I'm a huge fan of Montreal Swing Riot, as one of the few dance festivals to successfully bring together lindy hop and other more contemporary street dances like popping, waacking, krump and breaking. Swing Riot is best known for creating viral videos of the friendly battles between the "vintage" and the "modern" street dancers, such as this one that I'm sure that you've seen and that your non-swing friends shared with you.
Or this one....
Beyond the battles, it's just a fun, well-run dance weekend, featuring social dances, awesome performances, competitions, workshops, and lots of social hang time. It also takes place around the same time as the Montreal Jazz Festival, so there's lots of live music to be had while you are there.
Montreal Swing Riot in it's short run helped deepen the connections between our dance and other vernacular art forms, showing their shared roots and celebrating their diversity and different flavors. It also helped new audiences around the world to appreciate lindy hop in a fresh way. That's quite an achievement in a few short years.
So I'm sad that this is the last Swing Riot. But happy that they are ending on a high note, with a ridiculous roster of "vintage" and "modern" street dancers battling it out this year. I highly recommend going, if you can. Registration is still open, at the time of this post. Let's riot!
Here's the full message from Alain Wong and Gen St-Lo:
Find out more at www.montrealswingriot.com.