Swungover Turns 3!
This little rascal of a blog is now three years old, and has grown a lot in the past year. That growth has all been in new and exciting ways, like spending a lot more time developing as a dancer and teacher away from the blog. Or finding more joy in and paying even more attention to refining Swungover articles. Or finding new ways to express ourselves, like Venn diagrams and video projects. All of this means that, though there was less quantity this year, we’re very pleased with the quality.
So, we present to you a stroll down (selective) memory lane for Swungover 2012:
In January, we lost one of the last great living swing legends, Hal Takier. For Hal remembered his life and many accomplishments.
Love & Swing was originally planned to be a five-part series written and released all within the month before Valentine’s Day. Yet with each new post, we realized there was so much more to love and swing dancing than we originally suspected. The result was that each post became an in-depth essay, and the series is still ongoing and will probably be seven parts long. The sections on non-dancing and dancing significant others and the love lives of instructors were highlights of the series, but the section on partnership vies for the place in our hearts and heads as the best all-around piece Swungover has ever produced.
We only did one new section of the “On Judging” series this year; however, Judging Philosophy 101 was a biggie.
Though we didn’t do many interviews this year, the one we did was certainly the most inspiring as far as our readers were concerned: An Interview with Paul Overton of Paul & Sharon.
We at Swungover were often inspired to write posts in response to issues affecting the swing world. Implied in the Contract was written in response to the relationship between promoters and dancers. In March, Dance World Takeover published a widely read post called “31 Signs You’re Not An Advanced Dancer Yet,” which led us to write In Response to “31 signs…” as a critique of what we thought was misleading advice. Regarding that response, someone commented that we shouldn’t think so much about dancing and instead just have fun, which led us to respond, fittingly, with the article On Having Fun. Finally, Training Bands to Play For Dancers came about in response to a few readers’ requests for advice.
We also branched out from the written format this year in the form of Venn diagrams like “Friends” and “Balboa/Blues” and promotional videos like L1ndy Phocus Time and Swingin’ In the Rain. However, swing education and alternative formats came together in our introduction to a new series, “Breakin’ it Down,” where we attempted to recreate a dance step done by the incredible Al Minns.
As a side project, we began Fine & Dandy, a picture blog exploring personal fashion (not affiliated with swing dance).
Finally, a very important thing happened at Swungover this year: Swungover‘s editor ceased to be merely an editor and began to be what writers call an editor, whispered with the shake of awe in their voice. Here’s what we mean. There are many people who can look over a Swungover post and correct the spelling and grammar.* It’s quite another thing, however, to have the experience, skill, creative mind, and intellectual integrity our editor has. Chelsea Lee has become an integral part of giving feedback crucial in creating the best Swungover has produced, and this year-in-review would not be complete without thanking her for all she does.
* — And, seriously, thanks to all of you who have offered. We apologize that our spelling and grammar are so bad that people feel the need to freely donate their services.
This year-in-review also wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t get a chance to say how fulfilling it is to work on Swungover. Officially you could say that grammar brought us together, but none of my work would have been possible without Bobby producing such thoughtful, imaginative, and helpful content for the modern swing scene. The fact that he has allowed me to share my thoughts and opinions in addition to my knowledge of dangling modifiers during the creative process is icing on the cake. I truly believe in what Swungover stands for and I am proud and thankful to contribute.
What’s in store for next year?
We’d like to introduce a new series here at Swungover. It’s called “Finishing a Swungover series.”
But seriously, a lot of next year will be spent continuing and/or finishing the series that are currently underway. So there will be more “Love & Swing,” “On Judging,” “The Great Debate,” “Vintage Manliness,” “Swing Photographers,” and “Breakin’ It Down.”
We do have a few new series planned, and the humor of this statement is not lost on us. But they are specifically designed to be smaller and much easier to write. There will be some occasional surprises, possibly a really big one.
A wonderful new year to all of our readers, and thank you for all the inspiration and great feedback you give us.
—Sentence written by Bobby White, edited by Chelsea Lee.