Andrea Gordan – 2013 ILHC Pro-Am Champion!

August 29, 2013 | Filed Under: Event Videos | Tagged: andrea gordan ILHC international lindy hop Lindy Hop

The International Lindy Hop Championships is a competition weekend for all things swing held in Washington D.C. every year. This year my good friend, and fellow Lindy Hopper, Andrea Gordan asked me to help her put together a Pro-Am routine to compete in the division this year. This is a contest that puts an amateur Lindy Hopper and pro Lindy Hopper together and be judged but only the amateur is the one that is judged. The idea is a great and made for those dancers that want to compete to help bring their own dancing up to a new level. I was flattered to be asked and was super happy to showcase the talent inside Andrea. We got together and listened to music for about a week and narrowed it down to 2 songs. I had Andrea listen to both songs for about 3 days and she finally came back to me choosing When I get Low I Get High by the always amazing Ella Fitzgerald.Then we started to piece together the routine. She being new to the realm of choreography, I guided her thru all of the dance technique, structure of the music, the formation of ideas, and setting a purpose to the dancing being done in the routine. It was a very eye opening experience for both of us I think, for Andrea she had never had to think of dancing in this way before. And for me, I was forced to explain my thought process out loud so that I could keep her in the loop and communicate the inner workings of choreography. We finished the routine about a week before the ILHC weekend and ran the routine so many times! Andrea pushed her way thru learning not only the choreo but how to make some new ideas and concepts make sense in her head and make them fit into her body. But she was determined to make it all work! Coming in almost everyday to work with me for 2 weeks straight coming into the studio at 4pm and working for a solid 2 hours after working for 8 hours right before. About the only 2 things left to choreograph was intro and the very ending. Andrea knew exactly what to do and we worked out how to accomplish them. The ending was the best part in my opinion, you may not know this but Andrea is one of the most fun people you will ever meet! She thought of an ending that both of us on our butts at the end but during one of the practices she decided that it was funny to let me fall alone flat on my back. After laughing hard over this for a while I thought it was funny and thats how we should end it. She had reservations but I told her there is nothing the audience at ILHC wants to see more then me flat out on my back in the middle of the floor and you taking all the glory!

Come the day of the contest she was full of nervousness and struggling to remember everything in the routine and make sure to perform it! While waiting in the back I told her to go out and take a look at the crowd that had gathered for the Pro-Am, she did and came back telling me that she hated me for making her do that! But I told her, now you don’t have to wonder who is out there, because everyone is! The truth is that everyone still gets nervous before heading out of that curtain but try not to worry because everyone out there is on your side. They want you to do good they want you to dance the best you ever have and they want you to lay it all out there in the name of glory of the dance.

The moment came, and before heading out to the dance floor I gave Andrea a huge hug and gave her my pre-dance ritual that only people I dance with get to hear. We head out and the crowd came out in force to cheer for Andrea, and by crowd I mean the golden state of California! With our state’s flag and everything, Andrea had the great brown bear on her side! We took our positions the music started, our bootys bounced, and when I turned back around to see Andrea I saw a fire in her eyes that I hadn’t seen in any of the practices previous to this moment, I said to myself, “oh shit it’s on!”

Andrea you completed something so amazing and I hope you are proud of yourself and all the work you put into this dance because I am so incredibly proud of you! Your presence out there on the dance floor inspired me during the routine and brought both of our dancing to another level. I am sorry if I got too intense during our practices but you took it like a champ and I hope it helped you some how.

Andrea received 1st place in the Pro-Am Follow Division at the 2013 ILHC on the same day as her birthday. I love you my friend and congratulations!