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.

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