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A Dancer's Body
June 12, 2014 11:13 AM   Subscribe

"My name is John Lindo and I love to dance!"

John Lindo & Jessica Cox at Finnish Open West Coast Swing 2014

John Lindo and Nicola Royston 2013 UK EURO WCS Championships

Phoenix 2008 Champions! John Lindo and Stephanie Batista
posted by jammy (20 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

This could be pitched nicely and respectfully. Why not try an approach that doesn't immediately seem to be mocking him for his body shape?
posted by benito.strauss at 11:19 AM on June 12

To give these dances some context, I am pretty sure all three of these are from an open competition where the song and partners are randomly selected. Likely, all of these guys have danced together before at some point, but it's not choreographed and they weren't aware that they'd be competing together until right before they started dancing!
posted by ChuraChura at 11:27 AM on June 12 [5 favorites]

This could be pitched nicely and respectfully. Why not try an approach that doesn't immediately seem to be mocking him for his body shape?

I sincerely did not mean the title of this post to be mocking in any way, shape, or form. I am *asserting* that he has a dancer's body. That the stereotype of a "dancer's body" is an image informed by prejudice and ignorance.

I think he is an amazing dancer - smoother than silk, and smoking hot.
posted by jammy at 11:31 AM on June 12 [6 favorites]

Jessica Cox was also amazing in that first video. I don't know how everyone else in the room was able to stop themselves from dancing along with her and Lindo!

Are there shows that incorporate/feature this kind of dance, or is it usually performed in competitions or exhibitions, and generally for judges/other dances rather than for a (public) audience? Sorry for my ignorance, just wondering about the larger context of this kind of performance and this kind of dance?
posted by rue72 at 11:45 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]

Apologies, jammy. There's a lot of "point and laugh" out there on the internet, and I like that MeFi doesn't do it. I might have become over-sensitized to it. If this is a derail maybe the mod's could delete our comments.

Also, I wish I could move like he can.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:09 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]

It's usually part of a weekend for dancers that include workshops, dances, and competitions rather than a performance for the general public.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:11 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]

(here's an example of a West Coast Swing dance weekend event!)
posted by ChuraChura at 12:52 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]

Dance competitions are usually open to the public - eg. friends/family come to watch, but you don't generally know about them unless you're seeking them out or in the community or are friends with someone who is. You probably have to buy a ticket though.

Heh, this all reminded me; once at a ballroom competition, during a pro-am event (pro-am = student dancing with a professional, only the student being judged.) I was watching an elderly woman compete in a senior category. She was so frail and tentative, like you could breath on her and she would break, dancing the various American-style latin dances in the event, then in the final dance, which was swing, suddenly she just transforms... she's busting out like a teenager, and all that elderlyness just vanished in a groove of rocking out!
I did some estimation, and yup; at the height of swing she would have been a teenager. She was OG. :-)
posted by anonymisc at 1:02 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]

No apologies necessary, benito.strauss - I will be honest and say that I struggled with the title of the post. I was hoping I had chosen something straightforward and blunt in terms of rejecting body stereotyping.

But: words.

There is the obvious fact that John Lindo is a fantastic dancer. It is obvious that he has the gift (i.e., passion) and, too, that he has danced for a very long time. This is a life pursuit in full blossom.

There is also the obvious fact that most people seeing John Lindo just standing there would never think he was able to set the dance floor on fire the way he does. Because most people would look at him and think: "fat"

And the word "fat" in our world comes with a host of assumptions and other nasties. And one of these nasties is that if someone is "fat", they are therefore not "fit".

The website I first saw a video of him was via Facebook and was titled something like: "he STUNNED them all!!"

Why? Because he is not what people expect in a dancer. He does not have a "dancer's body".

Hence, my choice. I mostly hope peoples would see the videos and enjoy the dancing. There is so much joyful humor and tender regard/respect between the dancers - they exude an infectious and wonderful sense of connection and happiness.

Also, I wish I could move like he can.

Me too!
posted by jammy at 2:22 PM on June 12 [5 favorites]

From the size of his shoulders and upper arms, I'd wager he is solid as a rock. A dance partner can do a lot with an anchor man like that, as they have clearly demonstrated.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 2:38 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]

In a past incarnation, I've met him. He's a superb dancer, a great guy, and according to my ex wife a great guy to dance with - his connection is flawless, his moves are smooth, and he makes dancing fun. I liked that about the WCS atmosphere - that it accepted people of all body types, and people legitimately wanted to have fun. It however, was not my thing. Before I clicked on the link though, I knew who he was and what he did - because even as a person who only met him a handful of times, his genuinely friendly demeanor, his superb dancing, and his .... Dunno ... His him... Well... He left a positive lasting impression.

And yes, search long enough on his photos and you can play a variant on where's Waldo with my past life.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:41 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]

John Lindo, is there any room on your dance card? If not, let me get you another card...
posted by datawrangler at 4:29 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]

It's adorable that the internet is (re)discovering Lindo. He's a rockstar in the West Coast Dance Scene. Anyway, he deserves the accolades, and it's cool to get more interest in WCS, it's fun!
posted by dreamling at 6:18 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]

I was completely unfamiliar with him, and he is FANTASTIC. Thank you for this post! Me and baniak are sitting here watching and wishing we both didn't have 2 left feet. Each.
posted by bibliogrrl at 6:52 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]

wishing we both didn't have 2 left feet.

insider tip: most people start with 2 left feet. (Sometimes also an inability to even tell left from right). None of that matters - it can't withstand dance training.

No-one who dances like this gets there "naturally". The one-weird-trick is simply to not give up right away and have good teachers.
posted by anonymisc at 7:09 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]

I kinda want to comment on this, because his videos fascinate me in how much it seems to break dance into the pure physics of the art.
John' a big guy, that's obvious, it's not a secret. And usually, big guys like that wouldn't be able to do that much on the floor. Technically, John doesn't. But that's okay, because he doesn't NEED to do alot.
Generally, the male role in a duo is to be an anchor point. Like a proud husband going "Look at how fucking awesome my wife is!" This is exactly what John does, which doesn't surprise me at all because he's fucking great at it. Yea, he's a big dude, but these ladies clearly have no problem putting all of their trust in the fact that no matter how insane they get, John's there to grab/catch/stop them.

That's a hard thing for any guy to be able to do, and he's proof that you don't need to be Uber-Ripped, to have dance in your heart. And feet, they're definitely there too.
posted by WeX Majors at 8:04 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]

Wow. He has one of the strongest leads I've ever seen.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:23 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]

I had the oddest reaction to the video of his dance with Nicola Royston. Apparently her bf or husband was watching, and he would react to the more sexual parts of the dance. He would make a display of good-natured outrage, or do a little dance from his onlooker's chair. And Lindo would keep on, his artfulness unaffected, the routine unbroken. And something about the triumph of the dance over these feelings of who possesses whom -- or for whom one is performing this role of seduction we all try to play at different times, whether it's ever real or always an art, and on what stage it occurs -- broke me down into a teary mess.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 10:28 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]

And usually, big guys like that wouldn't be able to do that much on the floor. Technically, John doesn't. But that's okay, because he doesn't NEED to do alot. Generally, the male role in a duo is to be an anchor point.

He does a lot more flourishes in the third video, and it's all the better for it though.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 6:51 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]

rue72 - you need to be checking out this video
posted by jammy at 3:40 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]

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