I was delighted to find that the folks at the Rough Translation podcast produced an episode called May We Have This Dance? For those who haven’t heard of it, Rough Translation describes itself as “a podcast about cultural mistranslation and what we can learn from them.”
In this episode, they explore the Lindy Hop and its odd evolution from a dance created by African Americans in 1920s Harlem to its revival when it was adopted by the Scandinavians (and others) in the 1990s. Not being from either culture, I don’t feel equipped to talk about the core of the cultural issues addressed in the podcast and accompanying article. But I would recommend both Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop and Stompin’ at the Savoy if the podcast piques your interest in the origins of the whole swing family of dances. In addition, I haven’t read Swingin’ the Savoy yet but it is definitely going into my queue.
I will say that I particularly liked the discussion at about 30 minutes into the podcast about when LaTasha and Felix clicked as dance partners and dance became like a conversation. I feel like the best of my social partner dancing has felt like speaking a language that’s more expressive than English.
Definitely check out the reference material they have at the end – if you haven’t seen the Lindy Hop sequence from Hellzapoppin, you’re in for a real treat and the clip of LaTasha and Felix was lots of fun as well.
One of my goals for music4dance is to build a system that people can use to share their knowledge of partner dance music with others. I probably spent too much time early on in this project building bots and scrapers to seed the catalog with content and neglected the community aspect of the site. So I am now trying to focus on more community-building features. This includes everything from simplifying the system so that it’s easier to add new styles of dance to making it easier for members to add new songs to making it possible for members to see who else likes to dance to a song.
Following on to the feature where I added the ability to see the voting history on a song on the details page, I’ve added a couple of small feature-lets.
Now, when you filter music on a user you will see a column with that user’s changes:
If you know a user’s username, you can filter by a user in the advanced search page by typing the username and choosing what you want to filter on (likes, tags, etc.). Or you can go down the path described in a previous post and click on a username anywhere that one shows up. That will take you to a page that will let you filter on all the songs that the user has tagged or all the songs that that user has added to favorites among other things. Eventually, I’d like to have that page contain additional user profile information.
The other fun thing you can do is on the new music page. The song list on that page has a similar column to the one above that shows latest change to each song and who made it. That’s a way to find users that are actively adding songs and seeing what they’re up to.
And finally, when you’re exploring these features if you find a search that you want to share with others, you can just copy the URL and send it to a friend. That’s what I do with links back to the music4dance site with these blogs – so it’s not a new feature, but it is becoming more useful with the other community features that I’m building.
As always, I welcome feedback on not just the feature, but the site in general. And if you find the site useful, please consider contributing in any way that you can.