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The Basie Ball Contest in 2004

Our latest YouTube video is from 16 years ago. The Basie Ball was part of an event called the Basie Centennial celebrating Count Basie's 100th birthday held in New York City in 2004. It's amateur footage but it captures a good angle to see some of the great dancing in the contest. I remember sitting right up front and cheering my head off. Right around 2004 felt like a time where Lindy Hop events were changing- more live music for jam style contests and more fast tempos (coming out of a "groove" period). I thought that this contest was a high-water mark for the time.

The couple that won Minn and Corina were pretty unbeatable back then (and I know because I occasionally attempted to beat them). I can see, especially now with hindsight, how the old timers appreciated their full package- tight routines, airsteps, and a killer look. Watch when they allskate- they're front and center by the judges. I remember very clearly how impossible it was to get that real estate when you were in a contest with them :)


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