When strangers ask me about learning lindy hop, they often say that it must be hard to “throw my partner around” or “dance so fast.” I think the popular impression of lindy hop is that it’s full of crazy airsteps and really fast dancing. The classic clips that we often send around of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers I’m sure help encourage this impression. I do enjoy those aspects of the dance, and gush over really dazzling, energetic, and crazy fast routines.
But there’s another side of lindy hop that is really what has kept me continually excited about the dance for more than 20 years. Lindy hop is a happy dance. It can be elegant, gentle, musical and playful. It’s about two people connecting and sharing on the dance floor.
So of all the fantastic routines and performances I saw at the 2018 International Lindy Hop Championships, I think I’ll keep coming back again and again to this one by Anthony Chen and Irina Amzashvili.
Irina and Anthony don’t just dance exceptionally well. They also tell us a story, they connect with us, they invite us into their partnership. They make you feel something. That’s what lindy hop when done well can do. Sigh.