This past weekend was my first time at SwingIN, Indiana’s annual swing dance workshop weekend, and I loved it. The atmosphere of SwingIN was high-energy and spirited, with hard-swinging music from the Russ Wilson Swingtet and a phenomenal DJ lineup that included Emily Schuhmann, Celia Fern Mooradian, Leah Dudak, and Shelby Rowles (for a final count of four women out of the six DJs at the event!). I stayed on the dance floor for a solid four hours on Saturday night – and then was planning to go to late night, but made the mistake of lying down for like ten seconds, crashed super hard, and slept like the dead until it was time for Sunday morning classes.
The most magical experience of the whole weekend was taking classes with Sonia Ortega and her teaching partner, Hector Artal. Sonia always had a bright smile in every class I took with her, and I often found myself smiling back, even in the middle of learning challenging new concepts that might have otherwise frustrated me. She said during a solo jazz class, “A positive attitude is the MOST important thing,” and really demonstrated the truth of that statement throughout the whole weekend. Sonia inspired me to always remember the joy of Lindy Hop, and I hope to be as happy as she is when I’m dancing – it definitely makes a big difference.
Thanks to Rakoteet Photography for the beautiful pictures!