No Swing This Friday
This week I had my biggest break through in my 16 year swing career. It occurred to me that the stand that I have taken against “Un-Swung” music has not been helping anyone accept for my over inflated ego. Rather than winning friends, being a positive swing-influence, and a swing-example, I have been making an ass of my self, rubbing people the wrong way, and causing more harm than good.
At this point I owe the swing world my most sincere apology. Over the last five years I have been way too vocal about my feelings about music both swung and unsung. Although my first amendment right to free speech gives me carte blanche to say what I wish. It would have been better for everyone involved had I made the choice to exercise my fifth amendment right to remain silent. Passion is a beautiful thing but not at the expense of the greater good. As passionate as I am about the dance that we all love, others are equally passionate about the dance we all love. For every swung eighth note that I demanded a DJ play there is someone that is demanding straight eighth notes as well as two others that have no idea what an eighth note is, Swung or not, and could careless as long the DJ plays some Top 40 so they can “feel” the beat, sing along, and get their dance on? Who am I to interfere with someone getting there dance on? Who am I to make someone second guess there dancing? Who am I to leverage my position in the swing community to exact change that only makes me feel good? The only answer that comes to mind is that I have been the “A-Hole” that did all of the above and I am sorry.
Socially I have taken too vocal a stand, going as far as to refuse dances because the music was not sophisticated enough i.e. it did not “Swing”. I am sure that some followers have taken this to heart. After all, most girls just want to dance and pay very little attention to the song that is being played. They pay attention to the person who they are dancing with and are thrilled to not be sitting this one out. I am most sorry to all of the girls that I turned down for this lame reason. The absolute least I could do is dance with someone that had the courage to ask me to dance…and I will from now on!
If I hope to exact change in the swing world I have got to consider that there are two sides to every coin. I do still want there to be more swing music in the swing world but I am not going to fight for it any more. I am going to lead by example. I will be an ambassador for swing and swing music but I will also hear that there are other genres of music that make people happy when they dance. Dancing is an art form and those of us that practice this art have the right to dance to what makes us happy. Swing makes me happy but it does not bring the same joy to everyone. If we are all going to coexist on the dance floor we must be tolerant of each other and each other’s music choice. I will be the most tolerant from now on in hopes of leading others down the road of tolerance.
Thank you for reading and I hope to see you at my next dance Friday, August 10th at DNE School of dance for Part I of a 2 part intensive that concludes on August 24th. I will follow up with more details next in next week’s email.