Laurel and I performed a Lindy Hop dance last night at the Hot House Improv theater in North Hollywood. Laurel is one of the alumni members of the improv troupe, and the dance number was designed as a way of keeping the audience energized between improv sets. And it succeeded 100% at doing that: the audience started cheering and shouting and clapping once we started dancing. The extremely up-tempo swing version of “Black Dog” certainly helped. (The rather sticky painted floor… well, that was something else.)
Dancing before a seated audience, as the center of focus, is a strange thing… I’ve done very little of it, and for both Laurel and I it was a touch odd. Nonetheless it was fun and everyone complimented us afterwards. (Somebody screamed “Bring ‘em back on!” as we were exiting the stage.) My father, sister, brother-in-law, and good friend (and former dance partner) were all in the audience as well.
My father took these photos afterwards. Laurel looks great here, but I’ve got a really dumb expression on my face. I apologize:
This photo includes Kim, who was my dance partner for about four years. I look much better here:
After the dance, I stayed to watch Laurel’s troupe perform. I was very impressed; improvisational theater always amazes me the same way that watching great jazz musicians jam amazes me. In fact, the troupe performs with a small band that does musical riffs to accompany the stage action. It’s astonishing how much this adds to the craziness on stage as well as the atmosphere. The half-hour set turned into an insane story about Satan-worshipers and a rest home, and peaked with a guitar duel between a man possessed by the devil and Jehovah’s Witness. Laurel told me that strange things start to happen in these sessions, and she wasn’t exaggerating.