<p>I just finished competing in the Advanced Jack and Jill competition at the International Lindy Hop Championships. It was a really fun experience, dancing with a ridiculously talented field of 40-50 lindy hoppers from around the world.
Many lindy hoppers think of Jack & Jills as the true test of a dancer. Most other competition divisions, you are dancing with your regular partner, doing a routine that you have created together, using music that you have chosen. None of those things apply in Jack & Jills.
In a Jack & Jill, leaders and followers are randomly assigned to each other during each heat, and they have to dance to whatever music the DJ decides to play. So there’s no time for coming up with choreography or complicated tricks. Everything is negotiated and performed within the time of the dance.
If you are lucky, you get someone who you connect with well, who helps you both to shine as dancers. If you are unlucky, it’s a very long heat.
I got lucky with my three assigned partners. All of them were strong dancers and great followers, making it a fun experience.
I have no illusions about getting into the finals round, given the world-class professional experience and abilities of the other competitors. But it was a great experience.