Two Dancers Showcase Improvisational Swing Performance — Duo Pulls It Off

Jan 08, 2021 by apost team

In a killer performance that's made its way online, Nick King and Victoria Henk took to the dance floor at 2018's West Coast Swingtacular competition in San Francisco. While we certainly think they deserve first place for what is an amazing performance, judges awarded the dancing duo second place for their improvisational dance.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

During this occasion, dancers meet, criticize each other constructively, and have fun. It's not exactly like the dance classes or competitions that you are familiar with, however. These individuals are expert dancers who have developed their powers and enhanced their moves for years on the swaying floor. It is quite fascinating to watch.

King and Henk start by sliding off the dance ground, but before you realize it, they have already moved from one spot to another in a very fluid way. Even though they are swaying in front of other individuals, they are not under pressure, and they seem to enjoy it. King appears to be so attentive and smooth on the dance floor. Henk, on the other hand, is incredible and keeps the dance interesting with her graceful movements.

Dancing has been a common hobby for years. Before most individuals stayed home at night to watch television or check their social media accounts, they used to go to a local dance hall or other facilities in their city. It would be open at all times, and people also met their life partners on the dance floor. Sometimes you hear stories about a kind of dance, which is very different from the popular dances performed today.
If you can stop thinking about it, you will realize that everyone has an innate skill to dance. However, not everybody is a highly qualified dancer. Sometimes you can even dance like nobody is watching you.

If you dance in front of other people, it turns out it can be a lot of fun, but the majority probably do it alone. However, from time to time, you might have the chance to enjoy dancing with a partner. When you see this dance performance, that is what you will see — two fantastic dancers having the time of their lives. You may even get motivated to try some activities like this during your free time.

But where, you might ask, does this art form come from? Have humans been dancing ever since we've been around?

According to Dance Facts, the art form is so old that it predates written language and modern history. In fact, historians have traced the origins of dance as far back as 9,000 years ago in India and 5,300 years ago in Egypt. Experts claim, for example, that the first archaeological evidence of dance dates back to 9,000-year-old cave paintings in India. During this early period, dance was less of an art form and more a religious practice. In civilizations from Ancient Egypt to Ancient Greece, dancers would pay homage to certain gods by dancing.

With that said, ancient civilizations would dance for other reasons, too. Like us, individuals would take to the dance floor to celebrate, entertain, and to impress lovers. But dance really took off during the Renaissance in Europe. Due to innovations in travel and the rebirth of culture in Europe, different traditions of dance began to intermix, which led to countless innovations in the art form. The Renaissance also gave rise to ballet, which became an integral part of the upper-class lifestyle. Since then, dance has gone through numerous evolutions throughout history.

The annual Swingtacular competition, where King and Henk performed back in 2018, continues this long and storied tradition in the contemporary dance world, bringing the art form to a wider audience. In Swingtacular's first year, the dance competition attracted around 100 attendees. After nearly ten years, that number has shot up to more than 1,000 attendees — a tenfold increase.

And the three-day event features more than just dance competitions. Along with freestyle showdowns, Swingtacular also boasts live performances from musicians, dance workshops, open ballrooms, and group dinners.

However, one of the highlights from 2018 has to be Henk and King's improvisational dance. As the host explains in the video, Henk and King didn't get a chance to choose their backing track themselves — at least not entirely. Swingtacular's DJs submitted a list of songs, and dancers were able to vote for their favorites from that list. Apart from that, Henk and King could not have prepared for their performance. And yet, this talented duo does an amazing job. Viewers from around the world sounded off in the comments, complimenting Henk and King's impressive routine.

"The girl is wonderful and the man glides across the floor as smooth as you'd ever want to see," writes Regina Russel. "Beautiful!"

Sandra Sanders agrees, writing, "I think that he is so smooth and attentive on the dance floor. Of course she keeps it interesting too."

You can find dozens of videos of Henk's performances on YouTube, though a 2019 update from YY Westie revealed that the talented dancer would be taking a step back from her professional dance career. Described as one of the "top champions" of West Coast Swing, the article explains that Henk had announced that she would gradually decrease her appearances on the dance circuit. She also ended her dance partnership. The article cites Henk's desire to finish her studies, "pursue other passions, and discover new fields of interest" for the change.

According to YY Westie, Henk, who is 25 as of 2020, had performed around the world, making All-Stars in 2013 and Champions in 2014. With her partner, Ben Morris, she even placed first at the U.S. Open. Although the article does not quote her directly, Yuval Yaary at YY Westie emphasizes that the life of a pro dancer isn't always forgiving — in fact, it's often grueling, hard-work. 

"To us hobbyists, it might sound like a dream – dancing, teaching, and getting paid for it," Yaary writes. "But once you make your hobby your career, things are not the same."

"This lifestyle is not meant for everyone, and surely not for all phases in one’s life."

Luckily, there are enough videos of Henk on YouTube that we have a good record of this incredible dance talent. Check out the video below, and see for yourself.

Do you love dancing? What do you think about these two incredible dancers? Let us know and pass this incredible improv dance performance on.

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