There are few people in our community who represent the true spirit of swing dancing like Mr. John Festa. In this episode, we got to sit down with the dapper, debonair legend from New York to discuss his early days in West Coast Swing, his unique style of DJing, and the famous North River Bar, where so many greats honed their craft. He shared his opinions on music today, how he thinks about playing music for a room, and why he thinks the dance doesn’t swing the way it used to. Listen to this discussion full of insights and perspective, delivered with lots of class and charm.
We recorded this episode live at SwingCouver! Listen to our interview with Victor Loveira, in which we discussed his West Coast Swing origin story, his experience DJing, and how he made the move into MCing. We chatted about music, our pet peeves about MCs, and the fervent interest in spreading West Coast Swing more widely. Then we took questions from the audience about such things as the influence of zouk on our dance and running events. Plus, Robert Royston joined us to share his views on the new Opus division at The Open – and to educate us on what is and isn’t swing music.
Love ’em, hate ’em, do ’em or don’t, competitions are a big part of our global dance community. In this episode, we talk about all things competition – different types of competition, different competition formats, strategies for competition, and, yes, how we got to be so competition-oriented. We share our own observations and experiences with competing, and we reflect on how competitions have influenced and shaped our broader community. Whether you’re a competitor or not, hopefully this episode gives you some insights into competitions and the role they play in both our personal journeys and our dance community.
It’s not every day you get to sit down with a champion dancer, event director, DJ, member of WSDC, and member of NASDE. But this week we chatted with the bundle of joy and love that is John Lindo. He talked to us about his beginnings in West Coast Swing, his influences, and his journey from full-time AT&T employee to full-time dance professional. He also shared his views on music and DJing, how to produce quality events, how WSDC works, the influence of the points system, and the impact of NASDE going global. Listen today and see for yourself why John is considered one of the nicest guys in the business!
We’re back! And to kick off the new year, we’re talking about how we can understand and improve our psychological and emotional well-being. We sat down with Dr. Divy Ravindranath, a board certified psychiatrist and a fellow dancer, to talk about how dance affects our mental states – both positively and negatively – and what we can do to stay healthier and happier in the dance world. We discussed the learning process, the benefits of dancing, how to deal with tough times, and how to navigate the ups and downs of competition. Take a listen and get a good start to your year by discovering how to enjoy dancing more!