Category: black lindy hop matters

  • Safety and dance: the limits of the law

    The laws that the state and nation have in place to dictate how we touch each other may not be good laws. eg in NSW, Australia, the legal system does not adequately protect us from sexual assault and harassment. The laws are inadequate, the legal system (from police to courts) do not prevent or protect […]

  • Who is responsible for enforcing safe spaces?

    With regards to ‘types of physical spaces’ and who is responsible for them… Let’s ask ourselves: who has the power here? I feel, personally, that if I know a person has assaulted or harassed someone, that I don’t want them at my event, and I don’t want to be at an event they’re at. Because […]

  • What next after Codes of Conduct?

    A few years ago, in 2015, I did a survey of Australian dance events, to see if they included a code of conduct on their event websites. There were mixed results, including a fairly unpleasant email from the organiser of an event which did not have a CoC at the time, and has since folded. […]

  • Who is responsible for fighting racism in dance?

    White people, particularly white people of influence (like dance teachers) need to get their learn on. Rather than placing the burden of policing racism on the backs of people of colour, white people need to listen to people of colour, and start policing their own behaviours. Just as men need to be responsible for policing […]

  • A lot of white people will be uncomfortable.

    Nathan Sentance’s piece Diversity means Disruption (November 28, 2018) is important. It addresses the experiences of people of colour (specifically first nations people) within arts and information institutions – libraries, museums, galleries. My own background is in universities and libraries, with my information management postgrad work focussing on the management of first nations’ collections and […]

  • cotton, blackness, art

    Black history, America, art. ‘These Works Demand You to Confront Them’: How Artist Kevin Beasley Transforms Cotton Into Social Commentary (February 7, 2019) If you’re an Australian, cotton is equally loaded, particularly for environmental reasons (cotton is a hideously resource-intensive crop, and cotton farming has fucked over acres and acres of (colonised, slave-worked) land in […]

  • What is the problem with teaching ‘traditional’ gender roles in lindy hop?

    On the face of it, nothing. There is nothing wrong with teaching a class where students experiment with ‘gendered’ movements. In fact, a class like that is very powerful and empowering, because it teaches us how gendered movement is constructed and learnt through the way we hold our bodies, the speed of our movements, how […]

  • Intersectionalism and activism

    There’s been a reluctance to engage with intersectionalism when addressing sexual assault in the swing dance world. If we want to end assault and harrassment we also need to address racism. Why are there so few women of colour in the American lindy hop scene? One of the reasons is that they bear the double […]

  • Topic: improvisation, and musicians teaching us to dance (1)

    I’ve just watched this video that Alice hooked up on fb. In this vid the musicians demonstrate how collective improvisation works in nola jazz. Now, this is just one type of improvisation, in one type of jazz. But it’s a good example of how I think about lindy hop. Both partners are equal participants in […]

  • Topic: groove, musicians teaching us to dance.

    A student, who is also a musician, just sent me a message. They’re from a rootsy/folk sort of background, and play a lot of gypsy jazz. They’re just discovering other types of swinging jazz. The message said: “Surely there is nothing better to lindy hop to than Oscar Peterson. Surely.” We had a conversation, and […]