Together we’ve taught lindy hop and related vernacualar dances for Gottaswing in Annapolis, Maryland since 2008.
I’ve always loved swing music, even when I lacked the vocabulary to know what that was. My earliest memories of swing music came via Disney exposure: “I Wanna Be Like You” and, appropriately enough, “All the Cats Join In.” When the swing craze hit in the mid-90s, cultimating in the Gap ad, I was in college. And like many colleges there was one kid at my school who someone taught something about swing dancing who was happy to teach everyone else. There was something indescribably off to me about what he was teaching. Now I know that he was dropping two beats, which just possibly might have had something to do with it. I continued to love the music, and to know that it was possible to dance to it, but the how of all remained unanswered.
I moved to Washington, DC to start a career after college and discovered the rich lindy hop scene. As soon as I had a job that provided me a meaningful amount of discretionary income, I started taking lessons. In fact, it was my 2003 New Year’s resolution. Best one I ever made.
Pre-Facebook era, Craig and I danced together occasionally at Glen Echo, but I could never remember his name from one encounter to the next. We finally had a meaningful conversation in March 2006, started dating, and were engaged by May of that year, though we didn’t tell our families until September, lest anyone think we were crazy.
I’m a sucker for good male vocalists, a precise lead, and a twirly skirt.
I’m a good male vocalist, a precise lead, and I know how to work a twirly skirt.
The facts about me aren’t very interesting. I’ve been a musician all my life, studying voice, piano and composition. My mom exposed me to the basics of social dancing when I was young, and I did music theater growing up. When I got to college and found swing, it lit a passion inside me that is burning brighter ten years later. Now, I teach dance and DJ in the local swing community. I also teach private music lessons, direct a senior citizens choir, and lead a small jazz ensemble.
I think the more interesting things about me are my values and the stories that go with them, many of which I’m sure will show up on this blog. Above all, I believe in acceptance and compassion, setting judgement aside to celebrate the amazing beauty of the world we live in and the people we share it with. I owe the life I live today to the generosity, patience, forgiveness and compassion of so many people, and I try my best to pay it forward.