When John Lindo and dance partner Deborah Szekely stepped onto the stage at the North Atlantic Dance Championship, a West Coast Swing competition back in the ’90s, people looked on with curiosity. After all, Lindo was a little bigger than most of the dancers you see on TV. However, as soon as the music started, all previous doubts instantly went out the window.
The pair’s amazingly smooth and stylish moves that night earned them first place in the competition, and luckily for us, the whole thing was captured on video.
The performance was one of the first ones that really put Lindo on the map, helping him to launch his long and incredible dance career.
The competition in question was a West Coast Swing Jack-and-Jill pairing. For those who don’t know, Jack and Jill is “a format of competition in partner dancing, where the competing couples are the result of random matching of leaders and followers.”
That means there is a decent amount of luck involved as you never know which partner you are going to draw. In addition, the whole dance is completely spontaneous. Partners don’t have time to rehearse together beforehand unless by chance they happened to work together in the past.
The idea is to test social dance skills, and boy does Lindo have a lot of those.
The two swing each other round and round, and it’s downright funky, keeping true to the roots of what West Coast Swing is all about.
The video is something you just have to see for yourself.
The Western swing, country boogie dance style first emerged back in the 1940s and ’50s and was basically a variant of classic jitterbug dances and the Lindy Hop that came out of Harlem in 1928. It was based on jazz, blues, and country and incorporated swing into its melody. However, its coincidence with the rise of rock and roll also had a big influence.
West Coast Swing features smoother, “swingier” moves than other dances and the background music can best be described as a funky rockabilly.
Lindo, who got his start in country-western dance back in 1992, rapidly made his mark on the West Coast Swing circuit and has since won countless awards and championships.
He is now a widely known figure in the scene and it’s easy to understand why. For example, check out this video of him and Stephanie Batista performing at a competition in Phoenix in 2008:
Those two are quite the duo, and the video proves without a doubt that big guys know how to dance too!
Watching how cool they look out there and how well they play off of each other could make even the most anti-dance people want to start taking lessons.
Actually, if you want to learn to dance like Lindo, you’re in luck. According to his website, he offers private instruction.
We didn’t inquire as to the cost, however, but we’re sure it’s not cheap!
Lindo is sought after internationally for his immense experience and knowledge as a West Coast Swing organizer, judge, dancer, deejay, and choreographer.
Watching him and his partners perform, it certainly looks like a lot of fun.
While not everyone is born with the innate talent and rhythm needed to win competitions, it is likely most people can at least get pretty good… at least to a level high enough to impress friends, family, and of course, members of the opposite sex. After all, there is nothing more attractive than someone who knows how to move on the dance floor!
Watch the amazing video of John Lindo and Deborah Szekely winning first place at the North Atlantic Dance Championship’s West Coast Swing competition below.
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