Looney: Hello everyone and welcome to the third edition of the Lunar Lounge. I'm very excited because in this edition I'm joined by some stellar ladies who will be helping me nut out some topics. So how about you introduce yourselves?
Buggs: I'm Buggs from Radelaide - home of CCB, Camp Oz and a surplus of hot follows!
Babe Ruthless: Batter Up! Well I'm Babe Ruthless, hailing from Brisbane, the sweet Balboa capital of Australia.
Karacticus: ok! Well, I am from lil ol Tassie, home of DCS! woot!
Looney: And I'm Looney, your friendly neighbourhood blog moderator. Also from Adelaide! So to prepare for CCB this weekend our topic is Blues dancing! How do you guys feel about blues dancing? Does it turn you on, does it make you feel icky? Spill....
Karacticus: I *heart* blues dancing SO much (I should say that I heart blues dancing when I don't have to blues dance with someone icky!)
Babe Ruthless: I'll be the first to say , that with the right lead, blues is HOT! with the wrong one, it just feels like I'm fumbling around like a 15yo, not knowing where to go or how to do it.
Karacticus: I guess, further to what both Babe and I've said - I find that blues dancing with the right partner can be wicked but I don't think I've ever been "turned on" by it... I mean, other than with my fella I guess... lol.
Looney: I didnt mean necessarily sexually, but thank you for adding that dimension.
Babe Ruthless: I have.
Buggs: I have a love/hate relationship with blues. It's the one dance guaranteed to make me feel like I really suck as a dancer. Sometimes I suck a bit, sometimes I suck a LOT - depends on the dance. But it's the greatest magnifying glass for all the things you can gloss over in Lindy Hop. There's no hiding in Blues!
Karacticus: hehe, I think that's why I love it Buggs
Looney: Yeah I agree. I love blues, but I have to completely shagged out (figuratively and literally...sometimes, *wink wink*), had a few g and ts, and am dancing with someone trustworthy-lol!
Babe Ruthless: Buggs I feel the same, when I dance blues I am far more self concious of my physicality than in any other form of dance.
Buggs: I avoided blues for SO long, purely because of that microscope aspect - someone's right in your personal bubble, and they can feel everything you're doing wrong (or right!).
I find that with blues I can just escape to a different planet... like I get more in to the music and I can add to stuff that my lead is doing and it just feels right to me - however, I have had dances with people who I feel uncomfortable dancing with that were the longest 5mins of my life!
Buggs: And I started dancing at a time where blues + late night = grinding hookups and beaver clamping. Ugly, ugly stuff!
Looney: Beaver clamp, ha ha! Maybe explain the beaver clamp for our lovely readers.
Buggs: Beaver clamp? Let's just say it's a follow getting WAY to intimate with a lead's leg, if you know what I mean.
Looney: Like a suction cup.
Karacticus:Ba ha ha ha ha ha!
Babe Ruthless: I just thought it was a new form of hair accessory.
Looney: Well anyway, along this stream of thought (dancing, not beaver clamps), what makes a good blues dance good? What does the lead do (and what can a follow do) to make it amazing?
Buggs: Deodorant. The end.
Karacticus: Mints. Bad-breath or even ok-breath breathed heavily all over you is bad!
Karacticus: Seriously though, I think that to make a blues dance good - it needs to be an almost equal conversation - like the lead leads, ok... but the follow needs to be able to have her own input to the dance and be given room to play as well... I like being given a direction and a speed but being allowed to determine how I travel and how long it takes me to get there.
Babe Ruthless: For me to allow myself to really make it a good blues dance I have to get out of my own head and completely give over to the lead.
Looney: Thats funny because you guys are saying completely different things
Babe Ruthless: Hey I'm Bal girl, I find security in not knowing or choosing where I go, especially when I feel exposed in blues.
Looney: well I feel both ways sometimes
Babe Ruthless: Thats very ambidextrous of you
Looney: If I'm feeling really comfortable, then I love being given room to play around. If I'm finding the lead difficult to follow, or he's sending me around in weird ways, then I try to just hold back a little and purely follow until I can feel what kind of groove he's trying to give me.
Karacticus: Oh yea, I guess that's what I meant by an almost equal conversation. Connection with the lead is a *must* in a good blues dance (or in an amazing one), so once I have that, the extra room to add on top of it is great!
Looney: You know what I love leads doing when blues dancing? Not forcing their sweaty forehead onto mine.
Karacticus: Yeah, me too!
Looney says: Seriously! Is it really that necessary?
Babe Ruthless: I am a sweaty head virgin! Am I missing out ??
Buggs: The best blues dances I ever have are often mostly in open or open-closed (if you know what I mean). I've had some horrible blues-wood/bear claw experiences in which my bubble has been seriously violated, so I'm happy to stay well away from their forehead!
Karacticus: I don't mind feeling sweat on them (like on their back or whatever) but don't make my face feel it ... eww!
Looney: There is no need to connect with brain matter, we're not trying to dance telepathically.
Buggs: I know, right? Just being sweated on in general is pretty nasty.
Karacticus: I'm not grossed out by sweat - as long as a) they don't smell, it isn't b) dripping on me or c) on my face.
Babe Ruthless: Yeah the sweat thing doesn't bother me really, as long as I can stay connected and don't slide off.
Looney: I don't mind a bit of sweat, but on my face.....*mimes vomiting into cereal*. I've danced with someone so sweaty before he literally could not swing me out because he kept giving me all this energy but the sweat made me slip out....ewww! But on the other hand, girls shouldn't wear tops with low backs or anything, that's not cool for the lead.
Karacticus: Yeah, chicks shouldn't wear singlets or low cut backed tops - tis just gross! I mean, even if you don't sweat - I just don't need that much skin contact, and it is kind of yucky to be dancing with it (I lead too).
Buggs: Oh man, when I lived in Canada there was a guy in the scene who always wore these gross 80s tank tops, you know the ones with huge open arm holes?
Karacticus: Ewwww, gross.
Babe Ruthless: So, I have a question. Do you guys feel more or less comfortable blues dancing with your really good mates?
Looney: Well I was just about to move into this, because everyone has different ettiquite rules (I think) when it comes to blues dancing, and things which are considered appropriate to some peole aren't to others. Like I personally think its horrible if a guy youve never met before pulls you into a closed position, but some people think its fine.
Buggs: Depends on the guy! There's one dude in Adelaide (one of my fave Lindy Hoppers) who doesn't feel great about blues, so I feel slightly weird dancing with him. We have a big age difference too, so that (for some reason) also makes it slightly weird. Like bluesing with my little brother or something!
Karacticus: I am SO geeky about blues dancing that I don't think of it as a sexual thing, so I'm fine dancing with my close mates (phew - cos otherwise I'd have no one to dance with!).
Babe Ruthless: Funnily enough I think I'm the opposite. When Damon and Heidi did Hand Me Down Blues they talked about almost role playing the song, so for me its easier to do that with a stranger than someone who knows me really well.
Buggs: Ha, that's the part of blues I don't love. It's movement - it shouldn't be about a romantic/sexy connection, even a pretend one. Or should it?
Looney: Shouldnt it be sexy? I mean come on lets face it, blues can be pretty dirty and still awesome.
Karacticus: I don't know - I don't think of it as sexual AT ALL.
Babe Ruthless: I think its sensual, not necessarily sexy - but it definitely can be.
Karacticus: In fact in my classes in Tas I actively promote blues as not sexy, I mean yeah, it does have the potential to be.
Buggs: I don't love the dirty aspect of it - guess I'm scarred from all the nasty hookup blues in my early dancing days. Icky and seedy. I don't think blues is like that so much any more - it's more of a genuine dance form than a thin excuse to hook up in the party room! (I should add I was not involved in the nasty blues hookups. I swear!! )
Looney: I dont go into a dance thinking about it as being sexy (like oh yeah baby lets dooooo eeet), but occasionally (though pretty rarely) at the end of a song I'm like 'Phew. Cold shower!!' and that's usually with leads I know and trust A LOT. Of which they're aren't that many. Lol.
Babe Ruthless: It started in Juke joints with guys all drunk up on gin, getting all close with their ladies, how can that not be sexual??
Karacticus: But I just get all geeky about the connection and the dancing and I don't think of it like I've just been intimately dancing with someone. And yeah, I've finished some dances and thought "shit... that was HAWT" but more of in a "man we connected so freakin well and everything that you lead I was all over it and we were in sync and we hit that amazing break..."
Buggs: Karacticus, I'm with you 100%. And sure, it can be sexy - I occasionally blues dance with my bf (who isn't really a swing dancer) and it is hot as hell! But I think it should be a bi-product of good chemistry with your dance partner, not a given going into it.
Babe Ruthless: I agree that it doesn't have to be sexual, but you can't deny its origins.
Karacticus: Oh very true Babe - but it isn't how I *feel* about it.
Buggs: I think the distinction we're trying to make is the difference between 'hot' and 'sexual'. I mean, Mister Darcy is hot, but not necessarily sexual, right?
Looney: Buggs: ahahahaha. You crack me up Karacticus, because I watch you dance and I'm thinking 'Daaaaayuuuuum that bird is sexy'
Karacticus: Ummm thanks Looney! I think.
Looney: You could turn me.
Buggs: I have had some awesome hot blues dances that have never gone to a 'sexy' place... or at least, a real heavy-breathing, pants-expanding place.
Looney: Your pants expand?
Buggs: Not mine! Bahahah!
Babe Ruthless: Hey, please don't think that every blues dance I enter is with the attitude that its sexual, because that's just creepy.
Buggs: Aw, 'course not! I know exactly what you're saying.
Karacticus: Yeah, we know what you're saying!
Read on for part 2!!
The Lunar Lounge: All the vintage dance lovin' you'll ever need.