One: Pure Awesome.
This performance by Josh Welter and Mélanie Huot-Lavoie. Hands down my favorite performance for its musicality, technicality, and surprise-icality. It is so crisp, clean, well-timed, and creative – and every turn in the performance makes me rewind a few seconds just to watch it again. I love how it doesn’t just hit all the musicality, it adds to the musicality of the song. I swear to you, it took me almost twelve minutes to watch this performance once through the first time I watched it on youtube.
Two: There’s an Elephant in the Room…
You’ve probably already seen this performance by Todd Yannacone and Ramona Staffeld – but if you’re not really into Lindy Hop (yet), this might inspire you to join our ranks. Or if you’ve managed to miss all the buzz about this performance, you should probably catch up.
Three: Lindy Hopper’s Dozen (get it? It’s a pun)
The Lindy Hopper’s Dozen. This performance was the last of eleven teams, and the energy in the room was dead – we’d been cheering all weekend, and we just didn’t have a lot of energy. But HOLY COW, this team totally brought the energy back, and the whole crowd went wild. It is clean, creative, and inspiring. Just goes to show, you don’t need aerials to win.
Four: Laura Glaess’ arms
I love Laura’s arms. I really do. If you’re a dancer and you’re looking for something to work on, look at your arms. Now look at hers. Now look back at yours and be inspired. And if you’re looking for a specific example, the image of her at 1:31 has been stuck in my head for the last week.
Five: Creative Floor Use and Shapes
I also loved this team performance by Swinging Air Force. It has some great and creative aerial sequences, and I love how the team uses the space and makes shapes on the floor.
In fact, all the teams were amazing, and you should really check them out as soon as you get a minute (or when you’re procrastinating on packing, like I was).
Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine: Little Kids Swinging Out
Junior’s Division. Do I need to stay more? Links for your viewing pleasure:
First Place– Pontus Spelmans & Lena Magnusson
Second Place – Doriel Pryntz-Nadworny & Hannah Phillips
Third Place – Rafal Pustelny & Leith Conybeare
The Youngest Kids (OMG ADORABLE — just wait for the swingouts!)
Ten: Being Part of the Staff: I had the honor and pleasure to work as staff in the judges’ room with Tony, Aurelie, Patty, and Scott. I have never been so proud to be part of such an efficient, industrious, and excellent event; the people who work this event are truly dedicated to the Lindy Hop community. It was an incredible experience, no matter how long the hours were.
Next year, however, I think I’m going to get a lasso and some alcohol to make wrangling the judges easier… (Don’t worry; the alcohol will be a reward for after they’ve judged the comps.)
Eleven: Lindy Hop Hall of Fame Honorees: These people have given so much to a community which we all love and adore. To recognize their generosity and contributions is the least we can do, and I am so glad that I was able to meet and talk to a few of these incredible people.
Twelve: How the Pros Steal:
And just because it can’t be left out, you should watch how the pros do steal dances. It’s smooth, it’s creative, and it’s hilarious. Winning.
In Conclusion: A huge thanks go out to Tena, Nina, and Sylvia. ILHC was an incredible success, and I can’t wait to attend next year!
Honorable Mention: Meeting new people: This is standard for most events, but I feel like I haven’t met so many new people since I first started traveling. I was exceptionally lucky in that I was able to really get to know some people who I have known of or known only as an acquaintances – whether it was in the judges’ room, on the balcony, or on the elevator, I was always meeting and talking to some incredible people. In particular, I was able to meet a few people who blog, or who have read my blog – let me tell you, it was simultaneously flattering, exciting, and almost intimidating to meet so many people who knew me through this forum.
I am so incredibly inspired by watching everything at ILHC, dancing with all these amazing people, and talking to so many interesting and thoughtful Lindy Hoppers that I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop talking about dancing for a while. My poor, poor coworkers…