Harlem Shout leads โ€“ One Night Stand at MSF 2015

The leads of Harlem Shout performing the ‘One Night Stand’ routine at Swing Patrol’s ‘Melbourne Swing Festival’ 2015


Harlem Shout โ€“ Smooth Sailing at BBS 2015

Harlem Shout’s first performance of the “Smooth Sailing” routine, at Swing Patrol’s ‘Blues Before Sunrise’ 2015


Harlem Shout โ€“ King Porter Stomp at MTSB 2014

Harlem Shout’s first performance of our new routine, King Porter Stomp, at the 2014 Swing Patrol ‘Meet the Scene’ Ball


Blues event organisation in the context of concerns about sexualisation

Updated on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:28 by Registered CommenterMCJ

Blues dancing has a problem: many dancers, even within the swing scene, see it as creepy and overly sexual. This used to baffle me until I danced outside Melbourne and discovered that quite a number of blues scenes are creepy and overly sexual.

Melbourne has a pretty ‘clean’ blues scene. This is due to deliberate efforts by the scene’s founders and its senior teachers over the years. While dances can certainly be intimate, they are not sexual, and that’s a key distinction.

There are dancers who do not share these attitudes. For them, a sexual element in blues dancing is acceptable – indeed, it may be part of the attraction. There is a tacit conflict in the Melbourne blues scene between these dancers and the ‘establishment’ dancers (both minorities), but I don’t intend to address that here.

What I will address is an example of how this conflict and concern about sexual elements can manifest itself, and how (not) to deal with it.

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Harlem Shout performance at Brat Pack's Christmas Party 2013

Aside from me being ridiculously early on most of the moves (chill, dude), I quite like this performance. It’s a great-looking, really fun routine! It’s only a shame the song isn’t longer.