loved one who doesn’t Lindy Hop, that took a beginner class before a dance in a venue, decided not to dance because of hearing all of the comments people had.

I also want to be clear. Etiquette is important, of course. Aerials and such are fun, but injury is not.

I’m kind of going all over the place with this post, which sucks since it’s my first one, but to sum it all up:

Lindy Hoppers, stop taking this shit so serious. Have fun. Isn’t that what it was originally danced for? FUN?