The Jazz Monkey Articles

Welcome to the Jazz Monkey, where we get educated up the wazoo about all sorts of stuff loosely dance and music related, in the light-hearted manner that has become a classic trademark for our more than tens of readers.

Right off the bat, please be aware that most of these articles have an excessively high big-person words ratio. If you’ve been living in a convent for the last 30 years and/or find this offensive, consider searching kitties pictures in safe mode on Google (although we have that as well).

6 Starting Points to Make Aerials Safer

By Zack March 31st 2017

“In the end, and I’m addressing mostly coaches but couples as well, nailing an aerial can greatly enhance your performance, but a shitty one can tank it faster than Speedy Gonzales on a cocaine binge. I can guarantee that 100% of your audience would much rather appreciate a great swingout than gasp in apprehension at a crappy Around the Back.”

About Safe Spaces in the Dance Community

By Zack January 27th 2015

“I would also like to point out something that has, quite shockingly to me, not been brought up as much: we have many strong, beautiful female role models in the dance scene. I’m thinking of course of the survivors in this situation (Sarah, Brenda, Allison, Heidi, Clara) but also of truly admirable, powerful women such as Annie Trudeau, whom I see as one of the best persons I know and towards whom I will always feel true, deep and unmitigated love and admiration; Hilary Alexander; Carla Heiney; Virginie Jensen… Hell, I’m sorry dudes, I love you to pieces, but to be frank the sheer power and moral fortitude of our partners is an example we should all strive to imitate.”

#ImprovRespect: A Short Story

by Zack, December 3rd 2014

A little late to the party on this one, but I had started it way back in September and told myself I might as well finish it.

Super Nario

by Zack, November 11th 2014

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated. There are many articles in the queue, and I’m working on a new site which, while very different from this one, I hope you’ll be as excited about as I am.

In the meantime, have a look at fellow blogger and dancer extraordinaire Nick Williams dressed as Super Nario, ready to save the day.

The Business of Lindy Hop (written for Frankie 100)

by Zack, June 2014 17th

So this one is a little different. It’s got none of the copious profanities and funny meme images that a lot of you have come to know and love, but at least you can share it with your grandmother without her coming face to face with an image of a desk covered in dildos.

Some time ago, I had the privilege to be asked to write an article for the Frankie 100 Commemorative Book. It is with great pleasure that I participated in this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Why You Should Start Dancing Right Now

By Zack | December 19th 2013

All your desperate pleas and your beautifully weaved descriptions of how nice a wooden dance floor smells are met with increasingly freaked out hostility? Fear not, the Jazz Monkey is here with more arguments that you can cram down Couch Potato Sam’s ears as to why dancing is absolutely, without questions, the best activity in the history of ever.

6 Things Every International Dance Teacher Should Know

By Zack | October 10 2013

Seriously, your wide-eyed innocence is very cute, and I’m sure when you’re old and grey someone will find you a nice farm where you’ll have lots of space to run and other dancers to play with. But teaching internationally is not that farm. Nor will it ever be. Nothing tests a friendship more than when shit hits the fan, and you’ll be surprised at how fast the aforementioned excrements will affirm their preponderance in case of fan-hitting.

4 Sexist Arguments that Dancers Should Drop

By Zack | July 15 2013

All those perceptions are built on one giant stinking pile of crocodile dung or another and, today, we’re going to be the disgruntled dungologists to dig through these gobs of guano.

Quick Bite: Frog Astaire in “Ribbit on the Ritz”

By Zack | July 12 2013

I found this little guy during my (always most pertinent) internet explorations. I couldn’t let his dreams of stardom down.

Quick Bite: Travelling Dance Teacher – Expectations vs Reality

By Zack | July 8 2013

6 Realizations Everyone Needs to Make About Event Organizers

By Zack | July 1 2013

Following a previous column, a lot of comments were made about the brashness of the language, more specifically towards event organizers.

And because I’m nothing if not fair, here’s a little something to stick in your thought-toasters: event organizers are some of the most under-appreciated people in the world of dancing, and we should be downright ashamed of that. Here are 6 realizations that, hopefully, will change our perspective on them… (Click here to continue)

The 10 Commandments of the Dance Floor

By: Zack | June 18 2013

Dance etiquette isn’t exactly rocket science, but a surprising number of dancers seem to have the memory of a starfish for it.

Without further ado, here they are: the Jazz Monkey’s Ten Commandments of the social dance floor.


5 Realizations You Need to Make About Dance Teachers

By: Zack | June 6, 2013

Unless you learnt to dance under a rock in your parents’ basement, you’re bound to encounter international dance teachers. You’ll even probably have a pretty solid opinion of them before you actually have any kind of interaction with them whatsoever – whether by their dancing, general attitude, or by what your friends told you of the time he briefly spoke with one of them, at some point, during a late night dance in Philadelphia. (Click here to continue)


6 Well-Known Diseases That Are Plaguing Today’s Dancers

By: Zack | May 30, 2013

There are several diseases running rampant in today’s dance community, and it’s about time you check yourself before you wreck yourself. See if you’re victim of one or several of those: (Click here to continue)


5 Jazz Legends Who Were Clearly Reincarnated As Modern Pop Icons

By: Zack | May 10, 2013

Little do we know, modern days did not invent the Rock Star Attitude. In fact, in many ways, the good old days of the Roaring Twenties proved to be an ideal breeding ground for the basic staples of RSA that we still see today. As demonstrated by… (Click here to continue)


6 Steps to Understanding Relative Placement

By: Zack | April 19, 2013

For all the seemingly complicated numbers and annotations, relative placement is a pretty straight-forward, reliable method. It answers most of the hard questions in the competition world, such as what if one judge’s score overly tips the balance, or how to deal with ties. (Click here to continue)


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