Skye and Ramona win the World Lindy Hop Championships 2002


I often have to remember that I've been dancing longer than some good lindy hoppers have been alive. I can take certain modern scene facts for granted- like Skye and Ramona grew up in the same small town in upstate New York and partnered a little bit when they were teens. They were in Herräng the summer of 2002 so they stayed in Sweden afterwards and entered the World Lindy Hop Championships on a whim and won, much to the consternation of competitive couples who had taken a lot of time training for it. I recall the official rules were changed the year after to require costumes or you would be disqualified, in reaction to Ramona's jeans and Skye's simple outfit.


It's probably hard for relatively new dancers to watch this and think about anything other than how young they look and how their dancing has changed (and stayed the same). To give a tiny bit of context the global scene was very small then, almost zero lindy hop in Asia, Eastern Europe, and none in South America, so the "World Lindy Hop Championships" were actually very European and there was a lot of crossover from the Boogie Woogie and Rock and Roll scenes (you could say that's still true to a certain extent). America's young dancers were kinda ragtag then but our strength was that we social danced a lot where other international scenes were oftentimes built more around choreography (for a little context: 4th place) If I remember right I think Skye said their strength was they could dance the slow round where that was the other couples' weak spot. It's funny, I don't think their slow holds up as well as the fast but it is more indicative of the young american scene at the time, a little wild and weird and aping the WCS and Carolina shag we were rubbing elbows with back then and trying to interact with each other and the music in a way other scenes were not.


Okay maybe I'm talking too much but I couldn't help it (this one's for you Jerry Almonte). Short version: watch this clip.

-N

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