What is fresh Blood?
The Fresh Blood Initiative is an experiment. 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. People submitted class ideas, and a committee selected four classes. Class descriptions are below.
We hope that anyone who is able to get to town early or take the day off of work Friday makes the effort to attend. We're not quite sure what to expect, but we're pretty certain that it will be worth your time.
Joey Science: Who are you as a dancer, really?
Who are you as a dancer, really? Let's find out by dancing the opposite role and seeing what of your personal style sticks around.
Joey Science started swing dancing in 2005, and still can't wrap their head around where the time has gone. They are actively training in both lead and follow roles, and finds that each role is important and exciting in its own way. Joey's formal training in the learning sciences informs their classroom vibe of learning how to learn dance and trying things before talking about them.
Tony Vergara: intro to music theory for dancers
Music is comprised of many different elements to create an overall picture. When dancing to it, we can take any of the individual elements and dance to them, or we can dance to the overall picture. Both are perfectly acceptable options.
This class will be intentionally open-ended/exploratory, without formal answers, so that students can learn the specifics during class, but also see ways they can continue this learning after the class is done. We will dance a bunch.
Tony started dancing in 2005, rocking out to Baltimore Club music at high school dances (but in New York...). He found Lindy Hop and all that jazz in 2007, when he started performing with and then choreographing for the West Philly Swingers at the University of Pennsylvania. While there, he started DJing house parties with a mix of lindy, blues, and pop music. He studied Jazz and Popular Music (also neuroscience, but that's less relevant), so he'd love to talk music history and theory with you.
Viktor and Tyedrick: DAncing Through life
Swing dance comes from a tradition of African American dance, in which dance has historically taken place in everyday life. Who says we swing dancers should only dance in designated spaces? In this class we will practice ways to expand our comfort zones in terms of dancing in everyday life off the dance floor. We will tie this into the way we express ourselves on the dance floor. Be prepared for some discussion as well as lots of movement and exploration
Viktor is an avid dancer. He shares his rhythmic and flowing style of swing on the social floor and stage alike, competing and placing in social and choreography competitions at regional events such as Midwest Lindyfest, Dayton Swing Smackdown, and Nevermore Jazz Ball. In the classroom he brings a solid understanding of leading/following technique and creative outlook to help students become comfortable in their basics and expand their boundaries. Above all, he encourages all swing dancers to feel the music and have fun.
Tye's bio is coming soon.
Dani 'n' Omar are going to be teaching you new ways to feel. They'll be guiding you to "new" connection points for both sides of the dance.
Omar Myers has been dancing Lindy Hop since late 2008. He started in Seoul, South Korea and began teaching Lindy in 2011. He has travelled the world dancing, competing, DJing, and most importantly, Learning. Always.
When he began this dance he told himself, he would try something new for EVERY SINGLE dance, and to this day, he still finds something new and different to explore. In his classes, he hopes to inspire his students to create and explore Lindy Hop for themselves. He truly believes that, through the fundamentals, EVERYONE can create and make something new in each song, for every dance.
For those who are interested, he was a finalist at ILHC 2013 Open Jack and Jill and more recently, won 1st place in Barswingona 2017 in Spain. He has placed in a variety of other competitions all over the world but his greatest achievement in Lindy Hop, is being selected as a Frankie Manning Ambassador, sharing this position with an esteemed group of dancers from all over the world.
Dani started Lindy hopping in Albuquerque in 2007. There, she competed with Groove Juice Special and co-founded The Rhythm Project. She currently resides in The Greatest City in America and pulls from her experience in Modern, Jazz, Ballet, and Kung Fu to give her the leg up on her nemeses. She will teach you everything she knows, whether you like it or not.