What is fresh Blood?
The Lindy Hop scene is governed by norms and conventions that often result from the hobbyist, ad hoc approach that characterized the modern community's early days. As the scene has grown, many of our assumptions have been left unexamined. We love the national dance scene, but also recognize that it has grown increasingly rigid and that new instructors are finding it difficult to be heard, particularly when their ideas run against the norms set down by established instructors and leaders. The "Fresh Blood Initiative" is a humble attempt to start creating space for fresh ideas in the scene, and a low-stakes venue for newer teachers to cut their teeth and trot out interesting/risky ideas. The workshops are offered during the day on the Friday of Lindy 500, and they are free with your full weekend or dance-only pass.
Fresh Blood Workshop ideas are submitted by dancers all over the region and are selected by an anonymous committee of local dancers. This year’s classes are a mix of classes taught by new teachers, experienced instructors teaching something that the committee thought was relevant (and not otherwise offered during the weekend), and people who want to bring other professional dance experience to their fellow Lindy Hoppers. Check out the offerings below!
Jae & Jacqueline
Mawwiage is what bwings togewah today
The best dances are conversations, where both leads and follows can gush about whatever banger they're dancing to. This class is dedicated to the follow voice: teaching ways let your rhythms ring loud and clear. And for leaders, we'll be teaching you how to better listen to your partner and respond in fun dialogue.
Jae Yu started swing dancing four years ago at the University of Delaware, and has been obsessed ever since. As a new resident to Baltimore (Chick Webb was from Baltimore!), he helped start Clipper City Choreo, a local performance and practice group. Whether it's behind the DJ booth, in a classroom, or on the social dance floor, he's always ready to nerd out about Lindy Hop.
Jacqueline Tay has always loved dancing but has recently rekindled her interest in swing dancing while living abroad in Switzerland. She found that Lindy Hop is an amazing way to connect and communicate with people without having to speak the same language. Jacqueline thinks that a dance is the most magical when both partners are listening to and sharing with each other.
Saira & Mary
Performance is at the heart of vernacular jazz dance. This class is a hands-on opportunity to learn and create choreography.
Saira Brubaker is a vernacular jazz dancer hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While she grew up listening to big band swing music, it wasn't until high school that she discovered swing dancing and eventually Lindy Hop (a meeting that has since evolved into a full-on love affair). Since then, she's dived into studying a variety of styles and can now often be found sharing her knowledge and passion as a teacher and performer. Saira's priority as an instructor is to emphasize student autonomy and creativity while rooting the dance in its historical and cultural context. She can currently be found teaching with Ragtag Empire in Philadelphia and Lindy Central in Harrisburg, or salsa dancing in downtown Lancaster.
Mary Ludwig first wandered into a swing dance during high school six years ago, and immediately caught the swing dance bug. Since then she has spent every chance she can get delving into the world of dance, studying Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, Blues, Balboa and solo jazz. A three year member of the Ladybirds, Mary has also branched out into creating and performing her own choreography, both in solo jazz and partnered styles. One of her favorite ways to share her love of dance is to teach others, and for the last 2 years she has taught classes in Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Solo Jazz at both the Victrola Dancehall in York and with Ragtag Empire in Philadelphia. Mary loves watch her students smile and walk away from class with a feeling of accomplishment.
Modern Dance Improvisation Techniques for Social Dancers
In this class we will explore Laban Movement Analysis which provides a framework for definition and communication about “quality of motion.” Dancers will be able to formalize their existing intuition about styling and their personal movement preferences, and then use that knowledge to effectively increase their physical vocabulary without memorizing new moves. Dancers will also be exposed to the structure of a traditional dance class and learn useful basic exercises and stretches that can be repeated at home.
Amanda has been dancing on and off for 30 years. Her background is primarily Modern influenced by Graham, Horton, and Ailey. In social dance Amanda is primarily a slow Lindy Hopper and Blues dancer - having never fully recovered from living in Chicago during the early 2000s. She is interested in building dance communities which are accessible to newcomers and sustainable for experienced dancers.
Debra & Tom
Loking for a way to add some spice to your swing out/whip patterns? Over the years it has evolved to reflect the different styles of music, from jazz, big band, boogie woogie, jump blues and rock and roll. We’ll work our way through, starting with the Charleston based swing out (and variations) and get to the Flying Lindy found in the swing movies of the 1950’s. Students should have an ability to do the Charleston and a basic swing out/whip to take this class.
Tom Koerner and Debra Sternberg met in 1987 and started their swing dance performance careers with Doc Scantlin’s Imperial Palms Orchestra at Joe and Mo's Restaurant. Their partnership included participating in national and international competitions and early among their awards, they are the six time Virginia State Lindy Hop and Jitterbug champions, 1994 United Kingdom Lindy Hop champions (airsteps division), and 2010 inductees as National Living Legends of Swing. Since 1994 their dance company Gottaswing has grown to 19 locations located in Virginia, Maryland, DC and North Carolina. They view their mission as to carry on the tradition of the original lindy hop and jitterbug dancers in a community that is open to all, regardless of age, ability or style.