1. "Solo Competitions are always so boring to watch."
You know what? You aren't wrong. Yes, I realize that the title of this post contains "and Why you're wrong," But in this case, it's not your fault.
Here's a not so well kept secret, Solo dancing is tiring, even more so than Lindy Hop. Solo comps can get awfully boring when Prelims and Finals are back to back without a real break between them. And to make matters worse, this usually happens at 1:00 or 2:oo in the morning, after all the other comps have already happened. As much as I hate pointing fingers, this one falls on the organizers. And not each of them individually, but the community of organizers.
How can We fix it: Easy! BREAKS! Have the Prelims the night before! Or even in the afternoon! OR even just a band break earlier! Bottom line, You want high energy solo comps a la ULHS or Lindy Focus IX; Give the competitors time to breath.
2. "But I'm no good at Solo Jazz"
Well if you only took one or two classes in lindy hop then barely used it the rest of the year you wouldn't be any good at that either. Think of dancing like a language, You didn't learn to speak as a baby by taking occasional classes and only speaking with other toddlers. You were encouraged to try and make mistakes and you learned from them. So go ahead, make mistakes, suck for a bit, but try. I promise you, you will get better.
3. "Solo Dancers are so Pretentious, they only want to dance with themselves."
Believe it or not, I get this opinion. But while I understand it, I don't think you understand us. When I am solo dancing, It is not because I don't want to dance with you, and it doesn't mean I don't want to dance with people. On the contrary, I would LOVE to solo dance with you, and you just need to come join in. And here is a little secret, It's a ton of fun to dance Solo with friends. It's also a great way to learn new steps!
Sidenote: If I am solo dancing at a social dance, please don't come hold out your hand in front of me because you assume I would rather dance with a partner. I don't intterupt your dances because I assume you would rather dance with me.
4. "I don't now how to practice!" or "I just keep doing the same stuff!"
Well lucky for you there are a ton of resources online to learn new steps and instructional videos on classic routines. Again, these are often more fun with friends, but there is no shame in learning them in your bedroom too. Check out Patrick and Natasha's instructional vids on the Big Apple and the Shim Sham (, and you can find various other good videos on the Youtubes. You can also check out Idance.net and Rhythm Juice, they each have some great instructional videos. BUT more than anything, you just need to dance. I promise it sounds silly, but you will get better just by doing it.
5. I'm too Shy to Solo Dance! People are going to watch me.
Yes, People are going to look at you. You will most likely be in the minority at a dance. And for that I am sorry. But keep in mind, most of them are much more intrigued than judgmental. They mostly just want to know what's going on, and if you can show you are having a good time, they will most likely want to join in.
I always try to be that guy who is solo dancing at an event, and whenever anyone wants to join in, I acknowledge them and we start to play together.
And it's contagious.
If you get one person to commit, then they get 2, before you know it, you have half a room solo dancing together. (Believe it or not, its more social than partner dancing!)
I double Dog Dare you to try it.
6. I'm really not interested in Solo Jazz...
Firstly, Why are you reading this?
Secondly, I'm really sorry. I can't make you like things. I can hope you do, and I can encourage you to try. I can say that I didn't really get into Solo Jazz because I liked it, I did it because It was my only option. (See my old blog post on my time in Italy)
Most importantly: the more I do it, the more I like it.
Those are some of the things I hear most from people, but I know there must be others. So what are your problems with Solo Jazz? What do you think would make it better? And remember, all of us can always be better.