Hepcats performance group activities
Why performance groups? The Hepcats believe competition type activities (of course, friendly and fun competitions), to include individual, couple, and performance group(s), are beneficial to helping improve any Lindy Hop/Balboa swing dancer. One of the best ways for an individual to take their swing dancing to the next level is to participate in a performance group, in jam circles, in a couples or jack & jill contest, etc. These activities get the competitive juices flowing and are often the catalyst for individual improvement. The Hepcats also believe that performance group activities are one of the signs of a healthy and growing Lindy Hop/Balboa swing dance scene.
From 2008-2013, Mike & Mary/the Hepcats organized and sponsored numerous Lindy Hop performance group and competition type activities. For those interested in those activities and information, see below for more info.
Hepcats performance groups
◊ Mission: The mission of Hepcats performance groups is to provide a creative, fun and safe outlet for those swing dancers that want to participate in a Lindy Hop performance group, and take their Lindy Hop swing dancing to the next level.
◊ Who participates? Participants in Hepcats performance groups normally include a diverse group of people (past participants have included all ages from college students to grandparents!), but we all have some things in common: a love of Lindy Hop; a desire to perform and share that love with others; and a desire to take our dancing to the next level.
The Rhythm Cats!
The Rhythm Cats is a Lindy Hop performance group sponsored by the Hepcats Swing Dance Club. Established by Mike & Mary Richardson via the Hepcats in 2008, the Rhythm Cats competed and performed in local, regional and national level competitions and events and consisted of the best Lindy Hoppers in the Lexington/central Kentucky area. And most of those dancers got their start with the Hepcats!
The Razz Ma Tazz!
At times the Hepcats sponsored a second performance group, the Razz Ma Tazz. The Razz Ma Tazz team members generally consisted of Hepcats performance group members with less competition and performing experience (although some Rhythm Cats members did fill in for a Razz Ma Tazz routine from time to time). Many Razz Ma Tazz members moved up to the Rhythm Cats after learning one or two Razz Ma Tazz routines.
What’s it like to put together / lead a performance group?
What’s it like to put together / lead /organize a Lindy Hop performance group? To summarize: the great times, the good times, the not so good times; the trials, the tribulations; the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat; the different personalities, and yes, sometimes the drama – – and that was only the first rehearsal!
Overall, it was certainly enjoyable, and it was a big factor in raising the technique and level of expertise for Lindy Hop for all the participants.
Perhaps one day we’ll get our thoughts together and put down “on paper” more of the lessons learned, useful tips, pearls of wisdom, etc…..for organizing and leading a performance group. Check back, or feel free to contact Mike or Mary if you’re interested in that type of discussion.
Hepcats Swing Dance Club Performance Groups. As noted above, from 2008-2013, the Hepcats organized and sponsored Lindy Hop performance groups, primarily the Rhythm Cats, and occasionally the Razz Ma Tazz. Below are some videos of those groups.
o Rhythm Cats at Dayton Swing Smackdown, Feb. 23, 2013. The song is “Sing You Sinners”, by the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, c. 200 bpm.
o Rhythm Cats at the American Lindy Hop Championships, Chicago, IL, May 2013. The song is “Sing You Sinners”, by the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, c. 200 bpm.
o Rhythm Cats at Dayton Swing Smackdown, Feb. 25, 2012. The song is “Who ya Hunchin'”, by the Chick Webb Orchestra, c. 200 bpm.
o Rhythm Cats at the American Lindy Hop Championships (ALHC), Chicago, IL, May 2012. The song is “Who Ya Hunchin'”, by the Chick Webb Orchestra, c. 200 bpm.
o Rhythm Cats at Dayton Swing Smackdown, Feb. 26, 2011. The song is “Non Stop Flight”, by the Artie Shaw Orchestra, c. 203 bpm.
o Rhythm Cats perform at a Hepcats Big Band Swing Dance, Apr. 9, 2011. The song is “Non Stop Flight”, by the Artie Shaw Orchestra, c. 203 bpm.
o For the 2010 Dayton Swing Smackdown event, the Hepcats entered two groups.
oo Rhythm Cats at Dayton Swing Smackdown, Feb. 2010. Song is “Opus No. 1”, by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, c. 180 bpm.
oo Razz Ma Tazz at Dayton Swing Smackdown, Feb. 2010. This was an all-female group performance, with a 1920’s Charleston theme.
o Rhythm Cats at Dayton Swing Smackdokwn event, Feb. 2009. The song is “Lipstick, Powder, and Paint” by Big Joe Turner, c. 160 bpm.
I’m working on getting more links in this section for other video clips of Hepcats peformance groups, competition type activities, jam circles, etc. Check back……