SwingFest 2021 - Schedule
Select the items you want below - then add to your booking for LEAD, FOLLOW or both booking together. If you're new to this you'll find our booking helper really useful!
No previous experience required!
If you've never danced swing before we are offering absolute beginners classes at all three dances over the SwingFest weekend - you don't need any experience at all for those and you'll learn some useful steps whilst having loads of fun!
For a more in-depth introduction to Lindy hop, we're also offering beginners workshops on the Saturday morning - no previous experience required!
Rough guide - less than a year of dancing swing.
You're not an absolute beginner - but you're not ready for intermediate classes yet. In the improvers workshops you will learn and refine many of the steps that intermediates are expected to know - see below!
Rough guide - 1+ years of dancing swing.
You're in that transition stage where you know some intermediate steps but don't feel ready yet to join intermediate classes with any confidence.
IntermediateRough guide - 2+ years of regular classes and social Lindy hop dancing.
When it comes to workshops, intermediate level is for competent social dancers who can comfortably lead and/or follow at least the following steps on the social dance floor :-
- A variety of 6-count with triple-steps and kick-steps
- Swing out, Lindy turn, Circle, Texas Tommy
- Side-by-side Charleston, send out into partnered ("tandem") back Charleston, crossover Charleston
- You will almost certainly already know the Shim Sham
Rough guide - 3+ years of regular classes and social Lindy hop dancing.
Open to everyone - but perhaps expect a challenge or two!
Whatever level you are taking you will learn loads and have a blast - we have amazing teachers lined up! The teachers are all adept at adjusting the material to suit the particular class and will also be able to move people up or down discreetly if necessary.
Workshop size will be strictly limited to 12 each of leads and follows and partners may stay together or rotate throughout.
Also known as "Jitterbug" or "Jive", Lindy hop was born in the dance halls of late 1920s Harlem, New York City, at the height of the Harlem Renaissance. As hot jazz music gave way to swing in the 1930s, Lindy hop evolved rapidly, especially at the legendary Savoy Ballroom, where the opportunity for the best dancers to entertain the tourists helped it become both a social dance craze and an exciting performance style! The music is happy and the dance is immense fun - a chance to relax and forget about other things in life!
Whether you're just starting out with Lindy hop or are well-and-truly hooked, SwingFest is for you!
Solo JazzSolo - steps done individually; without a partner.
Jazz steps are an intrinsic part of Lindy hop - and great fun whilst providing a healthy challenge, whatever your level! Steps like the Suzie Q, Boogie, Apple Jacks and Shorty George are essential knowledge for Lindy hoppers - but there are many many more.
Challenge yourself and improve your skills!
Solo CharlestonSolo - steps done individually; without a partner.
Lindy hop has many of its roots in the Charleston dance craze of the 1920s - many steps characteristic of Lindy hop are clearly derived from the earlier dance. With the move from hot jazz to swing music, dancers changed from a choppy, up-and-down style to a more fluid, horizontal style with a gentle bounce, so the steps can look very different.
Take this opportunity to learn the original Charleston style!
The Shim Sham is a fun routine made up of simple jazz steps, generally done in a line, but often also in a circle. Originally the Shim Sham (Shimmy) was a tap routine choreographed by Leonard Reed - which was adopted universally by stage performers so that they could do a whole company encore at the end of a show rather than each act do individual encores. The Lindy hoppers of the 1930s and 40s took the dance and made it their own.
The Shim Sham is considered essential knowledge around the world in swing dance clubs, and is an excellent way to learn the most fundamental jazz steps.
The black bottom, like the Charleston, became popular in the 1920s - the Roaring Twenties, also known as the Jazz Age, and the era of the flapper. It was danced solo or by couples. Originating among African Americans in the rural South, the black bottom was adopted by mainstream American culture and became a national craze in the 1920s.
This is a great opportunity to learn an authentic dance style that isn't taught as often as the Charleston!
Balboa is a swing dance that originated in Southern California during the 1920s (though it may have started as early as 1915) and enjoyed huge popularity during the 1930s and 1940s. Balboa is a dance characterized by its close embrace and full body connection, emphasising rhythmic weight shifts and lead-follow partnership.
Balboa is a popular style today - join our intro workshop and get connected!