The game changing Lindy Shock 2015

Hello all. So it has been around 1 year since my last post … about Lindy Shock … 😀 I did about 3 posts. You can read about it here, here and here. My blogging has changed a lot since then and now I make one massive post about the event instead of posting 2-4 posts about a single event. Oh, and selfies. I take a lot of them now. And I still regret nothing!

Ali & Don
Ali & Don

Anyway, we landed in Budapest on Wednesday, 28th October 2015. The flight was OK, we had a bit of turbutlence but I felt nothing as I was sleeping like a baby. I had only 2 hours of sleep before the flight due to the excitement I was feeling the day before.

Anyway, we booked an entire flat for £192 for entire week! That’s like £96 / week per person. That’s so much cheaper than hotels in Budapest. The cheapest one I looked at was Mercure Budapest for £300+ for 6 days. Airbnb rocks!

"The Londoners"
“The Londoners”

So Lindy Shock was really game changing event where I learned a lot of new moves, techniques and improvisation. I will talk about classes later on, as I always do, I just wanted to say that this event was also a massive success for my own development. I tried to get all the “Londoners” for a photo. There were around 20-30 of us and I got a nice picture of 10 of us. Good work guys! I know where my problem was – lack of communication so next time I will do a better job for sure! Also, I am being recognised more and more by all the VIPs, organisers and other cool dancers/people 😀 Oh and selfies, I made 11 selfies (10 selfies and 1 photo) out of 7 that I planned! Yup, 4 extra ones which means it was EPIC!

Unlike last year, this time we had 3 boats instead of 2. There was more space for swing outs and I would say that the floor-craft was so much better than the last time. I truly feel sorry for those couple of guys who got hurt really bad (no, not my fault, I was just a mere observer). The atmosphere was warming, very nice and inviting! I reunited with a few old friends I met last year and made a ton of new ones!

The workshops

Before I get into each and every class I took, I must say a couple of things first. I didn’t have classes with all the teachers (even though I took selfies with some :D) and I had about 15 hours of classes over 4 days. Maybe more than 15 hours, I lost count. And you probably realised that I no longer tell what exactly we learnt in classes. I just think that it is not cool to out material, it kills the point of actually being in the class especially when you can read/watch video, observe and learn.

Dax & Sarah

Sarah, Dax & Don
Sarah, Dax & Don

In this class we did circles, some footwork variations and rhythms. It was a very good class with clear instructions of how those things are done. I also found out about Lindy Retreat and I know I will be visiting it one day probably during my 2 or 3 months US lindy invasion where I will try out all those camps/socials in the US for 2 or 3 months (I just don’t know when exactly). I also found about about Rhythm Juice where they do personal dancing feedback and coaching, I would take their advice quite seriously as they both are very professional and you can see their professionalism in the way they teach. I will be opting in for their RJ very soon.

What did I learn? I learned a lot, actually. Now I can do circles properly and I can also do extended circles. I also learned those rhythm variations. I was actually executing them from time to time at Lindy Shock socials!

Ryan & Anne

Don, Anne & Ryan
Don, Anne & Ryan

To be honest, this was the first time I had Ryan & Anne teaching me and it was amazing class. We learned some cool jazz and lindy hop moves. Some of the moves were really awesome that required redirection, precision, etc … They are really nice teachers. I thoroughly enjoyed the material they thought us.

What did I learn? I learnt certain moves, entrance and exit out of moves that I had learned in the past but never actually did them because I wasn’t too sure how to enter those moves. I also had a great reminder of certain Charleston moves and learned a few moves I have actually seen other people do during the social dance but I wasn’t too sure how to execute them. It’s kick steps I am talking about. I was able to do those moves during the socials and I am sure they will sit in my head for a very long time now 🙂

Alex & Natalia

Don, Natalia & Alex
Don, Natalia & Alex

This class was epic. Not in the complexity of the moves but in simplicity! We did mainly moves that we all knew but with different hand connections. The core principle was the same but at the same time it felt so different. It was quite weird to connect left to left, to be honest but things like these add variations and diversity into the dance. We did a plethora of variations with connections and moves. I think Alex and Natalia are great teachers who really care about their students. We are lucky to have them here, in the UK.

What did I learn? Connecting left to left, right (leaders) to left (followers) might feel a bit weird but it expands the “opportunities” you can have while dancing. I actually got used to all kinds of connections during the class. I fear, however, that not many followers make their both hands available during the social dancing, especially their left arm. They are so used to connect with their right that it has become a tradition. Nevertheless, the class was very useful for me and I learned a lot of things.

Peter & Naomi

Don, Peter & Naomi
Don, Peter & Naomi

You know what I love about them? Their honesty! The way they teach and explain things without fearing of saying shit that may be against your shit. Just like me. I believe my honesty will kill me one day … oh wait? o.O

On a little more serious note, I love Peter & Naomi  and people of America are very lucky having them around! I also loved the fact that they warned at the beginning of the class not to advice each other. I think every teacher should do this! Often times we get advice from others but they, in most cases, are not correct. I have had them on couple of occassions. Actually, one of them was during the last year’s Lindy Shock. Another one (well, Peter & Silvia), during their workshop in London and I blogged about it too! So we had this short routine with simple moves and then they made it so much different through variations. Some of the variations were quite tough.

What did I learn? I will be honest, couple of variations were really tough and I struggled but others were easer. The footwork variations and the move to cut out the rock step were absolutely astonishing!

Skye & Frida

Don, Skye & Frida
Don, Skye & Frida

This class was the most physically challenging class I have ever had … in my entire life. The first half of the class was all about swing outs and circles for the music that was faster than Lamborghini Veneno! It was very good though, I challenged myself and prevailed! The other half of the class was about easy-ish Charleston moves and then we mixed with swing outs and circles. It was quite difficult to go from Charleston to lindy hop and vice versa. However, I accepted the challenge!

What did I learn? I learnt techniques that allow us fast swing outs and cirles. I also learned some Charleston moves which I hadn’t learnt in the past. I think I shed a few pounds during this class 😀

Ron & Sharon

Don, Ron & Sharon
Don, Ron & Sharon

This was the very first time I had them as my teachers. I really loved their material. We worked on pop turns and other cool connection related stuff. I already knew how to perform this pop turn but I had no idea it required, literally, no effort. We also did a bit of footwork and rhythm variation and a dip. It was a fantastic class with fantastic teachers!

What did I learn? I learnt how to execute pop turns effortlessly. I struggled with leading the difference between directional (moving) pop turn and pop turn on the spot. Followers seemed to move all the time. I enjoyed it even though I had a struggle, it means there is so much more room for improvement! I also loved the footwork/rhythm variation so we could easily get into that dip.

Sep & Bara

Sep, Don & Bara
Sep, Don & Bara

This class was one of the most hilarious and craziest classes I ever had, period. Especially teachers’ shenanigans. I have to admit though, the class material was VERY STRONG! We didn’t do any fancy new moves. No. We did shit loads of improvisation stuff. The class was full of ideas and inspirations on how to act upon music or rhythm change. We had some excellent exercises to improve our “counting mechanism” and always stomp off on count 8. I think this has greatly improved my dancing!

What did I learn? A lot. I gained a lot of confidence to improvise which I actually lacked. I gained ideas how to impro, encourage my partner to impro (or not, depending on how she feels, etc …). I think this class was truly inspirational and prolonged my lifespan by an hour or two due to too much laugh.

Social dancing

Don, Cat & Cam
Don, Cat & Cam

Social dancing was crazy! I couldn’t make it to the pre-party but it’s OK, I danced for like 40 hours anyway. Like a full time dancer or something. Wednesday and Thursday dancing was good. On Friday, I had 2 hours of sleep, I was too tired and after couple of pints of beer I was not able to dance. I was not drunk, I was tired. Just tired 😀 I was on fire on Saturday and wildfire on Sunday. Monday’s after-party was rather chilling, not too many dances. A few, actually, but great ones!

Live bands

We had a few bands: Hot Sugar Band, Gramofonia Hot Jazz Orchestra, Hot Jazz Band and Thomas and his Top Deck Gang. All bands did the fantastic job by engaging with the dancers. I think they are all professionals at what they do. Hot Sugar Band managed to create 2 jams at the same time! That was crazy!

SPA and jacuzzi

Don & Marcell
Don & Marcell

After Sunday’s “partying hard” achievement, I left the boat at about 8 AM. Went to bed, slept for 2.5 hours, woke up and headed to the SPA centre called Magnolia. It was located very close to the parliament house and my apartment was on the side of the city. It took me about 10 minutes to walk. I had booked the full body massage for 1 hour and it also gave access to the entire centre for another 3 hours. It cost only 13,900 HUF (~£30).

The massage was fantastic. My feet had most of massage as they really needed it. Then I laid down in jacuzzi for 2 hours. That was a fantastic afternoon before I headed to the after-party.

On Tuesday afternoon, I explored the other half of the central Budapest (the side where the parliament house is located) than the part I explored last year. Then I flew back to London/Hertfordshire.

OK, to summarise the event, I want to tell you that it was THE BEST EVENT I have ever been to. I thought that nothing could beat last year’s Lindy Shock but I was wrong. Here are the reasons why I am coming back next year:

  • Great atmosphere
  • Great venues
  • Great music
  • Great bands
  • Greatest teachers
  • Great dancers
  • Very cheap beer
  • Great competitions

So, yes, I had the time of my life. I can’t wait for Saturday. I expect to unleash my Lindy Shock skills at Moutful O’ Jam. See you there?

Oh, and if you enjoyed this post, consider following Lindyverse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I would appreciate a lot! 🙂

What do you think about Lindy Shock? Drop a message below (now we use new Facebook based commenting system – much easier and better way to communicate) 🙂

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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.