This month, I am joined by my long-time friend, Mike Thibault. Mike is a driving force in the swing dance scene of Rochester, NY, where he is a founding member of the teaching group Groove Juice Swing and helps organize events like Stompology & Slow Dance Soirée. Mike has been running Swing Out New Hampshire since 2014, and is also a sought-after DJ, serving as Head DJ for Frankie 100 and spinning at events such as ILHC, Lindy Focus, and numerous lindy exchanges.
We sat down after Stompology 2016 to reminisce about our time as students at Rochester Institute of Technology, where we discovered swing music and learned dance steps from VHS copies of Swing Kids. Mike clarifies my memories of our early dance adventures, offers some advice for new DJs, and talks about how his passion for history has led him to collaborate with Andrew Nemr and the Tap Legacy Foundation on an archive of American vernacular jazz dance.
We also discuss taking over Swing Out New Hampshire, what is required to foster a welcoming swing dance community, his joy in hosting late night after-parties at the mythical Lindy Compound, and realizing that his contributions to the Lindy Hop community, and not his day job, are his true life’s work.