Lindy Hop and Relativity

After work I went straight to my class. We’ve been teaching a little routine to ‘Jeep Jockey Jump’ that’s starting to take shape. I was reminded tonight how tough it is teaching performance related stuff to a casual class. We always have to back track to get the routine into people’s heads. But in between all of that we always manage to divert their attention to some technical issue or other that needs attention. Tonight’s main thing was straightening out their swingouts when they get fast. It’s surprising how many ways there are to mess up something that is meant to be a ‘basic’ step, but as everyone knows, swingouts are actually really hard to get right.

Speaking of things that are hard to get right, tonight was the practice run for the Australian Jitterbug Championships. For the benefit of non-dancing readers, AJC is a national swing dancing contest — probably one of the big two. I’m the head judge this year, and tonight was a jack & jill contest — a fun style of contest where you don’t know who your partner will be. The reason we needed a practice run-through was that the AJC is switching over to a relative placement scoring system. The system was a success, but it’s always difficult to score people relatively. There’s always two couples you just can’t separate for some reason. Still, I do believe a relative system is pretty fair.

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