Last night, Terrace led me into the frog jump — there was some great movement and energy in the song, and we were groovin to it. This time, though, Terrace jumped with me — we sailed through the air together, feet pulled up under ourselves like mirror images. When we landed, terrace stopped and laughed and put his hands in the air — “I have never jumped with a girl. That was crazy. I thought I was going to die.” Or something along those lines.
Those are the moments I love in dancing. The “holy shit what just happened that was amazing can we do it again” moments. I used to prefer exchanges because I get to dance with so many new people and really push myself with what they ask of me as a follow; however, I’m coming to truly love and appreciate local, weekly dances too. It’s a different kind of variety, really…the variety of really getting to know a fellow dance partner through weekly dances and pushing to see what new things can come out of a familiar movement.
Robert’s a good example of a lead who pushes old movements to be come new ones. We danced a few times last night, though I’m not sure all of them could be considered lindy hop. There was a lot of kicking, some half-size swing outs, and a whole lot of making shit up…but that’s what’s great about Robert. Yeah, you might not get more than five swingouts from him in a night. But he pushes my ability to follow and to be creative like no other lead in Atlanta — and, almost like a cherry on top, he always repeats the move two or three times in a row. Like he’s daring you to come up with a response as a follow. Giving you the room to figure out what’s going on and to respond. It’s a great quality in a lead — to be creative and innovative, to have fun doing new things, but also to give the follow room to be creative with you.
It’s the push and pull of ideas that Robert creates in his dancing that makes his dancing so much more than fun — he’s constantly asking what you can give to his movements, and then, more than that, he takes what you give and allows it to inspire him in turn. He makes call and response easy. And then we come up with some crazy new shit, often more silly than realistic…