"Swing" Music at the US Swing Open?

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Originally posted in rec.arts.dance:

After having read some of the latest new topics, I sort of didn't want to post this because it just seems like piling on. Running something as big and diverse as the US Swing Open has to be a difficult job spread across a lot of talented and dedicated folks. You're going to forget some things, overlook others, and probably irritate a large number of people. So, I'm writing this as something to put on the list to think about for next year's Open.

I came Wednesday night and all day Sunday. I give major kudos to the folks who decided it was time to connect the dots between where WCS is today, and where the "Swing" in WCS came from.

I also throughly enjoyed the inclusive tone ("there are many types of Swing, and they're all good") both in the major program and competitions.

But, is there anyone else who noticed the absolute hypocrisy of making all that ballyhoo about "We are the 'Swing' World", and then playing primarily, exclusively, and nothing but West Coast Swing music during the Social Dance breaks all Sunday day and night? As Norma Miller herself said, "How can you call this a Swing party with no Count Basie?"

I know, I know.... The US Swing Open crowd is primarily a West Coast Swing crowd, and the history suggests that when you play something other than WCS music, most of this crowd won't dance. OK, fine. Then play a real "Swing" song every 1/2 hour to 40 minutes. And throw in some Hand Dance and Shag music every once and a while as well. I mean, if you're not recognizing the diversity of Swing on the dance floor, then all that talk is just that, talk.

You're Sunshine Patriots. You're what Malcom X describes as the worst kind of Liberal: One who believes in Integration so long as it's not in your neighborhood. You are the kind of people who believe in nuclear energy as long as it's not in your back yard, or conservation so long as you can still drive a Hummer. See my point?

True change is going to hurt a bit. But, if the US Swing Open truly believes in the diversity of Swing, then they should show it not only n front of the cameras and under the bright lights and smiley faces, but where it really counts: On the Dance Floor.

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