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If I base my dance weekends solely on the amount of dancing I did and how much I liked the music that was played, this weekend was by far the best dance weekend I have ever had in Toronto. The two awesome bands that played, the energy level of the dancers, and the inclusiveness environment from the university swing groups made my heart fat.
Just in case you did not know, the Toronto University Lindy Exchange (TUX) is billed as:
This is a followup to last year’s wildly successful TUX: a swing dance exchange run primarily by, and for, university students.
Seriously this is one of the best concepts I have ever run into for dance. University students are the lifeblood that will continue to make our dance scenes stronger yet they get the least amount of respect. I started learning how to move my feet from the SFU Salsa/SFU Swing club and have had nothing but good experiences and fun memories. I’m actually kind of jealous that this was not around a couple of years ago!
The weekend started on Friday with the Ragweed Jazz Band playing dixie-land era songs with a wicked banjo player and a thumping rhythm section. This was the first time I have ever heard the Ragweed Jazz Band play and I must say they were kickin’. They definitely know which songs are danceable because literally every song made me want to continue dancing even though my feet were hurting from the non-sprung floors.
The late night dance was at one of the university’s frat houses. I would say it was typical blues house party…
Saturday day had board games and open studio space at Dovercourt House. We did a lot of solo jazz jamming and I stole a bunch of moves from Krister.
The band for the Saturday night dance was one of my favorites – Rainbow Gardens Quintet. They are all excellent instrumentalists and they are one of the few bands that I have ever witnessed personally that really take the energy of the dancers and spur them on even more. I think the dancers really made them excited to play because they hardly took a break! When they did take a break, I had a lot of fun dj’ing and seeing dancers take good tempo lindy songs (read: fast) and play around with the music.
Definitely the highlight for me was when the last song that I played turned into a dance jam and having the band continue the jam by playing right as soon as the song ended. Another highlight during the jam was how many students/intermediate dancers came into the jam and did their thing. That is what really inspires me because they majority of those kids I would say are still fairly new to dancing dancing but already have a best mindset that takes a long time to develop – just get out there and dance. That jam probably lasted fifteen minutes it was that much fun. Actually it literally lasted fifteen minutes.
After the evening dance, there was another late night dance but this time held in the same venue followed up with a pancake brunch.
A big shout out goes to Heather and the university dance organizers for putting on such a fun event and picking bands that killed it this weekend.
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