• Stompology 2008

    Author: Mike Thibault Add a comment

    After my laptop’s 5th death and complete reinstall, I can finally get my thoughts out, even if they are a few weeks old.

    You know a dance weekend is good when you hear three different people independently exclaim “I love my life!” in the midst of the weekend’s events. Stompology 2008 was kind of a dream come true for us on almost every level: the music was out of this world, the classes were top notch, and the parties were awesome. Unlike previous years, I didn’t worry myself with videotaping everything for a vaporware DVD, and I was able to actually enjoy the weekend as a result. The only thing that could have been better is that we just barely squeaked out a tiny profit. We all kind of expected this though, as we spent way more money this year than previous years. If we had to do it all over again though, I wouldn’t have tried to do anything differently since the event itself was so awesome.

    The highlight of the weekend for a lot of people was the late night on Friday, in which Gordon Webster teamed up with George Reed and the amazing Wycliffe Gordon. I told Gordon after the show that it was the best night of music that we’ve had in town, ever. I wasn’t exaggerating.

    The weekend was also a big deal for me because of the great Sunday night pool party hosted by Corinne and Colin. It marked the first time in more than a decade that I played my saxophone in front of people. Mike and Andy played guitar, Colin and Ryan played drums, Steve played upright bass, and Naomi sang. I was really shy about joining in at first, but after warming up on the kazoo for a couple of songs, I figured what the heck. We played On the Sunny Side of the Street and Perdido, and it was a lot of fun. The problem I have is that I need to have sheet music in front of me in order to play. I can fool around and improvise a little bit, but I don’t really know what I’m doing. I can sightread pretty well, but I have always lacked the ability to translate the ideas in my head and sounds in my ears to movements of my fingers. It’s definitely something that I want to improve upon, and Sunday night definitely made me want to practice and pretty much play all the time.

    What will next year’s Stompology bring? One thing I’d really like to see is more dancers. Mike commented both this year and last that he was surprised more people didn’t flock to this event since it was the only one of its kind. I think I initially thought the same way but I guess it could be considered a bit of a niche market, even though traditional jazz movement forms the basis of Lindy Hop. Alex and I have both talked about how awesome it would be if Stompology got big enough to allow tracks, but one good thing we currently have is a nice intimate feel to the weekend, and I think it’s something that Rochester always has during dance events. I think we could still keep that feeling even if we grew bigger.

    Coming off of back to back workshops in town (the very successful Northeast Girl Jam was at the end of April) it will be nice for us to take a bit of a break before hosting the 11th Annual Steven and Virginie weekend in November. I’m looking forward to not having heavy-duty planning for at least a little while.

    Posted in Dance