My guest this month is swing dance instructor, performer and social dancer, Christian Frommelt. Christian is widely known as a devotee of St. Louis Shag, which he learned in his hometown from some of the original jitterbugs, and which has taught around the world with his partner Jenny Shirar. Together with Jenny, he was won competitions at Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown 2014 & 2015, and at ILHC in 2015. Christian also does tremendous work as a scene leader in St. Louis, including co-organizing the Nevermore Jazz Ball and cultivating a strong community of dance through the St. Louis Jitterbugs.
Christian and I sat down in New York City to talk about how learning swing and Shag from local legends like John Bedrosian cemented his ties to St. Louis, how he adapts his teaching style to encourage individual expression, and what it takes to grow both a local scene and a large national event.
We also discussed what motivates him to take on a leadership role in his local dance community, getting destroyed in head-to-head battles before winning the final two battles of ULHS, and how that event provided inspiration for making the Nevermore Jazz Ball a celebration of St. Louis.
Thanks to Alletta Cooper for her production assistance on this month's episode!