Monday, October 8, 2012

Wow, hello again!

I'm not going to lie - I COMPLETELY forgot this blog existed until it somehow popped up in my memory today. I forgot how many posts there actually was! It is also amusing reading what I have written about people who I didn't really know back then who I now call friend. I think I should revive this thing. A LOT has happened since 2010. I am now director of The Swing Sesh since Mr Charmzor moved to Europe. A lot of our teachers have moved overseas (those bastards!) and we have a lot of new up and comers who help keep me going with their passion and enthusiasm. I've opened a dance studio, taught almost a year of burlesque classes, have started planning something like 25 fringe events for 2013 and have moved about the city. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to many swing events this year - I should have kept blogging through 2011 because I went to more swing events in one year then all the rest put together! I'm producing The Halloween Hop at the end of maybe we can have a little sumthin sumthin after that. Or perhaps I can convince one of the crew to write about their experiences at Bal on The River or Sydney Lindy Exchange last weekend (neither of which I went to. *cry). Peace out!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Freshly squeezed 24th Feb

Hello and welcome to my new segment "Freshly Squeezed". In these posts I'm going to be serving up some fresh juice for you to shake in your multimedia cocktail. Every week I'll be bringing you my favourite websites, videos, music, and anything else that captures my fancy. So without further ado, grab a drink and enjoy this weeks "Freshly Squeezed".

Some of the boys in my hometown have recently gotten into some solo dancing, and so to celebrate the fact that us ladies may get to perve on the boys snake hipping it (I mean, observe with academic interest...of course), here is a sweet video of Al Minns and Leon James, filmed in 1961. An oldie but a goodie.

So many people ask me about my hair when I do it in a vintage style. With practice it is actually quite easy to do and helps you stand out in a crowd! This youtuber has loads of easy and clear tutorials, and is my first point of reference when looking for inspiration for a new do. Check out ilovegerado.

Finally, I was thrilled to discover that iTunes has a huge collection of Ella Fitzgerald (a whopping 250 songs!) for just $18.00! Woah! The album is called 'The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Songbook', and whilst a lot of songs aren't suitable for dancing, there is a load of gems in there with some great live tracks. And who doesn't love Ella, seriously?

That's all for this week folks, if you have a suggestion for "Freshly Squeezed" email

Happy Dancing! Luna

The Lunar Lounge:all the vintage dance lovin' you'll ever need.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

When I say swing camp.....

You say Oz!

Wow. Wow. Wow. The end.

No seriously, in case you didn't get it, Swing Camp Oz was like totally wow. This post is long overdue!

Depsite my rigorous training montage (outlined in my previous post) I almost didn't make it to Camp Oz. A combination of surprise bills and having to work two days of the week almost kept me away, but thanks to my super boss who gave me the whole week off and a very very generous friend (you know who you are and you're awesome!) who helped me out with the dosh I made it. And rightly so, because who else would dish the dirt?

Sunday night we rocked up for the level reviews, and I wasn't feeling too nervous about it...until I saw the Level 5 review! Wow Annie and Max seriously threw the scare tactics out there. It was a definite "Level 5 is for the top notchers only, everyone else bugger off!" But the level 4 review wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I knew quite a few people who were hoping to move up levels and didn't make it, and there were some quite controversial decisions. In reality, a 5 minute dance is not really the best representation of a persons dance skills. Especially for dancers who might be excellent social dancers but not great at remembering chereography. It's not so bad for the follows, we basically just get to run along behind the guys and if they fuck up then we just follow their fucked upness with style and hope the teachers realise it's not our fault. It's not helped by the fact that the teachers are trying to balance lead/follow ratios and there were six extra leads in my level, so it was pretty hard for the level 3 leads to get bumped up. However after the first day of workshops some people got moved up, which I'm sure made them very happy.

The teaching line up was great and really varied. Max and Annie have a really unique style that I like a lot, very punchy and energetic. Plus they're just too cool for Lindy hop school. Laura and Mike are amazing dancers who I'm desperately in love with, and not just because they're both ridiculously goodlooking. They have a really smooth but fun style and I like Laura's swivels A LOT. If there was ever dancers who encapsulate the word "inspiring" it would be Evita and Manu. Those two just seem to have so much joy for the dance and want to spread it everywhere they go. When I first saw Evita dance I didn't really know what to think of it, but I'm a total convert now. From what I saw she can make a dancer of any skill level feel on top of the world and has so much to share.'s awesome. Plus I was super stoked to meet the voice behind Yehoodi's Sausagefest podcast (it's not up on the website currently but you can download it for free on iTunes) (as well as the man behind Yehoodi itself!), which has kept me company on many a lonely night (yes, in that way ;D). I've had classes with Joel and Sophie before at bal on the river(check out what I had to say about BOTR09, and I think they make a really good teaching team. Both very clear in how they explain techniques. Steven's workshops were phenomenal. Damn that man can MOVE. There is something incredibly hypnotic about his ass gyrating in front of you as he's intoning "you just got to churn the butter, churn the butter, mmmmmmmmmMMMM!!!!". That is one sexy old-enough-to-be-my-grandfather-man. If I were a few more years down the track, I'd tap that ;D. Seriously though, his jazz classes were incredibly useful in learning new ways to move the body and apply them to dancing.

Sadly, I didn't make it to many of the optional classes with the Aussie line up, those early mornings killed me. I did make it to Josh and Noni's blues class, and those two are always a treat. I really like how Noni's really loose and flowy hips contrast with Josh's body movement. Cool. I also made it to Meral and Sophies "Woman class", which was really great. A mix of contemporary dance and blues that combined into a duo, it reignited my passion for contemporary dancing which I haven't done for years. Stellar.

The socials were great, I had some great dances, and some not so great dances. The best part was finally getting to dance and chat with some of the people I have known about and seen around the scene for quite a while but never gotten to know. So that was cool. Numerous inside and dirty jokes developed, including the "cum-out" (as variation of the swing out, involving...well I'm sure you can work it out) as well as others even worse I dare not repeat). Getting into the Jack 'n' Jill finals was a bonus, and I was paired with an awesome level 2 lead from Adelaide who has only been Lindy Hopping a few months and did a great job! Lot of fun. The performances were also great, I haven't been able to find the videos yet (I think they're all on facebook and not YouTube, kind of annoying) but I'll post them as soon as I do.

Anyway, this post could go on forever, so in summary:
*paying $30 on the off day for "dinner" which was just a few snags and salad.
*missing the optional morning and evening classes :( totally self inflicted
*doing my back in on the last day from the grueling pelvic jamming Steven was demanding of us
*not getting to dance with Max. That man was in high demand!
*accidently offending a lead in the workshops, because I was tired and my words came out bad. I'm sorry!
*dancing all the freaking time, of course.
*being introduced to Jungle Speed by Meral, Manu, and Jarryd, then playing all night with a bunch of new friends and ending up with a sore core from all the tension.
*my dance with Manu, which was tons of fun (plus being asked for a second one...pretty nice from one of the teachers =D)
*having amazing dances with way too many leads to name, thankyou so much!
*and way too much more to mention.

Thankyou to all the organisers, volunteers and awesome people who made my first camp oz such a great experience.

Anyway, that's all folks, this is Luna tuning out till next time.

PS. Were you at Camp Oz? I want to hear from you! Send your camp oz reviews, the good, the bad and the ugly to to see them published here!

Plus if you have a comment or suggestion, drop me a line. I love hearing from you!

The Lunar Lounge: All the vintage dance lovin' you'll ever need.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Camp Oz level auditions (insert hysterical girly scream here!)

That's right, The Lunar Lounge is back and ready to swing and shimmy it's way into 2010. These blog pages have been fairly quiet over the last few weeks, but that's just to prepare you for the insane awesomesness that should be, can be, and will be Camp Oz 2010. The reason that it will be so awesome, of course, is because it's my first time! That's right, for shame, I have been Lindy hopping in Adelaide for just over 2 years now and have yet to pop my camp oz cherry. I'm looking forward to a week of what I hear is numerous inside jokes, sweaty sweaty bodies, and hardcore drooling over the top notchers.

Whilst I'm more than a little excited, I hear there is this small thing called auditions. What? Someone looking at me while I dance, and judging me with their judging eyes? Someone with more style in one step then I have in my entire swing out, deciding my camp oz fate? Yes, as you can see, this makes me a little nervous. It's not that I might get put down a level, there's no shame in being any of the levels, it's the fact that I know I don't perform well under pressure, and my whole future is based on this one moment!! Aggggaaaagggghhhhhhh!!!

Ok, so you might say I'm being dramatic, but just to be sure, I'm imposing on myself a hardcore camp oz training scheme, which I recommend for all those in the same boat as I. This training scheme will obviously involve a montage. If you've ever watched a movie with any kind of physical hurdle for the character to overcome, a montage is always the way it's done. Said montage should include:
* Continous swing outs. Kind of obvious really. Though there should be someone with a stop watch, for timing purposes.
* Looking sweaty in a gym, preferably in vintage clothing. Instead of lifting weights though, I'll be lifting my dance partner over my head. I'm not sure how this will help my dancing, but it can't hurt.
* Me just losing it due to the rigorous training. I.e, throwing my dance shoes in a bitter rage, or curling into the foetal position muttering "level one, level two, level three, level four..." repeatedly.
* The final shining moment when I acheive victory (not being humiliated), running out to the streets to momentous applause by total strangers.

Seriously though, I know A LOT of girls (and boys) who are pretty nervous about it. Whilst I've never done a camp oz, I have done a lot of auditioning (for dancing) before, and it's really not all that bad. I think the main thing is to remember to relax, smile, and have a good time. When I get nervous (which is pretty often, even though I've been a performer for over 10 years!), the thing I try and do is concentrate on breathing normally (a lot of people hold their breath) and relax all my muscles bit by bit, starting with my toes and working up. If your mouth goes dry, (gently!) bite the tip of your tongue, that really helps.

I think the main thing to remember though is, no matter where you end up, the instructors are pretty fab and you're bound to learn something new and interesting. I reckon it's going to be a pretty kick ass week, though I'm fairly sure I'll be dead by the end of it.

And for all those lovely ladies who are not able to attend (and the boys who read this too), I'll be keeping you posted on all the happy haps.

Stay tuned!


The Lunar Lounge: All the vintage dance lovin' you'll ever need.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

MLX9..makes your regular life suck

I'm writing this post on the bus, on the way to work. There's a pimply teenager making a statement to the world via horrible trance music blaring through the tiny speakers on his phone, and I've just read six emails from my supervisor about things that require my immediate attention. This is called reality. Reality totally sucks.

Well, it didn't completely suck until I got back from MLX9, otherwise known as the Melbourne Lindy Exchange. Last years MLX was my first interstate exchange, and I was curious to see how my two experiences would differ, after going a little hard core with my dancing in the last couple of months. The weekend was highly anticipated in Adelaide this year, with a huge group making the pilgramige. Last year 8 of us made it over, this year more than 30 dancers (!!!) converged on Melbourne, with 'Adelaide Swings Your Mum' shirts packed and at the ready.

Unfortunately, I missed the Thursday night, but have heard from numerous people I didn't miss much. Apparently the floor was so packed even a slight swivel knocked over all the surrounding couples. So Friday saw me boarding the plane, wearing six tshirts (carry on luggage only) and thoroughly sedated as a nervous flier with the cunning use of beer. I arrived at the House of the Innapropriate Touche (where I stayed with some awesome peeps), not really feeling like dancing and hoping to snap out of it.

Laced up in my favourite corset and heels my fellow roomies and I arrived at the Ball like expectant Cinderellas, ready to pursue Lindy love. After a glass of unlabelled red and numerous hugs from long lost friends I hit the floor, and had an amazing time. The band, Red Hot Rythym Makers, wore me out quickly with their super fast tempos, but I managed to last all night in my corset and heels, and dance a lot anyway. Woohoo!

I had a great time at the ball, but I was hanging out for the late night, where the flats went on and hair was pulled back. Too my great dissapointment I was not feeling it. I had some fairly average dances, got frustrated with the changing tempos in both rooms (and the many times when both rooms were the same tempos) and some inconsistent djing. The tracks were great, but some of the sets seemed to jump from one style to another with little flow and connection. I couldn't get into a groove and really feel my way into the music. I'm sure if I'd been a better mood it wouldn't have bothered me, but I spent most of the night sitting on the sidelines being a sulky wall flower. I also managed to offend half of the Adelaide contingent by avoiding dancing with them! You know I love you guys, but I have my reasons! I remembered from last year, that hanging out with just your friends doesn't get you out there meeting people and dancing with all of Australia and the rockstars (if you work up the nerve). It's nice to dance with the people you know but at events like this it's good to bust out of your comfort zone. But I did have some amazing dances with some of the Adelaide leads, and inflicted my horrible leading on a couple of the ladies.

Saturday night I got my mojo back. Yvette Johanssen kick started my dancing and I wanted to dance every song. I can't say enough how much I was digging the band. Too my surprise I felt the urge to swing out to high tempos, which is something I never do! I'm all about the slow and mid tempos, but despite the extremely slippery floor I found my fast feet and had some dances that made me feel on top of the world. I did have one lead who was really rude to me (and it was my second dance of the night, jerk) but these things happen I suppose.

Throughout the weekend I tried to remember my own tips for not behaving creepily, but unfortunately my stalker nature just comes out every now and then without my noticing. Like when my hand got stuck in someones shirt, and in trying to get my hand out I traced all the way around his stomach to his back. Or when after finally getting to dance with a lead I'd been following around all night I spent the entire dance staring at the floor grinning in my excitement. All it needed was for me to twirl my hair and say 'wow I've wanted to dance with you aaallll night'. My favourite creepy stunt to pull (on leads that I know) is to do a few belly rolls when in closed position-it feels so creepy! I pull this on the Adelaide boys all the time, for a laugh. But at MLX, a complete stranger actually did this to me! Uggh! Dude, don't be rolling your less than toned stomach on mine, especially in a blues dance that started off badly when you thrust your crotch into my thigh. Blehhhh.

Sunday night is always depressing, being the last night of the exchange and when reality begins to infringe on your psyche. Quite a few though numbed their psyche at the Swing Mafia Pub Crawl, which I rocked up extremely late to. By the time I got there, the beers had been flowing for quite a while. The venue was a cool Irish pub, with a kicking irish band that a few got up and Lindy hopped to. It was clear I'd missed out on a lot, when the entire table would burst out laughing at an inside joke except me. But I also missed the afternoon hangover, which I'm pretty cool with.

The Sunday night social was rad, I felt pretty relaxed and had decided to stop pressuring myself to dance every single song with a million new leads every time. It gets a bit tiring having to ask for dances all the time. A few leads asked me, but if I didn't make an effort I wouldn't be dancing too much. Unfortunately, these events are often follow heavy and so the guys can lean against the wall and wait for the ladies to flock to them. Darn it!

I think the highlights of the night were Noni and Tims dj sets, I could have danced every song. My other highlight was being undressed against my will on the dance floor by a friend slightly less than sober, who was cheered on by a group of randy leads on the wall. You know who you are boys, you disgust me but I still love ya.

A friend and I left the after party around 4am, went to the airport, got back into Adelaide around 7.30am, and then went to work. I then taught a class that night, after being awake for over 30 hours (needless to say I'm not sure how coherent my teaching was). Ah the things we do for MLX. Comparing this year and last year leaves me hoping no one remembers my terrible swing outs from last year, but looking forward to thinking the same thing next year. Nothing can beat a weekend of Lindy Lindy Lindy, pandas, dumplings, 5am discussions about how lame jokes are funny, sleeping in a corner of the dance floor, swooning from an amazing dance with a complete stranger, going to bed at 7am, and rocking up to venues with a 6 pack, sneakers, and back pack filled with tshirts and towels that will be soaked by the end. MLX you have broken my body but I'm still begging for more.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Are you a creepy dancer?

Picture this: I'm at a class interstate, about to pace out a move, when the lead I'm partnered with turns to me and says "so do you like swinging or are you just here for the dancing?" Ok, so I'm sure he meant it as a joke, albeit a fairly dag one, but if it's the first thing you say to someone as you pull them into closed, with a classic grin and raised eyebrow, it can come off as a little creepy. Once I'd gotten over my shudders, it made me think "hold on, do I say or do stuff like that? Surely not!" But alas, I think we are all guilty of being slightly creepy during a dance. Sometimes there is no filter between our brain and mouth (or body).

I've pulled some classic creepy moves on leads. For example, at CCB this year I blurted out "wow your hair smells really nice!" (well it did!). My other favourite actually happens fairly regularily, which I'm sure the leads in Adelaide will know well. When a guy is swinging me out from open, as he's bringing me back to closed I tend to place my hand too low on his right arm, so I just slide it up (which in itself is creepy), but the worst of it is that my hand always ends up inside his shirt sleeve. Urgh! At late night dancing, especially to mid tempo or blues, I get the totally spaced out zombie look, staring into space but actually seeming like I'm boring holes into my partners eyes.

But I'm not alone, I've had many many creepy moments from leads. For example, especially during the closed dances like blues and balboa, the heavy breathing right down my neck disgusts me to no end, or, what's even worse, humming or softly singing right in my ear! I'm not sure why that creeps me out, but it really does. The deep staring in the eyes is not uncommon. The worst thing I've ever had was a guy leading me in swivels from a double hand hold, but feeling the need to pull my hands into his crotch. Literally. I actually ended the dance early (he'd already reverse beaver clamped me three times). Most of the time though creepiness is unintended.

So as MLX is less than 2 weeks away (girly scream!) here are my top tips to avoid being known as the creepy follow at every exchange:

*Utilise good hygeine practices. This is a must and will decrease your creepiness level a whole bunch.
*When someone introduces themselves don't reply breathily "I know..."
*Avoid staring into your partners eyes. It's nice to look at them, but this is not the time for gazing into their soul.
* Deactivate your crotch. Thrusting is not required.
*If you want to dance with someone really badly, try to avoid stalking them too obviously. Walking right behind them and softly whispering their name is right out.
*Talking loudly and candidly about your sex life ("So we're facing the mirror, and all I can notice are his socks"), or health issues ("I've got this rash on my neck...") during a dance is not always the best tactic.
*Finally, allow your partner to leave gracefully. Following him as he's walking into the bathroom saying "I really enjoy dancing with you" is scary.

Happy MLX everyone! Hope you rip up the floor and dance with a gazillion people. If you see me (and know who I am, hehe) come and ask me to dance! I can't wait!

Peace out


Next time: double edition! CCB and MLX reviews.

The Lunar Lounge: All the vintage dance lovin' you'll ever need.

Monday, October 19, 2009

CCB Reflections

Hello, nice to see you at the fourth edition of The Lunar Lounge! This is a very brief reflection on the awesomeness that was Church City Blues 2009.

Picture a tiny room, dark with the curtains drawn and lights dimmed. It's 3am. From the edges you can hear ice clinking and people chatting. The dance floor is so packed anything but closed position is out of the question. The dj sets the blues going, you pull your partner close, and away we go...

What an amazing weekend. So many brilliant dancers, smokin djs, hot dance floors and cool cocktails. CCB is known for it's intimate vibe and highly social atmosphere, and this year it did not fail to deliver. I felt so good at the end of this exchange, and have almost no low points to bitch about. I experienced The Best Blues Dance of my life (and also experienced the creepiest-reverse beaver clamp, I'll say no more), and met so many people who I can't wait to nab for another dance next time I see them.

I'll leave it there, as the next post is written by Karacticus, who was one of the teachers this year. She's going to be sharing her thoughts about CCB. Also Stay tuned for the very first Lunar Lounge podcast, coming soon! Don't forget if you'd like to drop us a line email

Peace out, Luna.

PS This was passed on to me from a lovely guy (who attended his first CCB this year, wooo!). I couldn't find the original source, seems to be passed on by many people. If you know of the source please email me. =D

Here are some very fundamental rules about singing the 'Blues'.

1. Most blues begin with: "woke up this mornin'"

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the blues...unless you stick something nasty in the next line like: "I got a good woman with the meanest face in town"

3. The blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes, like: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 'bout 500 pound"

4. The blues is not about choice: you stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch... ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevy’s, Fords, Cadillac’s and broken down trucks... Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs or sport utility vehicles. Most blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft or state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walking plays a major part in the blues lifestyle... so does 'fixin' to die' ....good grammar has no place in the blues: "I'm not going to care very much" ...needs: I ain't gonna give a damn".

6. Teenagers can't sing the blues...They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the blues. Adulthood means being old enough to get the electric chair for shooting a man in Memphis

7. Blues can take place in New York City, but not in Hawaii or anywhere in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle are probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, and Nawlins are still the best places to have the blues. Another thing: you can't have the blues in any place that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. Now, a woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chompin' on it, is.

9. You can't have no blues in an office or shopping mall. the lighting is wrong. You have to go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster

10. Good places for the Blues:
a. highway;
b. jailhouse;
c. empty bed;
d. bottom of a whiskey glass

11. Bad places for the Blues:
a. Nordsrom's;
b. Gallery openings;
c. Ivy League Institutions;
d. Golf courses

12. No one will believe you have the blues if your wearing a suit... unless you are an old person and, maybe, you slept in it.

13. When do you have the right to sing the blues:
a. if you're older than dirt;
b. you're blind;
c. you shot a man in Memphis;
d. you can't be satisfied.

14. You can't really sing the blues if:
a. you have all of your teeth;
b. you once were blind, but now can see;
c. the man in Memphis lived;
d. you have a 401(k) or trust fund.

15. Blues is not a matter of color... It is a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues.... Sonny Liston could have. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

16. If you ask for water and your darlin' gives you's the blues. Other acceptable blues beverages are:
a. cheap wine;
b. whisky or bourbon;
c. muddy water;
d. black coffee.

17. The following are not blues beverages:
a. Perrier;
b. Chardonnay;
c. Snapple;
d. Slim Fast.

18. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a blues death. Stabbed in the neck by a jealous lover is another blues way to die... so is the electric chair, substance abuse, dyin' lonely. You can't have a blues death if you die during a tennis match or while getting liposuction.

19. Some good blues names for women:
a. Sadie;
b. Big Mama;
c. Bessie;
d. Fat River Dumplin'.

20. Good blues names for men:
a. Joe;
b. Willie;
c. Little Willie;
d. Big Willie.

21. People with names like Michelle, Amber, Jennifer, Debbie, Heather, Jonathan, Bradford, Chad and Kimball can't sing the blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

The Lunar Lounge: All the vintage dance lovin' you'll ever need.