We recently sat down with our instructors and asked them some hard hitting questions (seriously – team Instinct, Valor or Mystic?*) to learn a bit more about them. First up is Katey aka Buggs!
How did you get into swing dancing?
In 2000 I was working at a record store and picked up an album by neo swing band Royal Crown Revue. I was immediately hooked into the late swing revival – complete with cartoon-vintage hairstyles and two-tone shoes! – but it took me two years to work up the courage to take my first lindy hop class in 2002. After my first night of social dancing, I floated home on a cloud and fell asleep dreaming of triple steps. That’s when I knew it was true love.
What is your favourite thing about swing dancing?
It is physically impossible to resist smiling while dancing lindy hop. I love the conversation between two dancers (and the people watching, and the band!), the moments where your partner does something awesome and you laugh and shout, ‘Yeah!’, the look of excitement on a beginner dancer’s face when they swing out for the first time… I could go on forever. It all boils down to one word: JOY.
Song you just can’t get out of your head?
Right now I am absolutely obsessed with Tulip or Turnip, from the 1956 Duke Ellington album Live at Newport. It swing so damn hard, has a great vocal from Ray Nance and lot of raucous crowd noises from a very appreciative jazz-nerd audience. I could listen to it on a loop forever!
You get to hear any jazz musician from history live. Who?
Chick Webb, live at the Savoy Ballroom in 1936. Teenager Ella Fitzgerald is singing lead vocals on When I Get Low, I Get High. Frankie Manning and Freda Washington are throwing down some wild lindy hop, and the crowd is hollering for more. Chick beats in a solid four, and the band smashes into Clap Hands! Here Comes Charlie. I swing out hard with Al Minns, and… wait, this turned into a weird lindy hop fantasy, didn’t it. Um.
When you’re not swing dancing you are…?
Playing french horn (my first love), writing, playing video games (Witcher 3: Blood and Wine at the moment – that soundtrack!), reading (so.. many… books!), costuming, learning Japanese (badly), eating dumplings, talking about stupid internet memes with my friends, hanging out with my excellent scientist husband and working in communications at a wonderful environment not-for-profit organisation. Variety’s the spice of life, right?
Katey is currently teaching our beginner and intermediate classes with Vedrana (stay tuned to hear a bit more about her as well!).
*Team Valor – obviously.