Although dance partners Ben Morris and Jennifer DeLuca come from Orange Counties that are on opposite sides of the country, they don’t let the vast distances keep them from competing in swing dance competitions together. They’re pretty good at what they do, but when they walked out onto the floor at the Capital Swing Dancers’ Presidents’ Day weekend convention in California, there wasn’t a single swing-style sequence in the performance.
However, the confused stares from the crowd didn’t really seem to matter in the long run. Instead of getting boo’d off stage for being dance rebels, people actually stood up and cheered them on for more of the same! The judges went nuts over their take on an old classic when Ben and Jennifer started to groove to a high-energy boogie swing routine. The fact that it was perfectly choreographed to a George Thorogood’s classic making it even better.
The dancing duo did a pretty good job of pulling the wool over the judges eyes when they entered themselves into the Classic Division of the Capital Swing Convention competition. But, their dance that day at the Red Lion Woodlake Hotel in Sacramento opened everyone’s eyes to a fabulous new definition of swing dance!
Instead of wearing a pretty floral A-line dress typical of the swing-dance era, Jennifer was dressed in black slacks with metal studs adorning pocket, and her top revealed revealed a little bit of both her front and back sides. Her partner Ben was dressed more conservatively, but that was just a ruse! Although there wasn’t anything risque going on, their smooth moves made jaws drop and eyes pop wide open!
The way these two dancers move together is absolutely flawless, but how they incorporate George Thorogood’s bluesy-rock into their performance is even more mind-boggling! Although they weren’t swinging in the classical 1930’s sense of the word, they were still swinging their bodies around.
Just watch as Jennifer bends over backwards, and Ben uses her outstretched arm as a microphone while lip syncing to George Thorogood’s fabulous tune. But, wait until you see them twist and flip on the ground instead of up in the air!
Swing dance is a broad term that describes a social form of dancing where a dancer usually lifts, spins, and flips their partner in the air. It first got its start in the 1920’s when jazzy Big Bands were all the rage, but then seemed to fade away after the 194o’s.
However, as we all know, what’s old becomes new again, and swing dancing has definitely made its ways back into our social consciousness. Ben and Jennifer just have a unique version which proves that you don’t have to follow the same steps from yesterday in order to swing dance! In fact, these two took it to the next level.
It’s no wonder Ben and Jennifer won first place at this competition.