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Lindy Hop Fundamentals (Sharon & Juan)
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Lindy Hop Fundamentals (Sharon & Juan)

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Starring:
Juan Villafane, Sharon Davis
Producer:
iLindy.com
Level:
Beginner, Intermediate
Genre:
Lindy Hop
Format:
DVD
Running Time:
90 minutes
Release Date:
2011
Availability:
Available
 

 Summary

This is a DVD teaching all the basics of Lindy Hop, in four lessons, but for more advanced dancers it also includes notes for swing dance teachers and community leaders, on our philosophies of teaching Lindy Hop and building a swing dance scene. At the end of the DVD there is also a preview of a private lesson on the Swing Out, for advanced dancers.

International champion dancers Juan Villafane and Sharon Davis present the fundamentals of the original swing dance, the Lindy Hop. Newcomers to swing dancing will learn the basics of Lindy Hop in four lessons. Juan and Sharon will introduce you to the most important footwork patterns, moves and figures in Lindy Hop, with a focus on partner connection and style.

Advanced Lindy Hop dancers will gain insight into Juan & Sharon’s philosophy on the core of Lindy Hop, and as a bonus feature, preview a private lesson on advanced fundamentals for experienced dancers. Dance teachers and people wanting to build a swing dance community in their home town, will find useful teacher notes, advice and ideas after each lesson.

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Member Reviews

LJH - October 18, 2016

Lindy Hop Fundamentals – Sharon Davis and Juan Villafane - (2010)

This is actually a fast-moving presentation of their typical four-week class in Lindy Hop.

It’s called “Lindy Hop Fundamentals” because they begin each lesson with, for example in Lesson 1, a short discussion of the dance being based on Swing Music and Swing Music having an 8-count beat. That beat gets expressed as a pulse, and that pulse gets danced with/to various Swing Basics, the first being the 6-count basic covered in Lesson 1.

You might not think this a big deal, starting with something so sensible – the music you’ll be dancing these steps and patterns to – but a lot of this “common sense” gets skipped in many instructional settings. So, kudos for starting there, and for usually mentioning some logical basis for the steps and patterns taught as they introduce more material in different lessons, which, again, is all based on a four-week course…

Note that after each Lesson there are Teachers Notes for that lesson which I think a “newbie” can safely skip. You only have so much time and energy to learn anything and teaching is a different skill with a different set of concerns. If you are teaching, or, want to teach soon and already know the dance, then, by all means, invest!

The first few minutes of Lesson 1 move very quickly. Here’s a tip, get a piece of paper and listen as they introduce topics on the DVD. Write down as many as you can – there’s about one every minute – then stop, rewind, and for every minute they cover, spend about ten minutes getting up and practicing what they’re doing. In a class, you’d spend 15 or 20 minutes on each of these as you listen and rotate partners. And… you’d come back next week not remembering much of what happened the week before. This is how it works - if it works - so get to work. Seriously, for every minute, ten minutes trying it out.

I’ll not bore you with all my notes, but I will give you an example of how much each lesson covers. Lesson 1:

1. Swing Out music, beats, and counts of 8’s and 2’s
2. Pulse
3. 6 Count Spot Basic
4. “V” position
5. Rotating the 6 Count Basic
6. “Send Out” to Open in 6 Count
7. Open to Close “Bring In” in 6 Count
8. Pass By in 6 Count
9. Tuck Turn

This is all in about 12 minutes of video… At least an hour and a half of work…

Lesson 2 covers what they call the Lindy Hop Charleston Basic. Yes, they explain what it is and what to do… In 10 “easy” sections - with a short review...

Lesson 3 covers the “Lindy Hop 8 Count Basic” and what to do with it… In 9 “easy” sections - with a short review and summary of things taught earlier.

Lesson 4 is the Lindy Swing Out, transitions between Basics, combining patterns and basics, and, Swivels. (Whew)

This is followed, after the Teacher’s Notes for each section too, by a “Dance Demo” - which might actually be a good place to start for “newbies” so they can reference the dancing they see all at once here with the dancing taught step-by-step elsewhere.

“Preview” is billed as material they usually cover with advanced dancers in private lessons - their common tips and corrections. Well worth a look by anyone. They end that section with a “to be continued…” A pitch for you to sign up for private lessons... Ha-ha.

This DVD presents a lot of material, very quickly, and relies on you paying attention and using the rewind button – a lot. Doug Stilton put the disc together and it’s nicely done – but for the lack of indexing so that you can work on one thing at a time easily.

My take on this is that it’s a disc best presented with a four week class, and it can probably be used as a “work disc” by anyone wanting to prep for such a class, to use while taking such a class, or, to refresh your memory after taking such a class.

It’s got most of what you hear in a good class. Bear in mind, however, that since it is pitched to beginners, there’s not a huge amount said or shown about lead and follow, counterbalance, and so forth. Some of that you can get from the Teacher’s Notes, but if you go there, be prepared for a long haul. Still, a very good effort on a big topic…

Last, I was very glad to see that the web site for the Boilermakers Jazz Band was still up and running. If you want some good practice music, the link in the disc credits is still good: boilermakerjazzband.com

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