My guest this month is the dynamic dancer, teacher, competitor, and performer, Jenny Shirar. Jenny discovered swing dance in 2008, learning from some of the legendary jitterbugs in St. Louis, MO. She has since won competitions at events like Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, ILHC, and Midwest Lindy Fest, and has become an ambassador of St. Louis Shag, teaching around the world with her partner Christian Frommelt. Fiercely proud of her hometown, Jenny has also become a cornerstone of the St Louis swing dance community, having co-founded the Nevermore Jazz Ball and the St. Louis Jitterbugs.
Jenny and I sat down in New York City to talk about her experiences learning how to dance on the social dance floor, why her main objective when competing is to be relentlessly herself, and the challenge of striving to innovate while still preserving the roots of vintage dances.
We also discussed how she defines authenticity, how hearing stories of St. Louis’ dance history gave her a greater appreciation of individuals lived experiences, and why she considers St. Louis to be the City of Dreams.