SwingFest 2023 - Schedule

Showing: Workshops

Select the items you want below - then add to your booking.

LEAD - leads the steps in a partnered dance; FOLLOW - follows the steps. There are no rules about who leads and who follows but for those with no experience, traditionally the lead would be male and the follow female.

Sunday Ballroom Private Dining Room Club Room Club Room Mezzanine Cocktail Bar 10.30am 11.30am 11.45am 12.45pm 1.00pm 2.00pm Lunch break

Workshop/class levels

Complete Beginner

No previous experience required!

If you've never danced swing styles before we are offering a choice of complementary classes with the afternoon dance - Charleston fun, or tap dance for all - you don't need any experience at all for either of these and you'll learn some useful steps whilst having loads of fun!


Rough guide - less than a year of dancing.

You're not an absolute beginner - but you're not ready for intermediate classes yet. In the improvers workshops you will learn and refine some of the steps that intermediates are expected to know.

For those who have done some drop-in classes and are keen to improve, we're offering workshops for beginners/improvers in both Lindy hop and Balboa - and for experienced beginners in tap dance - as well as a chance to learn the famous Shim Sham!

Intermediate - Lindy hop

Rough guide - 1-2 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

Intermediate/advanced - Lindy hop/Balboa/solo Jazz

Rough guide - 2+ years of regular classes, workshops and social dancing.

Open level

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 20 each of leads and follows and partners will rotate throughout.

Dance styles

We're not offering all these this year - but here's a useful guide to swing & related styles...

Lindy hop

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 Jazz

Solo - 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 Charleston

Solo - 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.

The Charleston Stroll is a fun (and accessible) solo dance using the basic Charleston steps.


Solo - steps done individually; without a partner.

Tap dance is an indigenous American dance genre that evolved over a period of some three hundred years. Initially a fusion of British and West African musical and step-dance traditions in America, tap emerged in the southern United States in the 1700s.

Tap dancing can be done for show, or just for the personal challenge and enjoyment!

Shim Sham

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.

Black Bottom

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!