Eliana

I would love to sing really well, I have wanted to since I was a child, yet I am a little tone deaf.

I am not truly tone deaf. I have gotten better plus I really love music. If you are truly tone deaf, it is unlikely you would listen to any music because tone deafness implies you literally cannot differentiate frequencies, like at all, and it is very rare. You may have piss poor relative pitch, but that can be improved with practice. Singing is just like any other instrument.

It just takes practice.

You may not be the next Adele or Pavarotti or whatever, but you can definitely learn how to hold a tune and clearly sing notes in two octaves.

A good timbre is also incredibly important, and it trips a lot of people up because it is seen as something you are born with or not. But this is also something you can improve greatly with practice. Again, you may not ever have the silky smooth voice of Bruno Mars, but you can definitely be better than the average person.

There's a ton of online material on learning how to sing that you can use.

Personal teachers are better, for voice moreso than other instruments because it is more difficult to tell if you are doing something wrong, but if you're just doing it for shits and giggles, youtube is your best bet.

If you feel like you're hopeless, just take heart, you can learn to sing, just like you can learn to dance.

Eliana

So I will be going to a Mad Men/ Rat Pack themed party very soon, and all I can say is this is my kind of party.

To get started Mad Men is set in the 60s. I'm telling you this so you don't get wrapped up in any 40s or 50s which a lot of people tend to think when they here MM. Still, we can get away with a little bit of 50s wear if it is more late 50s.

Try searching for 50s inspired clothing at ModCloth to get a sense of the silhouettes.

It's mostly tailored sheath dresses and fit and flare dresses with boat neck, portrait, or sweet heart necklines. Unique Vintage is another great source for 50s or 60s inspired dresses. Bettie Page, Heart Breaker, and Stop Staring are brands that won't steer you wrong.

Try pinterest, it has a lot of great ideas for dresses of the 1950's and 1960's- focus on cocktail dresses in pretty pastels.

If I were picking a dress for a party like that, I'd probably pick something that says femme fetale.

Youtube has tons and tons of tutorials on vintage hair and make up. Be prepared to spend some quality time with your curling iron and hair spray!

Also make sure you look at pictures of the hair and makeup of the time- controlled curls and a bold lip and here is a tutorial on how to do your makeup like Audrey Hepburn's.

The thing that I really like about the party is that is a going to be a baby shower of sorts. I think that the idea to skip the tradaitional things, and go with a more styled (she is part of my Lindy Hop group) gets you away from the cutesty baby shower, and make it more of a party, which has very little reference to the shower, I would say it is more a spinkle.

And the time that was picked out along with the theme, well, it really just nails it.

I couldn't be more excited. Oh, I could, but I will contain myself.

We have a group (co-ed) with about 20 people. We are going to have it in a private room. I think they said that all together it is going to cost about $600 for the venue and catering. I was amazed. I thought that everybody was going to bring food in, no, any alcohol has to be purchased from them extra though.

Eliana

Usually if I speak to a fellow dancer I'll just say Lindy, but if it's someone uninitiated it'll be Lindy Hop. And if I'm in a public space where lots of people are dancing, I'll ask someone that's just tapping along to the music "Do you dance?" and not specify which dance.

If things go well from there, I'll ask mid-dance "How's your Balboa/Shag/Blues/etc?".

To me Lindy is just dancing.

The one that always bugs me a little is people calling it "The Lindy hop."

It makes me cringe, and I think it bugs me because it seems like such a ballroom thing to put "the" before the name of a dance.

It makes me think of some demo video from the mid 90's with a super enthusiastic, middle aged couple showing you all the dances you can learn at their studio: "the tango!" "the foxtrot!" "the salsa!" "the swing!" It's a culture thing more than a question of what's correct.

Norma Miller called it "the lindy hop" but if I heard someone call it that today I'd assume they were a very out-of-touch ballroom dancer.

As for the teason: I've heard that LA swing dancers used to call the dance they were doing "Lindy" and not "Lindy Hop" because they had taken the bounce out of the steps.

A smooth swing dancer in LA was dancing Lindy and someone that had more pulse or bounce to their step was doing Lindy Hop. Although this could be a regional difference that never took off, which means that most people wont associate any difference between the two names.

Anyway, using "Lindy" as a standalone word often makes me think of those days, but I don't mind people using it as shorthand for "lindy hop" if they're already on the topic of vintage swing dances.

Eliana

NASA really knows how to grab your attention. These retro space posters are simply amazing.

Earth

Earth

Ceres

Ceres

Enceladus

Enceladus

Europa

Europa

The Grand Tour

The Grand Tour

Jupiter

Jupiter

Kepler-16b

Kepler-16b

Kepler-186f

Kepler-186f

Mars

Mars

Super Earth

Super Earth

Eliana

I was disappointed by the lack of swing dancing (it looked there was a kind of "swing lite" in the background of a couple scenes) but I was interested in the fact that they depicted "[not] our kind of jazz" as being dance music.

Or even that a jazz club is a place you would go to dance.

Every time I've been to a "jazz club" (outside of New Orleans) people sit and listen in a hushed manner. And I know that after the swing era jazz musicians no longer considered that they were playing for dancers but instead only for "listeners," but when you see all the bopping heads and other body parts at a jazz club, you know that at least some people would like to be able to dance.

Yet I still loved it.

Sebastian and Mia's struggles hit so close to home. As a lindy hopper I definitely squeeled at the half break portion of the shim sham shimmy Mia and Sebastian did, as well as the mention of Chick Webb (thanks again focus) and what appeared to be a lindy circle performed by an extra.

Really can't recommend the film enough if it's playing near you. Failing that, wait for it to come out on Netflix/ hbo/dvd/pirate bay.

Eliana

Montreal Swing Riot 2016 - Vintage vs Modern Street Dancers - Part 1 of the Invitational Battle

Montreal Swing Riot 2016 - Vintage vs Modern Street Dancers - Part 1 of the Invitational Battle.

I just watched this amazing video. It really captures the beauty of retro/vintage dance and modern street dancing. I was hooked the first time I watched it. No matter how you look at it is really cool, but what stood out to me is that this video has thetallest, skinniest dude I have ever seen.

One thing that really got to me though was when I was reading the comments. The comments on that video are embarrassing. People insulting and making fun of a 15 year old kid. We have no idea what it's like to be him, have a little compassion.

If I could dance I would go for it.

I stumbled over my feet many times when I started swing dancing. I still don't have great body control.

Also realize you are watching literal professionals dancing. These are world class dancers. I've now been dancing Lindy hop just under 8 years and it brings tons of joy into my life!