This story starts long before the birth of Swing Foundation but it demonstrates what we strive to achieve with our work in the Lindy Hop community.
Savoy Cup is a Swing dance event that focuses on competitions and shows. Dancers from all over the world gather here to show their skills. Next to the regular competitions, like the Mix & Match where you social dance with a random partner, Savoy Cup is known to invent new and exciting competitions. A good example of this is the Vintage Routine in which competitors reenact a choreography whilst the original video of the choreography plays simultaneously behind them on a big screen. Another big hit is the City Battle. As its name suggests dancers represent their city by taking turns dancing off against another city. This happens in a knock out format.
Obviously Amsterdam had to represent so we brought together a team in the fall of 2017. The group of 18 dancers trained until April 2018 when the Savoy Cup took place to participate in the City Battle. The event was great but Amsterdam unfortunately lost their first battle against Bologna (who ended up winning 2nd prize).
Inspired by all the cool stuff from the other teams and eager to do better we decided to try again in 2019. With more (wo)manpower and fresh ideas, Team Amsterdam started training again in October 2018. This time the team consisted of 30 dancers from Amsterdam (and surrounding cities). While we mainly guided everyone in creating choreographies together for Savoy Cup 2018, the focus changed for the 2019 edition. We coached with the goal to improve our dancing, being able to dance faster and create more interesting formations.
…Everyone was ready to battle…
During the 6 months leading up to the competition the whole group got together for over 25 hours of training. To see the choreographies fall into place during the trainings and the focus of everyone sharpen the closer it got to the festival was very uplifting. It was clear that everyone was ready to battle as one dedicated and united team.
The first battle, against Rome, was exhilarating. The Amsterdam team performed amazingly and managed to make it to the second round.
Next we had to go up against Montreal. Unfortunately we lost that battle but Montreal ended up winning the entire competition.
Working towards such a big competition with a team from The Netherlands had never been done before. Dancers with various amount of dancing experience participated in the team. Some dancers had been competing regularly while others competed for the first time at this event. The goal was to strengthen ties within the Swing dance community, bring the dancing to the next level and to challenge the Amsterdam scene. It was a unique experience for us and we hope that the Swing dance community in Amsterdam continues growing and working together.
-Sanne, Hákon and Yara