The Switch Workshop I took at the end of July has got me thinking more deeply about what switching brings to lindy hop. I realize now that lead/ follow switching adds a whole new level of possibilities for musicality, collaboration, and instant communication.
As an example, check out this instance of switching that Irina Amzashvili and Matt Richey shared at the Switch Invitational Switch Up Mix Up competition. Keep in mind that Irina and Matt were randomly paired and didn’t prepare any of their material.
Irina is leading at the beginning of the musical phrase. She hears the ending coming up and decides to switch to the follow role, through a smooth inside turn. That gives Matt a perfect opening to take the lead.
Matt instantly understands this, does a quick redirect and figures out how to put in a perfect quick-stop right at the end of the phrase.
All of that brilliance happens in just a few seconds, all improvised on the spot. That’s a bit of what switch-dancing brings to the table. Which is pretty damn profound, the more I think about it.
Watch the whole competition here.