Korean Dance Battle

Last weekend I competed in the Battle Korea Lindy Hop Competition at the Big Apple Bar near Bangbae Station (방배역) in Seoul. The competition takes one day with the preliminary competitions taking place in the afternoon and the finals at night. Most of the best dancers in Korea were in attendance including the top dancers from Busan my friends Lala and Miran who I met last summer in Sweden at a dance camp there. The judges for the event included the international instructors and competitors William and Maeva from France, and Soochan Lee and Hyun-Jung Choi from Korea as well as some other local judges.

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There were six divisions in the competition: Rookie and Jill, Open Jack and Jill, Advanced Jack and Jill, Solo Jazz, Open Strictly, and Advanced Strictly.

In the Jack and Jill competitions you sign up solo and are randomly paired up with a partner for three songs in the preliminaries. There was a very large number of competitors in these divisions so the competitions were split into heats of approximately ten couples and the judges had to select 8 leads and 8 follows from each division to carry on to the finals rounds.

During the competition the audience claps their hands on the 2 and 4 of the music to encourage the dancers and cheer when they see something they really like. There is a very friendly and encouraging atmosphere at Lindy Hop Competitions and this make it a lot of fun to watch and compete.

The solo jazz competition is where competitors dance by themselves to the music in the preliminary rounds the competitors all dance at the same time and the judges select their favorite eight to move on to the finals.

In the strictly competitions you sign up with a partner for the competition so you can practice together before the competition starts. The two divisions Open and Advanced in Korea refer to the music speed with Open being medium tempo and Advanced being very fast. I was signed up for the open competition with Bosom who is an instructor at Big Apple. We had three fun dances together however we did not make it to the finals.

The finals were set up as a battle style tournament with two couples going head to head to move on in the tournament. Both couples dance at the same time and after two minutes the mc counts down and the judges need to then choose between the two who passes to the next round. At this stage the competitors really started pulling out their big moves and showed great musicality. In the Open Jack and Jill Lala with his partner faced off against his wife Miran and her partner in a great show down. Lala ended up moving on to the next round.

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In the final battle of each tournament the competitors each take two turns with a chorus of dancing followed by and all skate where they both dance at the same time. This time the judges are making their decisions on paper and keeping the final decision until it is announced at the award ceremonies. In all the divisions the competitors really showed some great dancing and the crowd went wild! Lala and Miran ended up winning the Strictly Open and Lala won the Open Jack and Jill with some great dancing all around.

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Finally the competition finished everyone took some time to dance together and enjoy the great djing of DJ Harem. If you want to catch a great upcoming swing dance performance and event this weekend is Burn the Day taking place in Seoul: http://nightanddayswing.com/ Many of the top competitors will be showcasing their choreography that they have been working on for months and the event will also have workshops and parties.

 

Article by Read from Canada

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