I had a glorious experience at Lindy Focus but when I returned home I was in pain. My legs were in pain (which is good) but my soul also ached.
There were few contests but the ones that they held were very fun. In the surprisingly small showcase division, Karen Thurman and Andrew Thigpen débuted a marvelous routine which made me heart soar and my bladder squeeze from prolonged laughter. This is what I want from lindy hop: enough fun, sillyness, and energy to make me need adult diapers.
The other two routines that placed were significantly different. They were awesome lindy routines which had cool moves and flashy styling but (at least for me, personally) they failed to give off the same happy energy.
What is the difference? Can’t a routine just be awesome by having a bunch of awesome moves and styling placed musically to the songs also with some aerials randomly sprinkled throughout?
I think what makes a great vs. just a good routine is not how many cool moves you do, or how musical the choreography is, but how much spirit and your put into your performance. That spirit ultimately projects onto the audience and includes them into your performance. Without that spirit your routine is just a string of un-unified movements. With that spirit your performance becomes a story and so much more than a dance, or a routine, or a performance. It will stand the test of time and will continually inspire every single generation of lindy hoppers to come. That is something worth performing for.
My friend Jerry also discussed this routine shortly after seeing it. He gives some insights about what Karen and Andrew think of their routine and remembers the wise beyond all time words of Naomi Uyama.
And also my “sister” (from anther mister) Mary discusses why some performers stand out while others might not.
P.S. I had originally started this blog at Lindy Focus, but I have been too busy to finish it until now! Sorry!
Every time I think about what constitutes an incredible routine I think back to this interview with Bethany Powell. I cannot believe that I did not link it the first time.