"In dance, I met myself,” Xiaojie said. Here is her story.
作者 Author: 秦小杰 Xiaojie Qin
时间 Date: 2021
Before Swing Dance
Back when I was just a toddler, mum said that whenever I heard music from the radio, I would move. The happy tune is my step. I remember that in primary school, I’d always participate in the group dance at the elders’ community. I remember that I was the youngest one in the dance group, the grandmas from the group said I was a good dancer, I must have been nine by the time.
Picture: One-year-old Xiaojie
In high school, every Saturday - the only night without extra study in a week, I would wait for my parents to go out for a walk and start my stress relief activities, dancing and moving my body, in crazy routines to the DVDs of Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Whitney Huston, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, and Coco Lee.
Once I started working, for the first time ever, I had enough time to explore my hobbies. Salsa for a few months, I had so much fun. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was that the shoes were so uncomfortable, they were high heels after all!
In the spring of 2010, a friend said there is a swing dance class that day at Zhang Zizhong's. I never heard of that dance before. Why not, I thought. I didn’t have anything better to do.
Picture: 2010 swing dance in Sanlitun village (now Taikooli)
高中了，每周周六，那是唯一一个没有晚自习的夜晚，我就等着爸妈出去散步后开始我雷打不动的解压活动，疯狂的跟着Christina Anglera, Britney Spears, Whitney Huston, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson还有李玟的DVD扭摆。
照片：2011 Swing Time Ball
The Beginning of Swing Dance
Do I believe love at first sight? Call me romantic! I felt for the first time, the meaning of love at first sight from my first swing lesson! (If you have read my story of Brazilian Jiujistu, you would know love at first sight can happen more than once in life). I remember just watching Josh and Leru’s little performance from that day back in 2010, and I knew I was in love with swing dance. After that there was the weekly class - no other options were available at that time. You only got to dance just once a week. In the same class was Simon Bressanelli. if you're a swing dancer, you know that he is a master teacher and dancer on the international stage. I used to think I had some talent, but in the class, I found out that many other people could learn the moves, but I felt I had 2 left feet.
Picture: June 2010 with Simon Bressanelli
In the same summer, I went to study abroad. In Antwerp, Belgium, I do not remember whether there were weekly lessons, I only remember that I went to observe the local classes, and we practiced bounce in that class. Eager to achieve success quickly, I would go to a special class with the local swing dancer, and I would always go to the dancing party. With full immersion at the parties, I could practice and grow, with local experts and only correct swing movements based on the natural expression of my body. Those ugly swing moves didn't stop me from ‘bothering’ the lead. It was at one dance party when I first met Sep, a famous Belgian swing pioneer - I said I didn't know how to do the moves he was demonstrating. I tried to jump around with him. I vaguely remember him saying that I have the ‘energy’ and, with time, I could be a good dancer.
I still don't know what he meant by "energy” but maybe it's the most natural response that music brings to my body, and the way I let my body express itself.
3 pictures: 2010-2011 Belgium
照片：2015 China Lindy Hop Championship in Beijing
照片：2018 China Lindy Hop Championship in Beijing