Why we won’t be doing any (triple-step) swingouts in the Fast and Furious at LJC 2012 (and why that’s awesome)

I’m entering a bunch of divisions in the London Jitterbug Championships (LJC) this weekend, amongst them the Fast and Furious – danced to songs of 250bpm upwards.

A couple of people have asked if me and my awesome partner F are going to be doing swingouts in that division. Now I can swing out comfortably at maybe up to 230bpm, but when you crank it up to 260, I run into two critical problems: firstly it looks awful and secondly it’s super-uncomfortable for my follow.

Let’s have a look at what the dancers did in last year’s event:

There’s some awesome stuff in there from every couple, but essentially most of the dancers are dancing like this is just an especially fast Strictly Lindy competition (160 to 200 bpm at LJC). That’s fine if you’re super-experienced Ninjas like Fabien and Lisa (Black waistcoat, blue skirt) or Jamie and Sally (Black waistcoat, black skirt), but otherwise things start to look rushed and fall apart.

I don’t want to try and dance how I usually dance, sped up 25% – we would get through it, but it wouldn’t look great. I want to play a different game. I don’t want a pat on the back for trying: I want us to place.

The description of this division says:

This division is all about speed and style! This is NOT a Strictly Lindy event; the more Shag, Balboa and 20s Charleston dancers there are, the more interesting the event.

We plan to take this and run with it.

So no, you probably won’t see any conventional swingouts from us in the competition on Friday*.

What are you going to see? Hopefully something awesome. Hopefully something more together and smooth than the flailing sight of me swinging out at 260bpm. Hopefully some things you’ve never seen before. For any more than that, you’re going to have to watch the comp.

See you there: Friday the 1st of June, Bishopsgate Institute, London town.

*On the other hand we have worked on at least 4 different kinds of Charleston swingout… so watch out!