Swungover turns 5!

5 year swungover

Swungover” began as a word I came up with to describe the sensation I felt — and, I imagined, a lot of people felt — the Monday following Frankie 95. Occurring only a few weeks after Frankie Manning’s death in April of 2009, the bittersweet event left one not only physically exhausted, but also emotionally so.

I wrote the Jam Cellar weekly information email at the time and remember getting so grand and far-out in the emails that Andy Reid had to remind me that it would be nice if possibly maybe they could also inform people about what was going on at the Jam Cellar, you know, if I got around to it. I was clear I had a swing dance writing problem.

In December of that year Swungover was born, and somewhere along the way I was lucky enough to pick up an incredible editor, Chelsea Lee [Editor’s note: It was in December 2010, in response to Bobby’s resolution to be better at grammar, punctuation, and spelling]. She not only made my posts a lot less frustrating for viewers in terms of spelling corrections, but she also added a great deal of feedback and ideas to improve post after post.

So, looking back over the past 5 years of Swungover history, here are some of the posts that have meant the most to me:

The Heavy Follower
The first article of Swungover to hit big, and my first time realizing that me getting angry at bad teaching = article.

On Partnership (Love & Swing Part III)
Ten years of partnership and fifteen years of dancing went into this article.

Savoy Style vs. Hollywood Style: A Fight to the Death (Hopefully?)
Savoy vs. Hollywood Footnotes
It makes me smile to think that this was, when it was all said and done, simply an answer to a rather simple question by a student.

The Old Timer Essay
My first realization that Swungover wasn’t about me telling others what I thought; it was about me discovering what I thought.

Pride and Pretzel-Turns
It’s only so often that one’s love of humor writing, Jane Austen, satire, and swing dancing come together.

Swingjugend: The Real Swing Kids
German Swing Kids, Our Closest Relatives?
Swing Kids was the film that first made me passionate about swing dancing, and in digging through the story of the original swing kids, I realized they were, in many ways, our symbolic relatives.

23 Ways To Look At A Competition
So often I say things in thousands of words. This was a time when I felt I said quite a lot with just a few.

Mr. Darcy’s Guide To Etiquette & Floorcraft
It’s not every day that Fitzwilliam Darcy guest edits your swing dance blog.

A Basic Index of Classic Clips
After fact checking and poring over every name and every film clip, I published the article. One of the first comments posted came from one of the dance historians I looked up to the most, annoyed that I had gotten one of the big names wrong in one of the clips. My heart sank — thankfully, though, that was the only big error anyone could find in the article for the first couple of years. Since then, it has been updated a few times. The journalist in me is proud of this one.

The Great Debate: Should Lindy Hop Be Danced To Non-Swing Music?
Currently in my drafts there are three other debate articles half finished. Maybe someday….

For Hal
A tribute to the last of the great SoCal jitterbugs.

Breakin’ It Down: Al Minns Around-the-World Charleston
A lot of Swungover is research and writing, or teaching and writing, or dancing and writing. I felt this post finally put my research, my writing, my teaching, and my dancing all together in one piece.

Genevieve Grazis, the Lost Follower (AKA Jenny Gray)
The few days during which I discovered the dramatic story of one of the mystery followers in the “Beach Clip” I felt the huge thrill you always suspect British detectives get.

The Proactive Follower
It wasn’t planned that the fifth-year anniversary post was in many ways a companion piece to “The Heavy Follower,” the first big post of Swungover. But you take these things when they come and try never to betray that they weren’t on purpose.

Thank you, all of you readers, for all your support over the first five years of Swungover*. Here’s to the future.

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