Hello, my name is Paul, and I’m a Lindy Hopper. Most times of the year, I feed my addiction to swing dancing by going out to various dances held to both recorded and live music. Sometimes, I just go out once in a week, sometimes as often as four times in the same week. I know it’s an addiction, and I know that I couldn’t quit it easily even if I wanted to, but I love it. In this age of people who are afraid even to look at strangers for fear of robbery and molestation, swing dancing allows me to fulfill my human inclination for socializing and community. It’s a blog for another time, wherein I describe again how much I need the dancing. For now, this is just how I lay the setting.
This week, I realized that I’ve been overwhelmed by another bug: I think I’ve got Jingle Bells. On November 29th, 1936, Fats Waller recorded a hot rendition of that Christmas standard and entitled it, “Swingin’ Them Jingle Bells”. After he (mostly) sings a verse of the words we all know, Fats improvises a bit like we all love: “What’s the matter with him? The jingle bells got him! They’re jingling all the way, lookie there!” It’s pretty great.
Ever since I started doing this Christmas blogging, I’ve been in a pretty good mood, but I discovered a few days ago that my dancing and my DJ-ing don’t feel quite right. I think that even though dancing and playing swing music both bring me joy, I usually perform both with some aggressiveness. I don’t really feel aggressive right now.
So, now I’m torn. I love the holiday but I love swing dancing, too! Can Christmas cheer coexist with hardcore Lindy Hop? Can I only regain my fun times at social dances by being a grinch?
Well, I’m going to go out dancing tonight, and I’m going to try again. This time, maybe I can go all Jingle-Bells-Out and have some fun that way. Swing them bells!