This is my personal blog, founded in about 2005 or 2004 (I forget which). All opinions here are my own.
Comments may be deleted without explanation. That’s the way I roll, yo. Here’s some of my thinking behind my zero tolerance policy for arsehat commenters. Remember: you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.
I like dancing, music, reading, writing, watching telly and films, sewing, knitting, crocheting, canvas work, drawing, making popups, telling bad jokes and making puns, talking crap, eating excellent food, walking, pilates, cycling and swimming. I am obsessed with gluteal strength and my hamstrings. I see it as my personal responsibility to deconstruct the patriarchy and replace it with syncopated rhythms and an interest in handicrafts.
My research and writing
I am obsessed with jazz music and dance from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. I did my PhD, ‘Hepfidelity: Swing dance and the role of digital media in embodied practice‘ in media/cultural studies on modern day swing dancers and how they use digital media. I have published journal articles, delivered conference papers, and lectured on this and other topics.
I also have an MA in media studies, a BA (with first class honours) in English and Media Studies, and a postgrad diploma in information management. I taught and researched in various Australian universities for ten years before I had jack of the shithouse working conditions. All that is behind me now. Today, I am all about writing heaps and heaps of stuff on the internet.
I write a bit about music, particularly jazz, and occasionally do reviews. These reviews look at particular recordings or performances from the perspective of DJs and dancers (well, from the perspective of this dancer and DJ). Musicians and publicists send me CDs or downloads to review, and I like this very much :D If someone sends me a CD for free for me to review, I make that clear in the review. If you’re interested in having me write about your CD or show, you can contact me at dogpossum at dogpossum dot org. Please note that my agreeing to review your act or recording does not guarantee a positive review. I don’t like to write nasty stuff about people’s art, but I like to write helpful reviews. Which means they’re honest.
Anything I write about jazz dance history which is even partly true is probably the product of other people’s work. Anything I write about jazz dance history which is untrue was probably something I made up.
As with all these sorts of things, it’s best to consult more than one source, and to be utterly sceptical of anything published by someone working in a university. I have found almost every academic source discussing lindy hop completely unreliable. I regularly reference the ones who aren’t full of shit.
I started dancing in Brisbane in 1998. Then I lived and danced in Melbourne between 2001 and 2008. Then I moved to Sydney, where I’m still dancing. And DJing. Read more about my DJing here.
I first taught lindy hop in 2002 but then gave it up because it was interfering with my academic teaching. I started teaching again in 2012, and have been teaching lindy hop and solo jazz weekly here in Sydney since then.
In 2014 I resigned from my admin position with Swing Patrol Sydney. During my three years with this organisation I ran twenty four dances, workshops, and weekend events (including 8 independent dances), and began focussing on booking the best local, interstate, and international jazz bands I could find.
I now run my own dance business, Swing Dance Sydney, which is the umbrella organisation for our parties, classes, workshops, and events.
I began DJing in 2005, and I have been DJing ever since. During covid I did a bunch of online sets that were lots of fun. My friends started calling me ‘International DJ Sam Carroll’ as a joke, because I was doing so many overseas DJing gigs. And the name stuck. I have DJed every Australian lindy hop event, and a bunch of big overseas ones. I have DJed in the US, South Korea, Austria, Sweden, New Zealand… and others I can’t remember. I specialise in lindy hop, but I can also DJ for balboa dancers. I don’t know if you want me to DJ for blue dancers.
I’ve also taught a bunch of workshops for DJs, and been interviewed on the radio and for magazines.
If you’d like to book me for DJing, drop me a line on dogpossum [at] dogpossum [dot] org. I don’t work for anyone who hires rapists, racists, or sexual harassers. I’ve done lots of huge events, but I do really like (prefer?) working on smaller and unique events. If you’ve got a good idea – let me know!
As you’ll see below, I’ve also run lots of events (big and teeny tiny) and I love working on unique things. If it’s unusual, I’m interested.
– manage live band programs (ie finding you good bands, and then wrangling them at the event)
– manage DJs (same)
– put together programs of performances and interesting shows with musicians and dancers (incl. writing and directing shows)
– run workshops (as a speaker and producer, on a range of topics)
– run ‘feminist fika’ (afternoon tea sessions for talking about activist things like feminism, anti-racism, and so on)
– deliver lectures (though I’d rather a practical session where people do more than just listen to me blabber on).
Running dance events
I have been involved in running dance events since 2001, when I was a founding member of the Melbourne Lindy Exchange committee. Since then I have been a head DJ, DJ coordinator, live music coordinator, event manager, and event owner. I have run huge events, and I have run tiny events, and I prefer the latter because they’re less work, more fun, and I get to dance.
I am particularly interested in working with musicians and dancers who like to put on unusual shows or experiment with new ideas.
I founded Swing Dance Sydney in 2012.
Our goal as a teaching body is to teach good quality dance classes that prioritise social dancing and good music, and to run small-scale social dancing events that involve the best musicians we can get, and the best DJs we can get.
What’s the program for this stuff?
I’ve lost track of how many band gigs and weekend events I’ve run. The most interesting period has probably been in that 2012-2019 moment in Sydney before covid. If you want to read more about that, check out Swing Dance Sydney.
In 2018 and 2019 I ran Jazz BANG with my business partner Sharon Hanley. Jazz BANG is a big dance weekend of workshops and parties with international teachers and exceptional musicians. This is an annual event. Covid put a stop to it in 2020, which sucked as we had sold out passes within a week. Oh well.
We haven’t started planning anything big yet, but we have decided we want to get back into it soon.
Event management (aka organising dance events). Incomplete because I cbf.
- Jazz with Ramona (10-11 February 2017) feat. workshops with Ramona Staffeld, and parties with live music.
- The Little Big Weekend 7 feat. the Harlem Spoon lindy hop contest, and guest teachers Marie N’Diaye and Anders Sihlberg (3-5 May 2017).
- Adrian Cunningham and his band swinging at the PBC (Wednesday 14th December 2016)
- Tap with Ryan 2 (Saturday 3rd August 2016)
- Harlem Stays up Late as part of the Last Minute exchange, and feat. Andrew Dickeson’s Blue Rhythm Band (Fri 10 June 2016)
- The Little Big Weekend 6 feat. the Harlem Spoon lindy hop contest and guest teachers Jenny Deurell and Rikard Ekstrand (13-15 May 2016).
- Harlem with the Blue Rhythm Band and the Harlem Teaspoon (Friday 6 May 2016)
- Tap with Ryan (Sunday 13 March 2016)
- Jazz with Ramona (5-6 February 2016) feat. workshops with Ramona Staffeld, and parties with live music from Swellington’s Splendid Six, and Andrew Dickeson’s Blue Rhythm Band.
- The Little Big Weekend 5 including workshops with Lennart Westerlund, and parties with Swellington’s Splendid Six, and Andrew Dickeson’s Blue Rhythm Band (9-11 October 2015)
- Harlem hosts Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys (Perth) (Sat 2 May 2015)
- Swinging at the PBC with the Squeezebox Trio (Wed 8 Apr 2015)
- Swinging at the PBC with the Underscore Orkestra (Wed 14 Jan 2015)
- Swinging at the PBC with Andy Baylor’s Big Four (Wed 12 November 2014)
- Event organisation and administration. Swing Patrol Sydney (2012-2014).
- General Manager. Jazz BANG solo jazz weekend (10-12 October 2014). Including live music, workshops with Lennart Westerlund (Sweden) and Marie N’Daiye (Sweden) and parties featuring DJs and live music (including Andrew Dickeson’s Swingtet, the Basement Big Band, the Corridors, and the Squeezebox Trio).
- General Manager. Swing Patrol Sydney Winter Performance Ball with the Basement Big Band (23 August 2014). facebook event.
- Organiser and teacher. Frankie Fest with Brad Child and his Vipers (14 June 2014), Sydney. facebook event.
- Organiser. Rugcutters’ Swing with Adrian Cunningham (29 March 2014), Sydney. facebook event
- Organiser and Head DJ. Hot Foot Stomp (18 January 2014). website
- General Manager. Little Big Weekend 4 with Ramona Staffeld, Kieran Yee and the Melbourne Rhythm Project, (Sydney, 7-8 December 2013) website| facebook
- Organiser and DJ. Swinging at the PBC with Hetty Kate and Ian Date, Wednesday 4th Dec, 2013. website
- Organiser and DJ. Hot Foot stomp, 18th October, 2013. website
- General Manager, Swing Patrol with the Basement Big Band, Sydney, 24 August 2013.
- Organiser and general manager. Little Big Weekend 3 with Lennart Westerlund and Georgia Brooks (May 2013). facebook
- Organiser and general manager. Little Big Weekend 2 with Ramona Staffeld (December 2012).
- Organiser and general manager. Little Big Weekend 1 with Georgia Brooks and Kieran Yee (May 2012) Sydney. Including Swing Patrol Sydney Meet The Scene Ball.
- Assistant organiser, One Billion (Jazz Dancers) Rising charity dance, (February 2012), Sydney.
- Melbourne Lindy Exchange organising committee member (volunteer coordinator, web design, event management, DJ coordination, promotions, etc) 2005-2008.
- Melbourne Jazz Dance Association, founding member 2005-2008.
- Melbourne Lindy Exchange, organising committee member, 2001-2002.
DJ management (aka Head DJ and DJ coordinator)
- Head DJ. Melbourne Swing Festival 2013, 2011, 2010.
- Head DJ. Melbourne Lindy Exchange 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006.
- Head DJ. Sydney Swing Festival 2009.
- Head DJ. Sydney Lindy Exchange 2009.
I do the design and websites for these events.