So, should I go in this solo jazz comp at the end of the month? I have zero chance of winning, but there will be many chances to show off. I’m of two minds, though. The primary discouragements are:
- the cost of entry
- the long, tedious night of competition for one small block of showing off
- looking like an idiot in front of people from my town and from other towns (the latter is most worrying – there are lots of peeps coming from interstate)
- getting really stressed about it before the weekend
- chance to show off
- a focus for my dancing – something to structure my own preparation besides teaching
- promotion for my classes (this is a big one, but it could go terribly wrong if I go terribly wrong)
- just something to do at a night I might not otherwise attend because #boring
- getting over a fear of looking like an idiot and embarrassing myself
I’ve done this before, but I’m not a massive fan of solo comps that are just high tempos. I’ve found that most of the dancing in the solo comps I see up here ends up being a bunch of tricks with no reference to the music. And the jam battle at the Speakeasy the other week was so inspiring and exciting with its lower tempos (all sorts of people went in it and did good work) I don’t want to tarnish the memory.
I like mixed tempos in a solo comp because we rarely see people solo dancing at more moderate tempos where they’re forced to do good quality movement and can’t hide their fuck ups. And I have a better chance at slower tempos because I am, frankly, not 20 any more and my nearly-forty body can’t quite hack the higher tempos, and more importantly, the aftermath of preparing and competing for this sort of comp. Yeah, nanna got issues. Weep, wail and gnash the teeth.
What’s all this got to do with that version of Stomping At The Savoy up there? Well, that’s my favourite shim sham song, and I’m currently in renewed love with the Al and Leon shim sham. It’s my favourite routine at the moment because it’s both chillaxed and complex. The Big Apple is high energy, crazy complex and super fun. The Al and Leon shim sham, though, does some interesting steps, but really relies on the dancers being able to make chillaxed look good. It’s much easier to pwn with a super fast high energy song than with a slower, chillaxed song, and I like the way Al and Leon maintain chillax at all tempos, and still bring some really challenging shapes and rhythms.
Ah look, I think I’ve just convinced myself. Perhaps I should add some sort of lindy hop comp to the night so I can get my money’s worth?