Americans in Paris, at home in Swing.

After our touring London and teaching at Camp Savoy in Guildford, UK, we decided to go on holiday to Paris. (Because, why not?!). While we were there we planned to truly take a break, see the sights, meet up with Lindy Hop friends, and of course go out swing dancing!

1606941_10203406589538813_4222892220824719907_nThe best surprise came when I, Samantha, received a Facebook message from an old and very important friend, Je Leung, saying that he too was would be in Paris, overlapping with us for just one day. We meet up with Je and it was completely surreal. Throughout my lifetime there have been hints here and there that swing dancing, Lindy Hop, would be where I would find my life–my dad plays the trombone in big bands, I thoroughly enjoyed swing dance community classes in high school, and Brian was a friend at NYU who was President of the NYU Swing Dance Society–but really the inciting incident, the true “wake up moment” was meeting Je.

In the summer of 2010, I studied experimental modern at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD) in Salzburg, Austria. On off moments and before and after class and rehearsals Je would teach me the Lindy Hop–a man from Singapore teaching an American girl an original American dance while in Salzburg, Austria! Imagine that! I had been waiting for the day for Brian and Je to meet, and of course it had to happen in a place like Paris that we could finally reunite! Without Je’s great enthusiasm and influence that summer, it is very possible I would have been without Lindy Hop… and without Brian… who knows?! I owe a lot to Je, for giving me that extra push to pursue swing, and for, in a roundabout and unknowing way, ultimately becoming my matchmaker! It was so wonderful to have these men both by my side in Paris.

1907415_676420052445638_2540068839734773477_nNot only did we celebrate the reuniting with old friends, we also celebrated making new ones! We went out one evening to Caveau de la Huchette, a legimate cave dedicated to swing dancing. There we even met dancers from Korea who we had danced with at Camp Savoy in England just two days before, unknowing they would be in Paris as well. Swing dancing has a beautiful way of bringing many different cultures together. Of those pictured below, the United States, France, Argentina, and Korea are all represented, and that was before we made friends with some dancers from Canada! It is truly a blessing to feel at home no matter where we travel. We are at home in swing. – Samantha