I'm excited to report that from August 24-26 I will be in Washington DC to host a live internet broadcast of the International Lindy Hop Championships, along with my awesome co-hosts Nicole Zuckerman and Manu Smith. This is the first time an international swing competition of this kind has been live broadcast in this way. So we are super honored to be invited by the organizers of ILHC to produce this with them.
This is a natural step in the impressive growth of the international lindy hop movement from small pockets of dancers in a handful of countries to tens of thousands of lindy enthusiasts from all over the world. The Herrang Swing Dance Camp in Sweden boasts attendance from people from more than 50 countries, from Estonia to South Africa.
While several hundred people will travel to ILHC to compete and participate, there are thousands more that wish they could be there. So hopefully our internet broadcast will help them to feel the excitement of the competitions, pitting the best dancers from around the world against each other in a variety of divisions and formats.
This is also a natural outgrowth of the expansion in availability and affordability of streaming video online. For many dancers, watching online videos of other dancers is an organic part of their participation in the community. YouTube is full of zillions of swing dance footage , from historic films of the legends of swing like Frankie Manning and Al Minns to real-time uploading of videos from swing events as they are happening right now. Ironically, dance — one of the most off-line of human activities — has evolved and grown in the digital age.
What remains to be seen is how much of an audience there is for live coverage of a swing competition like ILHC.
Some questions that we have:
- Are swing competitions akin to sporting events where seeing the action live is of paramount importance, rather than delayed till the next day?
- Will our viewers want expert commentary while they are watching the dancers compete, similar to sports commentators or ballroom competitions, or will they just want to raw footage?
- What is the most important information that needs to be shared to ensure that our online viewers get the most out of the experience?
- How long can we expect someone to watch an online streamed video of a dance competition? An evening of competition can take several hours to complete.
I.e. are they interested in something like this?
We are working out our production plan now and will be hitting the ground running on August 24 in DC. I can guarantee it won't be a flawless production, but we think it will be an entertaining and exciting one!
To find out how you can watch ILHC from your computer or mobile device, join our Facebook event or keep an eye on Yehoodi.com for updates. And of course , your suggestions and ideas are always appreciated.