Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollmann “How to Save a Life” 2009


“And I would’ve stayed with you all night long,

Had I known how to save a life.”


These lyrics to this song, “How to Save a Life” by the Fray, describe everything in this dance. At first when I watched this routine I thought, wow this is a very fast west coast swing. Yes, dances of the same count may have different paces because they have different stories to tell, but this almost looked like a hustle. As the routine continued to progress, there were a couple of things I noticed about it: the story that I made up in my head: how friendships are and an analysis of relationships in life, the different moves that Frisbee and Mollman perform throughout that were eye-catching, and what specifically about the routine was an attention getter, whether it was the story behind the dance, the attitude, or simply the entire performance. I believe that every spectator has his/her own thoughts about what was unique, however this performance is not like another West Coast. Frisbee and Mollman know what swing is, and know specifically how to make each appearance special in it’s own way.

This performance told a story of relationships and the trust in each unique connection between the people we have in our lives. The song played, “How to Save a Life,” is about a man who lost his girlfriend or wife, and now she found someone else. At first they started off as friends, but now that their relationship has nose-dived, he’s lost and doesn’t know where to go forward with his life. In the dance both dancers are very close to each other, and the dancers create a vibe/feeling about how the characters have feelings for each other, or have some sort of past. There is most definitely a friendship, where trust, commitment, and loyalty have all fallen into place, or have been put forward. And, in this situation, trust, commitment, loyalty, are all three key components in a relationship of any kind with all of us in life.

There are multiple movements that Frisbee and Mollman that are quite eye-catching, but also just impressive in a west coast swing. In the post, “More,” by Usher and Alex Vargas, the dance’s special feature was the time changing and different tempos through out the routine, performed by the same dancers. Here, Frisbee and Mollman take dancing to a whole different level. For example, Mollan performs a move where she slides on her knees in front of Frisbee, and then Frisbee pulls Mollman up, but Mollman is forced on her tip toes when she stands up again: only her legs are used to help her up. Another amazing move was- that actually reminded me of a rumba hesitant walk- Mollman freezes in place, Frisbee moves forward, and Mollan moves backwards alone. In that moment, I thought of a rumba, although Rumba and West Coast Swing are two completely different things.

Overall this performance was a pleasure to view because this is one of the fastest west coast dances I have seen and I believe that if the viewer has an open mind while watching this routine, he/she will depict unique things as well. Definitely a keeper! 


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