What a weekend! This Camp Hollywood was really special to us. We had two teams going this year, giving us additional pressure to do right by our students. Before we opened the Lindy Loft, we travelled the world as guest teachers. We were used to people knowing us and our work with a certain level of admiration. After opening our loft, most of our students were those who had never really “seen us in action”. We felt like this was the place to prove ourself to our students. It was a humbling and exciting feeling I haven’t felt in a long time.
The Team division was our first competition. Knocking this out the first night was a great setup to relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Both teams had been training for about 6 months, one to two times a week. Dax and I pushed everyone to their max. No one complained and everyone worked hard. We accomplished our two goals. 1) To showcase just good ol dancing, with emphasis on great rhythm, shapes and style. 2) To improve our students dancing and increase motivation.
Believe it or not, some of these guys learned how to do their very first swing moves through this routine! By the end of the session, everyone was performing with style and confidence and even increased their social dancing skills by default.
This group is extremely special to us, half of them being the reason Lindy Loft has survived to see today. Many have been with us from the beginning and represent the spirit of the studio. This year’s routine challenged them by using faster music without compromising on the rhythmical variations and musicality we were recognized for from last year.
The contest we are probably most proud of! This contest format represents Dax and I in it’s purest form. This contest has an improv only format. I trust Dax more than any other leader which allows us to do some pretty spontaneous things in a comfortable manner. We have been focusing more and more on musicality this past year and I feel our spotlights were a good reflection of this focus.
This strictly is a little nerve wracking for me! It is choreographed based and you go into it knowing people are going to be bringing their best including crazy lifts and tricks. I will honestly say, ariels are not my favorite thing. For one of our spotlights we decided to push the boundary of rhythm in a fast tempo division. Our choreography was more complicated than we usually do which doesn’t lend itself any room for error. It’s risky. I am happy the audience understood and appreciated what we were trying to accomplish.
Doesn’t every wife enjoy kicking her husband’s butt? Silliness and biased aside, I think Dax is one of the (if not THE) best leader’s in the world. Mostly because he has an incomparable ability to make his follower look good. This skill goes beyond giving her “space” and is more about pulling good movement out of her body. I have seen him make beginner’s look like advanced dancers with his care and attention. Alright, enough about him! I am so happy to win this for the second year in a row. I went against some pretty awesome followers. I feel pressured to do well in Jack n Jill’s because I think that is what Dax and I are most known for: “leading and following”. When I was dancing with all of the different leader’s in this comp (7 in total!), it was the most rewarding to see their excited and even surprised faces for how awesome the dance was. When a leader finds out he is partnered with you for a song, yells “yes!” and runs you up in front of the judges, there is nothing better. It’s telling you that he trust you to let him be himself, he likes the way you feel and thinks that he can take risks. This is more rewarding than any placement and has always been the highest priority to me in Jack n Jill contests, though it sure feels good to get that 1st place recognition as well.
What to say about this?! This routine is by far the most difficult routine we have ever done. The speed of this song and the complicated musicality made us work our butts off. We didn’t want to sacrifice the size of our movements or the clarity with how fast this was so we had to train harder than we had before. I am also suffering from chronic biceps tendinitis and it make practicing a challenge. I never knew when my arm would give out and it limited how many runs we could do with the routine. I felt so good after we performed. My adrenaline kicked in so well I danced harder than I have in a really long time. I am so grateful to make podium with this routine and know our hard work is appreciated by our peers.