Dance
Dancers hear music choice and room erupts in laughter
Jenny Brown
06.28.22

The Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest, Hungary hosted the Budafest 2022 which featured a host of activities including a West Coast swing competition.

Dancers came to show off their fancy footwork, which they knew would be immortalized on social media.

So no pressure then.

YouTube - West Coast Swing
Source:
YouTube - West Coast Swing

Kyle Redd and Nicole Ramirez weren’t expecting to be paired during the event.

But these two are amazing dancers in their own right and this competition is super fun.

As both Kyle and Nicole are called to the dance floor, a hilarious exchange ensues especially when the song starts playing. Kyle doesn’t seem to know it which is odd.

YouTube - West Coast Swing
Source:
YouTube - West Coast Swing

The song is Abba’s “Mamma Mia”.

It’s perfect for an upbeat dance like the swing when you think about it.

This is a fun, improvisational style of dancing which allows the lady or her partner to lead or follow as needed.

The dance is traditionally danced to slower, blues-style swing music, but a recent resurgence sees many dancers taking the West Coast Swing to hip hop, R&B and pop music.

Swing dancing developed in the 1940s on the West Coast of California.

YouTube - West Coast Swing
Source:
YouTube - West Coast Swing

The West Coast Swing is a “slotted” dance.

The lady or follower travels forward and backward along a straight line on the floor while the leader guides the turns and variations from one spot.

YouTube - West Coast Swing
Source:
YouTube - West Coast Swing

They say this “slot” was developed in Hollywood since wide angled lenses had not yet been invented.

The dancers needed to be in straight lines so directors could focus the camera on them.

This “slotted” style became super popular and is now danced this way today.

YouTube - West Coast Swing
Source:
YouTube - West Coast Swing

Kyle and Nicole have a little discussion as to how to dance to the song since Kyle doesn’t seem to know it.

So Nicole explodes into a quick ballerina jazz type of freestyle dance while Kyle sat down.

Look at her go!

FrankMac59 loved her little solo so much he commented,

“That solo was extraordinary! If Nicole’s energy and enthusiasm could be harnessed, it would power a large town! And that’s not counting the joy she exudes.”

YouTube - West Coast Swing
Source:
YouTube - West Coast Swing

Kyle now knows he has to get up and dance.

From a man who says he has no idea what to do, he suddenly catches Nicole’s vibe and joins her in an energetic routine full of smooth footwork, spins, and exciting transitions.

The audience cheers them on, Nicole following Kyle’s lead even though she’s the one injecting all the impressive moves.

YouTube - West Coast Swing
Source:
YouTube - West Coast Swing

Kyle had to sit and listen to the song for a few minutes but he’s a pro so he caught on easily.

He just guides Nicole along the floor, letting her jump and spin while he glides with his feet.

“Even though a lot of the song was already played for the audience, Kyle willingly took it on and lead fantastically! Nicole expressed herself so freely while dancing which made it so fun. They both did a wonderful job!!” says another viewer.

YouTube - West Coast Swing
Source:
YouTube - West Coast Swing

Yes they did. It’s not easy being put on the spot like that with a random partner and still pull off an amazing dance.

Sometimes you just have to sit back and reset before dancing.

Nicole was so willing to go. Kyle rose to the challenge and put on an unforgettable dance for everyone.

Have some fun with these two dancers in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

How fun was that?!

This form of competition is called “Jack and Jill” and it’s quite a fun and unique format!

The name and format was created by Jack Carey in the early 1950’s.

He was trying to encourage a variety of dancers to enter the competitions that were held in Norwalk, California.

The competing couples are chosen at random. No choreography or costumes are allowed.

Aside from not allowing “lifts” or “drops” typically the organizers will opt for “anything goes” with no rules.

Pexels
Source:
Pexels

The music is also selected at random without the competitors having any previous knowledge of the music choices.

It’s a very “improv” based competition that turns out to be extremely entertaining as the dancers try to coordinate their moves with one another.

As one can imagine with so many variables from the tempo of the music, each dancer’s particular style, the venue, and even how they are feeling at the time can really affect the outcome of the dance.

In this particular competition you could see only one of the dancers recognized the music which put the other one at a slight disadvantage.

But, being the professionals they are, he was able to listen just a few minutes and immediately know the direction to take his moves.

Pexels
Source:
Pexels

While he got the chance to listen, everyone else in the room got an extra treat as Nicole took off on her own improv moves.

It truly looked as if the song was meant solely for her as she seemed to encapsulate the energy of the song and bring everyone an extra dose of happiness for the day!

Next time you hear this song, likely you will remember this fun performance with a smile on your face!

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By Jenny Brown
hi@sbly.com
Jenny Brown is a senior writer at Shareably. She is based in San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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