Make Justine Larbalestier Dance the Lindy Hop

Author Justine Larbalestier (who is a dear pal of mine) is writing up a novel set in the 1930s, and as a result some of her characters do a dance called the “Lindy Hop.” Not knowing that facetious comments on one’s site will often cause one to gain an unwanted obligation, Justine jokingly asked her readers if she should learn the dance — to which fellow author John Greene promised $1,000 to the charity of her choice if she did. Well, now there’s $1,425 $2,100 in the pot, and Justine’s feeling the pressure to learn the dance.

But she’s resisting — and foolishly! Because now she’s challenging The Whole Internet™ to pony up cash to make her learn to dance the Lindy Hop, the money of course being donated to a good cause, in this case the New York Public Library. Her deal is this: If the Internets pledge $5,000 to the NYPL by next Monday, she will learn the Lindy Hop (to be verified by third parties). If they do not, she will not, although she will make a donation to the NYPL.

So the NYPL wins in any event, but, come on. We all want to see Justine do this:

Also, of course, we here at Whatever have a history of making people dance for charity. Clearly we need to do it again.

So: If you want to make Justine Larbalestier Dance the Lindy Hop (and you do!), here’s what you do:

1. Go over to this thread on Justine’s site.

2. Put in a comment announcing how much you will pledge to the cause (NOTE: DO NOT DONATE YET. You’re just pledging). You can pledge any amount, but remember that you’re going to be held to your pledge, so make it a real pledge. Seriously.

3. Do it by Monday 5pm Eastern, at which point I suspect Justine will tally up the numbers and find out whether she’s learning to dance, or keeping her two left feet.

$5,000 might seem a lofty goal, but remember there’s already $1,425 $2,100 in the pot, so we’re talking a paltry $3,575 $2,900, which is totally doable.

What happens when everything’s tallied up? Well, if the number is over $5k, then you’ll need to make your donation based on what you pledged. Fortunately the New York Public Library has a donation page online, which will make it easy for you to fulfill your end of things (you can alternately become a formal Friend of the Library, starting at $40).

So there you have. Feel free to share this around, and let’s get Justine winging her way through the Lindy Hop. It’s for a good cause — and it’ll be funny as hell. Everyone wins.

26 Comments on “Make Justine Larbalestier Dance the Lindy Hop”

  1. Seems to me that she will be requiring a partner in that dance…

    So do *you* know how to dance the Liny Hop? (And if not, how much would it take to get you to learn?) Enquiring minds want to know.

  2. Seeing as Justine Larbalestier is not only talented, but also very hot, it’s in everybody’s interest to make the video happen.

  3. I believe Justine has said no video, but there will be witnesses. And that her husband, the wonderful Scott Westerfeld, will be her partner.

    We’re already in for $50. I so want to see this.

    (Now, if my we could donate enough to get her to wear a Bill Laimbeer jersey while she dances, we’d be in for much, much more. Muahaha.)

  4. I was wondering if John would be her partner. Then we could have seen Justine throw John around like a department store mannequin.

    Perhaps if the donations get high enough, John would be the partner and agree to wear one of those cute little poodle skirts. It’s for the library, y’know!

    – yeff

  5. As I said over there, now that Scalzi’s dispatched his minions of charity do-gooding, Justine’s in for it.

  6. Hey, does Bill Schafer want a story from Justine? Maybe he’d kick in a couple thou…

  7. This is a rather subtle way for authors to eliminate a competitor. Though given The Diving Bell and the Butterfly maybe not successful.

  8. It has been a long, long time since I did any lindy hop, so thanks for posting that video! Fun to watch some really great folks dance.

    Lindy hop is really fun once you’ve learned it, but it’s really frustrating (and thus highly entertaining to viewers) until you do. :)

  9. As might have been noticed, no “the”. It’s “lindy hop”, not “the lindy hop”. This ain’t ballroom we’re talking about.

  10. Funnily enough, I did this dance at a ballroom competition one time and got a trophy.

    You guys don’t have to go spreading that around…

  11. Why does she need incentive? Folks dance (note present tense)* the Lindy because *it’s fun*. You can do it at any level from “low impact light exercise” to “aerobics master- level freakout”. The dancers in the video are about mid- level.

    [SCA dance master]
    If you leave off the fancy stuff, it’s a basic galliard step. This is the dance that has been continuously denounced by European clergy for over seven hundred years. That’s enough reason to learn it right there.
    [/SCA dance master]

    * I was at a Lindy workshop a couple of years back that had a bunch of fairly extreme “punk types” (pink spiked mohawks, safety pins through the face, etc). They were *really good*.