Just a quick post while I’m thinking about it.
Sydney currently has one million dance events on in a given year. Weirdly, they’re almost all clustered in February this year. No doubt we’ll all change it next year and cluster in another part of the year. Note to self: dancing in February is total bullshit because it is so hot; no more solo jazz in February.
This year we have:
Jazz with Ramona: 4-5 Feb (solo)
Attune to Blues: 19-21 Feb (blues/fusion)
For dancers only: 27-29 Feb (lindy,bal, etc)
Sydney Blues: 29 Feb-1 May (blues/fusion)
Little Big Weekend: 13-15 May (lindy hop)
Sydney Swing Festival: 11-13 June (lindy, etc)
Sydney Lindy Exchange: 11-13 Sep (lindy)
Not a single all-social exchange there, which sucks.
There’s also a weird-arse westy/lindy cross over event run by westies which I strongly recommend NOT going to. Great teachers, worst organisation ever. Of all time. And so expensive, with no bands.
There are also a fair few random workshop days in there.
All of these are run by different groups, except Jazz with Ramona and LBW, which I run. I also have Jazz BANG (solo jazz …. or perhaps all social?) in the back of my mind again for next year.
One of the interesting things about all this is that each event tends to pitch smaller – limited class sizes and parties – and to be really focussed on a particular style of music and/or dancing. The quality of music, teaching, and planning varies between events (some need some help, some are excellent, most are in the middle somewhere). Talk about hipster boutique bespoke artisanal dance events. This makes it possible for dancers to have quite varied tastes. I have also noticed that it means our lindy hop generally is weaker, because people don’t focus on it as much as they should. But it’s also interesting – we have dancers who only do bal or blues. Because there are weekly balboa and blues parties and classes, as well as regular weekend events. And we see a fairly wide range of bands at events.
I’d like to see one big weekend exchange (all social), with great music, but I’m not sure our disparate scene and organisers can manage that. But is it such a shame? We don’t attract many out of towners with our small events, but we do have a more diverse, interesting scene. Me, I’d quite like a very good, throw-down hardcore lindy hop weekend. Nothing but solid lindy hop with a good teacher line up, streamed classes, and top shelf bands playing in appropriate venues. I want good wooden floors, I want a few teacher couples, I want really good bands playing really good jazz.