I’m sure 98% of the Lindy Hop World has seen this video by now — at least, that’s what I hope! But in case you haven’t, take a minute to watch Michael Seguin and Frida Segerdahl in the Invitational Jack and Jill at the Lonestar Championships, featured at Lindy Fest.
This was the first dance of the evening, but as soon as it finished, I feel like half the room knew it would place first. At least, that’s how I felt.
Still, afterwards, I heard some doubt about why this couple, of all the others who are just as amazing, placed first. Frida Segerdahl is internationally known as one of the best dancers around. In comarison, Michael Seguin is known for his active role in Mobtown Ballroom, but he is not necessarily known for his dancing — whereas the other participants of this Jack and Jill are internationally renowned for their dance skills.
Sure, at first glance, the dancing has moments of “they totally missed that.” But look again! Even when the lead or follow didn’t seem to match up, Frida and Michael were both completely in tune with the other. Take 1:14, for example: that jump might seem random and lucky, but they were perfectly in sync. The likelihood it was luck is low; instead, it is more likely that they were paying attention to each other, to the song, and to the moment. And that moment was awesome.
If you jump around a bit, I also really love the moments at 0:40 and 0:50, where it the spins go on and on in complement to the music, but both Frida and Michael seem completely together — because that’s what partner dancing is all about, right?
And then, look at 0:46: at first glance, it looks like Michael misses the lead, or Frida misses the follow, or something — but in reality, Michael was completely with the music; he was just accenting it in a new (and entertaining) way.
I also love 1:05, both for its musicality and for the surprise on Frida’s face as that movement totally works, because I completely empathize with that feeling on a regular basis.
And I can’t talk about this Jack and Jill without mentioning 1:27, which is a moment of musical improvisation which is hilarious, perfectly timed, and impossible without equal participation of both dancers. Thus, great dancing.
This performance, I think, took a lot of the viewers by surprise. While we all know Frida is an incredible dancer, Michael is an underrated dancer. But seriously. He’s awesome, she’s awesome, and they’re awesome together.
And if you’re looking to compete, that’s really what it’s all about. It’s about being awesome yourself, but also being awesome as a partner. While I have yet to have any success at competing myself, I consciously know that judges — at least, really good judges — look past the flashy moves and more at good dancers who share a great partnership.
For comparison, check out Frida’s second dance in the Invitational Jack and Jill with Andy Reid. It was also incredible and musical and fun, but it didn’t have the same energy and connection, for whatever reason. Though, I will say it seems so smooth and comfortable and inspiring to watch. Like warm tea on a cold morning.