Hi all, I didn’t dance in London last weekend. I danced in Watford. I survived another dance camp called “Goodnight Sweetheart” or GNSH for short. I didn’t do any taster classes although trying out pole dancing would be quite … interesting … 😀 I danced nearly 30 hours over the weekend (my weekend started on Thursday night).
Without further ado, I shall get on with my “review” of the camp!
As you know I might be a hardcore dancer so how could I miss a pre-party especially when it was located 5 miles from where I live? We had 2 classes – one for beginners, other one for intermediate dancers. Classes were thought by American guest teachers and if that is what they teach beginners in US of A then what are they teaching in advanced classes? I want to go to US of A for couple of months purely for dancing now! We had Charleston classes, hand to hand Charlestons with variations, entries and exits. Then we had socials … It was fun to remember those moves and learning new variations …
Jenna & Jon workshops
In first class we had lots of swing out in St Louis style I believe but I might be wrong. Lots of stretching and bending arms/elbows on 5 and 6 and then you loop these 2 counts until one passes out 😀 No, don’t do that. It felt like taking a shovel in your hands and sweeping snow off your garden … yeah, there was that much power used. Then we learned to swing out sideways so we can do kick ball change instead of normal rock step. It was some advanced hardcore class I’d say.
The second class was no-less awesome than the first! We did some more swing out variations with outside turn. I remember I had learned one of the variations were followers just drop their weight on count 7 but it was long time ago and I just didn’t remember. That was a great reminder and we were taught other variations with spins with no connections. I thought it was cool one. We did whip swing outs as well. This class really expanded my knowledge and skill in swing out variations.
Lisa & Fabien
We did more swing outs. First class was really good. We were learning to lead/follow rock steps or swivels/forward steps. I always thought that in order to lead a rock step, I needed to “push” follow back. All you need is relax on count 1. I was doing all wrong for so many months! In order to lead swivels or steps forward, you do not relax your arm. Simple as that! We also learned to lead a small chug/jump forward on 8. It’s all about relaxing on 7 and tensing abs before count 8. I couldn’t do it properly but it was advanced class for a reason right?
The second class was just AMAZING! I know I had learnt scissor kicks before and how to integrate them into swing out but I was not doing them much. We learned the basic scissor kicks and then tons of variations! We did one where follow turns on the count 1 and 2 and then we rock step and so on. Then we learned another variation that was exactly the same as the last one but we removed rock step and then we tirple stepped and then stepped twice and then triple stepped again … like standard footwork. Then another variation was probably the hardest – we prepped the exact way as we prep for variation 1 but we blocked in the middle and then leaders turn. It’s really hard to explain. The last variation was exactly like the first variation but both leads and follows turn at the same time. After this class, I was doing a lot of scissor kicking in socials! I think I am pretty confident about them now 🙂
Charlotte & Joseph
In both classes we were doing lots of turning and spinning. It was awesome as I actually learned to turn but only when I can hold onto my follower xD We had this mini routine where you start right-on-right and then you do “she turns, he turns” kind of move but instead of “he turns”, he “grabs” her by her back and then rocks step and sends her out but blocks many times while doing low downs and followers do their fancy swivels-kind-of-thing. It was great and it took us 2 classes to do the whole thing with great excersices to learn certain techniques which I used in socials.
Sorry, I didn’t take a photo of the teachers. I will take next time for sure!
There were two competitions – solo jazz and Jack and Jill. I was Jack and I know I placed in top 15 … out of 15 couples. Congratulations to all who made it to the finals and who won great prizes.
Social dancing was just amazing. We danced to 3 great bands – Last Chance Ragtime Band, The Polka Dot Dolls and Pete Long’s Orchestra. It was not awefully packed but more than enough people to dance with. I had many great dances and I was able to practice everything I learned in workshops. Friday finished at 1:30 in the morning, Saturday – 3:30 AM and Sunday – 5:00 AM. I got home at around 6:00 AM and then I was asleep by 6:30 AM, woke up 2 hours later to go to university but then I was like … “no, I am not going to uni today” … so I got back to the bed and woke up at 2 PM and even then I could not do much. Today, Tuesday, I am fine … just recovered. YEAH! Looking forward to this weekend’s dancing, still not sure where I am going to go to show off all those moves I learned 😉
So to sum it up, I had a great weekend of great dancing and learning!
Latest posts by Don Mazonas (see all)
- Pancakes, Poland, Swing and stuff – GoAt Swing Exchange 2017 - October 30, 2017
- Love Swing? Love Lithuania! All Lithuanian Weekend 2017 2nd edition - October 9, 2017
- Brizzle Razzle at Bristol Swing Exchange 2017 - September 25, 2017