I went to David Crawford’s Lindy Hop workshop at TOS-Con 2018 with no idea of what to expect, except that I’d likely make a fool of myself. But I was wrong. David took me from no experience to dancing with strangers and enjoying myself in less than an hour. I recently asked him about the value of dance. Here’s part of our conversation:
Hersey: What is the value of Lindy Hop in your life?
Crawford: One of the effects of learning to dance is a greater comfort with the movement of your body. You can experience this on a daily basis. You feel less klutzy and more confident from moment to moment, in lots of little ways. But the real overwhelming value is the community and the sheer enjoyment of dancing. The people who dance tend to have a wonderful sense of life. They love the music, they love to dance, they tend to be more capable of joy and optimistic than the general population.
Hersey: What motivated you to start teaching dance?
Crawford: Dance is like math in that it’s an area of life where people are less likely to have a growth mindset. Many believe that there are people with natural dance talent, and the rest will never dance or never enjoy it. But anyone who can walk can learn to dance. And even learning just a few steps can be really enjoyable. I love seeing people get the hang of their first few steps, their first dance, and then seeing them realize that a new world has opened up.
Hersey: You taught Lindy Hop at TOS-Con 2018, and attendees (including me!) absolutely loved your lesson and your commentary on the spiritual value of dance. What for you was the most life-enhancing aspect of that conference—and what are you looking forward to this year?
Crawford: TOS-Con has a really rare integration of two usually distinct mindsets. One side of that is the high value placed on productive achievement. The other side is the idea of happiness and wellbeing as the goal of life and an end in itself. These two ideas are integrated in the concept of human flourishing, and it is a really energizing, positive, and practical focus for a conference. I love that about TOS-Con. I’m looking forward to that experience again this year.
Want to experience it for yourself?
See you on the dance floor in Park City!