Monday, January 26, 2009

Camp Swing It 2009!

January 16-18 I attended Camp Swing It in Pyeongtek, Korea (a city a little bit south of Seoul). Eleven hour to hour and a half long workshops and two awesome dance parties later, my legs felt like they were going to fall off. But... I was a much better dancer. This weekend, back in Daegu dancing, a lot of leads commented on my improvements, and that felt really great.

I learned a lot from some amazing lindy hop teachers:

Peter Loggins and Mia Goldsmith taught workshops on Balboa, Bal-swing, and historical pieces from the Savoy Ballroom.

Kevin St. Laurent and Emily Hoffberg focused on techniques related to leading and following well, as well as ways to dance easier to fast music.

Mikey Pedroza and Nina Gilkenson who taught a lot of techniques they learned from Frankie Manning (whose hip operation kept him from appearing himself at the camp, sadly).

Italian lindy hoppers Vincenzo Fesi and Isabella Gregorio taught a variety of moves and techniques in a way where they broke everything down in well-paced practice sessions.

I feel so grateful for the opportunity to study so closely with these folks for the weekend. At camp, in addition to dancers from other parts of Korea, I also met dancers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, and Shanghai. I learned a ton and my interest in swing has actually increased from the exposure. I'm looking forward to more events like this in the future!

The lovely gentlemen who organized this fantastic event, Kang Seok Kim and Min-Q

Many thanks to the organizers. I can't wait for 2010!


  1. Swing Dancing and Taekwondo?! Your posts are making me feel like a slug, D! ;-P

    The workshops sound way cool and fun!

  2. Don't feel like a slug. :-) I'm being more sluggy these days. Even with the dance, taekwondo, skiing, and mountain climbing. I feel like I should be in a gym or something to get "real" results.

  3. Nah, you'd get bored with a gym like I did after five + years. Hey, I stuck with it for five + years. Now I'm trying to find another way to get excersize, hmmmmmm...

    Jim and I have been successfully doing the South Beach Diet (we're on week 3) and our next step: excersize!

    Rome wasn't built in a day after all ;-).

  4. If you don't mind me asking, how did you find out about the swing workshop? Before coming to Korea I would try to go out swing dancing once a week, but since moving here I haven't had much luck finding a new place -- which makes me somewhat envious of your experience.

    I'm glad you had a good time and it's great to 'meet' someone else who does swing dancing in Korea!

  5. Oh my god, the swing scene in Seoul is AMAZING. Seriously. It may be one of the best in Asia.

    It is, however, a bit off the mainstream radar.

    Sorry your attempts to find a club have not gone well yet. Don't give up! Once you find one, you'll be in.

    Ok... a few options. On facebook, there is a group called "Fun Swing in Korea." It is where I heard about Camp Swing It, but is also a good English-language resource for swing events in Korea.

    If your Korean is good enough, most swing clubs have sites on Daum cafe. My club (in Daegu, unfortunately) is at I'm pretty sure you could search for others.

    If not, I'd send Min-Q Kim a note on Facebook, asking for help finding a club. He's a really sweet guy who goes out of his way to try to make foreigners feel welcome at swing events. His English is good and he responds on facebook pretty quickly.

    Maybe I'll see you at an event around town sometime!

  6. Have you participated in some of the other swing scenes in Asia? Now I'm even more envious!

    I figured it was all a matter of finding the first club, and then once I get to know people they'd likely be more than willing to help me find some other places to cut the rug.

    That Facebook group sounds awesome. Thanks for the recommendation -- and for including it on my LiveJournal entry as well! Not sure if my Korean is up to the task of trawling Daum cafe sites, but it couldn't hurt to try.

    I hope we'll be able to meet at an event some time!



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