As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
I was distressed to find out that the Boston Independence Exchange was scheduled to be held during May 11-13, 2007. Not that I have a problem with it being held at all because I think it's great that more events are being held. It's been a while since we've had an Lindy Exchange in Boston. No, I'm discouraged because it's being held on the same weekend as the Boston Swing Dance Network's monthly dance and that the BSDN dance isn't going to be one of the "preferred" activities of the weekend.
Some of us "old timers" remember the days when the dance promoters worked really hard to schedule around each other's swing dances so they wouldn't split up the customer base and so they could support each other by attending each other's dances. There was a stronger sense of "community" back then. I remember the days when I would know all the dance promoters personally and got to be friends with them.
The Boston Swing Dance Network is coming up on its *20th* anniversary in April....20 years of promoting swing dancing in Boston. Very few people would have kept it up that long. For me, it was the second swing dance I attended after I started taking lessons (my first dance was my studio's dance the night before). I've attended this dance religiously since I started dancing in 1991. As a matter of fact, I somehow managed to snag the first United Airlines flight out of San Francisco after 9/11 and got home 3 hours before the BSDN dance. When old friends come back out dancing after being away for a while, this is the dance where I'll see them.
What kind of cooperation is possible between the dance promoters? Here's an example. Tony & Aurelie Tye of Hop To The Beat used to the run the Concord Scout House monthly swing dance in Concord. Whenever their normal gig conflicted with the BSDN dance, Tony & Aurelie *refused* to run the Concord Swing Dance as to not conflict with the BSDN and the Concord swing dance would not be held that month, even though that dance was outside Route 128.
Also, last year someone approached Roger Weiss of the BSDN to try to get the BSDN to switch dates so they could (try to) organize a Boston Lindy Exchange back in March or May. Roger not only switched dates, but he also got used up some favors to get two bands to swap dates in order to accomodate him. That Exchange never materialized so Roger's effort was wasted and he never got a Thank You or an apology.
In this case, I noticed that the Blues Cafe Dance was rescheduled for the same night as that BSDN dance (It's one of the "preferred" Exchange events)...and with live music? Is that new? In the past, they've been scheduled on a Friday, the same night as Swing City. It's disappointing that they chose to change their schedule and conflict with the BSDN's monthly dance instead. Note that the Blues Cafe is currently scheduled for the third Friday in February, March and April...and every month of the rest of the year...except for May. I've been meaning to get over to the Blue Cafe some day. Guess it definitely won't happen in May.
Were there alternatives? Sure. How about the third Saturday of May? Dancing Feats usually holds their dance that weekend (they'd be listed on my calendar if they would bother to send me their dance schedule). In any case, that's a *West Coast Swing* event and they got rid of their Lindy Hop dance room many years ago so there's no conflict there. And that dance is about 15 miles away (as opposed to being 5 miles away) so they'd have a different customer base. And if it was only possible to have the event on the second weekend in May, then perhaps a different month would have been a better idea. No, I don't think the fact that the Denver Lindy Exchange is on the next weekend is a good excuse. While the Hop To The Beat monthly dance *was* on the third Saturdays, it isn't now. And would the Blues Cafe have otherwise kept to their Friday night schedule for that? That's the big question.
The Boston Independence Exchange has every right to schedule their event on the same weekend as the BSDN's dance and to not include the "IC Dance" on their schedule of "preferred" events. However, since there were other options and the BSDN dance is also a swing/lindy event, one has to ask..."Is it the right thing to do?". Over the years the Boston Swing Dance Network has demonstrated what it means to be a supportive member of the Boston dance community. How about a little goodwill, respect and a little bit of flexibility in return?
Alas, I don't plan on attending any of the Boston Independence Exchange events that weekend (not that anyone cares). I'll be at the BSDN dance, though, as I have done so for the last 15 years. Of course, I will be listing the Boston Independence Exchange on this website as I do for all local swing dance events. However, if anyone asks me where I'm going dancing that weekend, I'll tell them I'm going to the BSDN month dance...and why.