The director of the new swing dance documentary Alive and Kicking knows her subject from the inside out. Susan Glatzer is a swing dancer herself and “part of the dance world,” which she vividly depicts in the film as an exceptionally joyous, generous, and connected community. My interview with Ms. Glatzer is now on the website of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Here is an excerpt:
“Each dance is so special because it’s how each partner is interpreting the music and reacting to their partner. So as Andrea Gordon says in the film, it’s almost like you dance with someone you have never met before and by the end you feel like you can finish each other’s sentences because you’re connecting on a very, very basic human level of touch and movement and music and improvisation and trust. There is that incredible connection that goes well beyond ‘we have a shared passion.’”
“You’ll never have the same dance and you’re always looking for that next high with somebody else. You go on to the next person, the next partner but that’s when you get the sense of community. And you can go to a town where you do not know anyone and have an instant community of people who will welcome you….
It’s not about having a beautiful line; it’s being a badass, and it’s being silly and goofy. The whole point of this is: take the time, have fun, be silly, be goofy, be as crazy as you can be. The competitions are really intense and people do amazing stuff but at the end they all just want to dance with each other and cheer each other on. Everybody just wants to see something great and have fun and then we all have a good time and dance with each other.”