ILHC 2012 – Personal Review

The International Lindy Hop Championship in Washington, D.C. was an incredibly inspiring, and fun weekend. Here’s a little preview into our experience:

Thursday Night – Cocktail Party in the Room

Kevin decided we should have cocktail hour in the room, so he invited ‘Mike the Chemist’ to mix. Mike brought a suitcase of booze, bitters, and tools to create some lovely, liquid confections. I decided that I would best add to the party by dressing as a Stepford Wife from the 60s. And yes, Alicia Vance did my hair. Want to know the secret to getting hair that big? Laundry bags. Yup! I have two of them in there. Just think about that 😀

Friday Night – Classic Division

Since performed this number at ESDC back in June, we’ve changed our intro and improved our wardrobe 😀 I am happy with how we performed it, but I know we can be cleaner (that what most of the other pros said about how they performed as well).

Saturday Night – Invitational Strictly

Kevin and I were invited to do the Strictly, but because I was sucking super hard that day and didn’t feel like I could add to the competition, I declined. When I was in the ballroom waiting for the competition to start, I saw that there was an open seat at the Yehoodi table and I asked if they needed a hand. I’m not entirely sure what came over me – perhaps it was the Amaretto and Coke – but somehow I adopted a New York-Jewish, Will Ferrell-inspired character for the commentary and decided to run with it.

Watch live video from yehoodi on

God, I had such a great time being ridiculous!! I honestly feel like I added significantly more to the event by doing commentary than I could have with where my lindy hop was that day. Of course, when I look back on it, there are so many more crazy/ridiculous/off-colored things I could have said, but I guess I can save those for another time 😀 Oh, and incase it’s not clear, there was a drinking game being played while people watched this. Hopefully that explains some of that.

Sunday – Invitational Jack & Jill

I have to give a shout out to the DJ of that competition (I just don’t know who it was): THANK YOU for playing music at a tempo where we all could relax and dance, instead of blasting us with something over 22obmp.

I really enjoy watching Laura dance – her movement is so playful and fluid! Also, she is wearing the shit out of those pants!!

As I was sitting on stage waiting for my turn to dance, all I could think about was how sweaty I was and that I needed my hands to stop being gross by the time I danced. That’s happened to you before, right (oh god, please say yes)?

More importantly though, as the competition progressed, I felt that there was no clear winner. I mean, I saw some good dances, but nothing that jumped out as the obvious victor (this is just from my perspective, sitting in the back). Had you asked me before the awards were announced who I would have placed in first, I’d have given it to Dax & Alice because I thought their connection, timing, energy as a pair, and song choice was the best. However, thanks to relative placement – and clearly Peter’s awesomeness – we snagged first place. 😀 I wish I had seen the scores though – it would have been interesting to know how all-over-the-shop they were.

How did I feel about the dance I had with Peter? It felt good and I had a great time! You know, Peter and I have quite the J&J history. I believe back in 2007 at Swingin New England we took 1st in the Lindy J&J and at ILHC 2009 we got each other as well (oh my goodness, I totally go overboard with the kick-ball-changes. Eeep!). Frankly, he’s a great partner to get in a Jack & Jill; his leading is super clear, he gives me plenty of space, and he follows my lead when I throw down a variation.

The results:

1st – Peter Strom and Jo Hoffberg
2nd – Pontus Persson and Sarah Breck
3rd – Dax Hock and Alice Mei

The best part about the invitational, however, happened during the All-Skate. Laura Keat was injured – so she had to pull out of the competition last minute – which meant we had an additional lead. Of course, that isn’t a problem during spotlights, but it does make for an entertaining all-skate. See for yourself:

another view:

Peter and I could tell that most of the judges, and audience, were watching Alice get tag-teamed and frankly, we wanted in! At some point Peter navigated us towards the trio and then took Alice, which left me available to join in on the fun. As time continued, Thomas saw what was going on hopped on the bandwagon. Gaaaah, I had such a good time with that!!

In all, I had a great time at ILHC. The hotel was lovely and spacious, the competitors were inspiring, lots of friends attended and entertained me, the Baltiquerque Party was a blast, the Juniors brought tears to my eyes (yeah for our future!!!), there was an elephant sighting, and some late night shenanigans. For funsies, I leave you with this:

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