Feature Photo: Liz and Kristin dancing at the vintage street car party with Gaucho (band) in Jane Warner Plaza, Castro, SF in September 2016. Photo credit: Rik Panganiban
This is part of the Dancer Spotlight series to show how someone got into dancing and how dancing fits into someone’s day.
Liz is a health and benefits consultant by day and dancer by night. I first met Liz at Fish and Farm Fridays, where she greeted and welcomed me when I walked up to the DJ station to introduce myself.
Liz has been into dancing since a young age, and loved watching Dance Fever in the 70s. Yet she thought “you only dance with someone you love” and didn’t try Social Dancing until she finally got a date to try a Lindy Hop class in New York, years later.
Liz quickly realized that Social Dancing isn’t only with loved ones, and started going to classes and workshops with friends. After moving to Boston for graduate school, she taught the community there the dance style she had learned in Ithaca, New York, which in the mid- to late-90s was a hotbed of Lindy Hop dedicated to the authentic style danced in Harlem in the 1930s. “I’ve always wanted more people to get into dancing. People have a very durable view of dancing from performances. They see barriers that don’t really exist.”
Now, Liz dances Lindy Hop three or more times a week as there are no lack of dance venues in SF: Cat’s Corner, Amnesia, Lindy in the Park, Fish & Farm, Club Deluxe, and Bootleggers Ball – to name just a few. She also takes Hip Hop and Mambo classes with great dance instructors. When not dancing, Liz is very into fitness and likes to run, go to the gym, and do yoga. She also loves to eat and travel, and even taught Lindy Hop when she was living abroad in Spain several years ago.
On the Friday before Labor Day, Liz had a short day at work before going home to change clothes quickly in anticipation of dancing later. At Fish & Farm, she enjoyed a glass of wine and danced in the small and cozy space. Liz was happy to see her friends and meet new people here. Then she got a ride to Club Deluxe, a dive bar where a small group of Lindy Hoppers danced. She finally went home around midnight after a great night of dancing. Liz normally wouldn’t stay up that late on a weeknight. On Wednesdays, she leaves around 10:30pm:”I like sleep,” she explained laughingly.
When asked for a word to describe dancing, Liz chose: immortality. Lindy Hop is part of American history, and dancing it is a great way for her to be part of something important as an individual. She loves seeing young people keeping the music and dance style alive. “Even after I’m gone, people will keep doing this. That’s my immortality.”