Chase, Chase, Chase Festival 2015 (lyrics inside)

Dear all readers, there are several announcements I’d like to make before I go into more details about last weekend’s festival. Please prepare yourself a cup of coffee before you start reading this … or just go and click “like” button on Facebook and move on 😀

First of all, this post is sponsored by a lot of shameless selfies I took exclusively for this blog and I REGRET NOTHING! NOTHING!! I also want to announce that Lindyverse fan base exceeded 600 likes! I love you all, every single one of you!

This post is first of its kind (I hope to keep the following posts this way).

Say, say. say
What you want
But come back here
The next year.

Dance, dance, dance
with who you want
but don’t leave me
with zero dances …

Not alone, I’m in Heidelberg
Just like Heisenberg
Mixing all my moves, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah-ah!

OK, this was fun but there are some more things I want to share. There was no traffic, my flight to Frankfurt Hahn airport was great, I sat in a middle between 2 British guys and we talked and it didn’t seem like I was on the plane at all. Then I just made it to the bus with no waiting at all and then 2 hours later, I was in Heidelberg. Road traffic was a bit confusing. I am used to look at the different direction while crossing the streets (due to living in the UK). Also, crazy cyclists. Cyclist’s track in the middle of the pavement? Really? I was lightly hit by one of the cyclists. To think about it, he was yelling something but I didn’t understand so I didn’t care … could have been worse … 😀

The whole festival was held in two venues – Palaiz Prinz Carl (pre-party) and Kongresshaus Stadthalle (all socials and workshops were held in this venue). We also had a city tour. City tour was more like walking in the heat that’s hotter than the Sun itself and stopping 3 or 4 times to showcase a bit of lindy hop. The last stop was under the bridge which was slightly colder, you could still boil eggs without fire. There was not much of sightseeing really. So I left at around 5 PM.

Originally, I signed up for Intermediate/Advanced classes but after first class I went up to advanced classes. I really loved how Lindy Shock had their streams organised. Each stream had like another 2 or 3 groups depending on their skills so everybody was equal in their groups. It was nearly impossible to jump through levels. However, at Chase, I believe you could go to any level really, there was nobody to check if it’s your class or not. Also, everybody had the same colour wristbands which I liked. Here’s why – when you have different colour wristbands, you may think that this person is advanced, intermediate or whatever. Some people might not ask someone to dance if their level is too high or too low. Here, at Chase, you just ask to dance and you don’t know what their skill is, you have a great dance anyway!

The workshops

William & Maeva

William, Don & Maeva
William, Don & Maeva

I did 2 classes with them – first class was for intermediate-advanced dancers. It was fun, a lot of pop turns. With variations but I am not really allowed to tell what we actually learned. I do understand that and I do respect it, therefore I will not be talking much about the moves we learned nor will I upload videos on Youtube. I tell you this though – they are great teachers! In solo jazz class we did some groovy moves we can use at the rave parties or partnered lindy hop. This brings up one of my memories – I went to a rave club in London. I met some Irish people there. Crazy legs don’t work well at rave parties … but now I will be able to show off a bit because that is what we learned. All the shaky moves and all, it was brilliant!

Michael & Evita

Michael, Evita & Don
Michael, Evita & Don

Michael and Evita are really hilarious teachers. Their strength don’t come from being funny though, they are brilliant dancers and teachers. I believe this was my 3rd time I was thought by Michael and Evita. In this class we learned very awesome sequence of moves. Whilst these moves are connected, you can easily do them all separately. I remember I went to Camp Savoy 2014 (I was on blogging break therefore I didn’t blog about it) and they thought us equally amazing “routine”. I know that some of those moves are quite hard but it is really liberating when you nail them. That awesome feeling of actually getting it right … and I didn’t get all the moves right but then again, I improvised 😀

It is worth to mention again that they were hilarious. I believe I learned some new moves which I actually successfully executed in social dancing later on. That elbow-turn-kind-of-move was brilliant. Also those walks were great even though I don’t feel right rock stepping on the right but that’s probably me, right? RIGHT? Anyway, it was great 2 hour workshop.

Laura & Jeremy

Laura, Don & Jeremy
Laura, Don & Jeremy

In this class, we did something slightly different. We did Dean Collins type of moves. Triple steps were a bit different. It was hard to get used to them in the beginning. It’s like stepping and then pushing/sliding … yeah, it sounds confusing but it is not as confusing as it sounds and it looks cool. We didn’t do many moves, just basic, send out, swing out and that’s all, I think. I believe that it was a bit hard for many of us because of such a change in triple steps. It was a great class though!

JB & Tatiana

JB, Don & Tatiana
JB, Don & Tatiana

This was another 2 hour workshop. It was hilarious as well. We did many swing out variations. These variations weren’t even similar to all of the variations that I learned in the past. We did reverse swing out (or straight swing out). Sometimes I did wrong … but good. Wrong good. Lol.

Oh you know that variation where when you do reverse swing out and then follower does not turn around on count 7 or 8? They keep facing away from leader … yeah, nailed it! NAILED IT! I really wanted to learn it. I remember I somehow executed this at Lindy Shock and had no idea how I did this. Now I know and it kinda … makes sense!

Ali, Don & Katja
Ali, Don & Katja

There were also other variations with leader’s twists but we leaders, don’t twist that well. We also had variations on that twist variation. I believe I will try to nail those twists, it just looks cool! While it is still a swing out, it looks complex but cool at the same time.

I have to admit that I had skipped Ali and Katja’s solo jazz class … because … sleep. Sorry. But from my past experience, they both are great dancers and teachers! I met them at DJAM and Lindy Shock and I always had stuff learned from their teachings. Truly inspiring classes!

Social dancing

We had two live bands on Friday and Saturday. We had Huggee Swing Band and Hot Sugar Band. The latter band also played at London Swing Festival 2015 one week ago. Both bands were great and professional.

We had some competitions and jams. I didn’t compete nor did I participate in jam but they were amazing. The jam, so many excellent dancers! Congratulations to the winners of competitions, you did really great job!

The Londoners
The Londoners

Social dancing was great. Floor-craft was good. The venues were lovely. On Thursday though, floor wasn’t too good, it was too rough, really hard, nearly impossible to slide. The main venue, however, was amazing. Great floor and large space. I believe it was packed but at the same time we still had some space for a swing out here or there. I loved DJ music. I stayed until the end all the time … for obvious reasons. I danced myself to death except on Sunday. I had some drinks with my fellow Londoners! Yeah, it was well deserved beer after such hard week (business stuff, surviving Chase Festival, and thinking of lyrics for the song lol …).

In the end, we also had a “private” show by the teachers before the scenes. Well, not really private. Before the scenes, not behind because it happened in the hall which was before the main “scene”, the main hall we danced. I don’t blame you if you don’t get this 😀 It was just funny to see teachers doing shenanigans and stuff. Hilarious.

To summarise this event I have to say that it was brilliant! I didn’t do much of sightseeing but I had truly great time learning new moves and dancing and socialising. I will be back next year, I just hope it does not clash with Atlantic Swing Festival so I can make to both events in 2016. If you are thinking whether to come to the Chase or not, just come, think/thank me later 😀

And as always, vast amount of selfies with teachers and people. Oh yeah, I was complimented on my selfie skills on several occassions over the weekend alone, so I guess I keep improving taking the selfies … until next time, folks!

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Don Mazonas

Don Mazonas

CEO & Founder at Don Markets Limited
Hello, internet marketing (blogging) and swing dancing are two of my biggest passions. Combining them both was a good idea to spread the word about awesomeness of swing dancing. For more information about me, please check the "about" section of this blog.
Don Mazonas

Don Mazonas

Hello, internet marketing (blogging) and swing dancing are two of my biggest passions. Combining them both was a good idea to spread the word about awesomeness of swing dancing. For more information about me, please check the "about" section of this blog.

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