I don’t remember exactly when I started swing dancing. I think it was around this time of year in 1998. That would make around this time of 2008 the point where I’ve been dancing for ten years. The only voluntary thing in my life that I’ve voluntarily done for longer than a decade is be a vegetarian (started around 1993). Keeping friends, attending school, following hobbies, and so on, I’ve either been forced to do the activity by authority figures, or have given it up for extended periods so that there is no contiguous timeframe that compares.
I’m still pretty happy about being a vegetarian. And the unspoken statement there implicates this occasion as one filled with conflicted feelings. I go into this year’s Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown with ambivalence towards swing dancing.
Don’t get me wrong, as recently as this year’s International Lindy Hop Championships, I’ve watched some great performances that have stirred me into screaming at the top of my lungs and clapping until my hands were raw… But I didn’t feel inclined to jump in and dance myself. I did dance then and I do dance still, but I get bored. I get bored with the music that’s played, or the moves that my follow is making, or my own attempts to interpret the music by dancing. It’s not as if all those aspects are necessarily repetitive or derivative, I try not to constrain myself to the same steps over again and in fact I often attempt things in the spur of the moment that surprise myself. So, it’s not all boring. But in general, I walk away from each dance a little disappointed.
Man, I’m depressing. I just wanted to lay the groundwork for where I’m starting as I go into this weekend. I’m not expecting to come out of this event totally inspired and revived for another decade of dance. On the other hand, I am hoping something like that happens on some scale, no matter how small. But John Mayer’s “Waiting for the World to Change” lyrics piss me off and so I’m going to be more aggressive towards my goal. Heck, I’m generally more aggressive about stuff anyway.
I find that the more I articulate my opinions and thoughts on various topics, the more emotionally invested I become in those topics. Whether it’s the significance of the current global economic condition rejuvenating the gold standard of evaluating worth or how two characters on the television show, “Heroes” are related via their powers, if you get me talking on a subject, I’ll probably start to get heated about it. By the way, I think Hiro could stop Daphne if he refined his technique and practiced more.
So, here I type, and I plan to try very hard to recount my thoughts, feelings, and experiences along the way at ULHS. We’ll see how it goes. One blog per day during the event weekend (you may consider this the pre-event blog) and maybe I’ll get really excited about Lindy Hop again. I mean, I should. It saves lives.