Author Archives: tinashield

Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #86!

This fortnight’s variation is Dad Dancing!

Watch as the amazing Helen takes “Dad dancing” to a new level!

This simple variation has the follower coming in on the three which is a great skill to practice!

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Swingouts 101

If you’ve been bitten by the lindy hop bug you’ll definitely want to spend some time on what is probably the most quintessential move–the swingout. You’ll spend the rest of your lindy career trying to perfect this move, learning different styles and techniques and all the variations. Let us start you off on the right track!

Swingout Course
Wednesdays, 29th May – 19th June
8:30 – 9:30pm at The Dance Studio Leeds
£32 whole course

The course will go over the basic shape of a swingout and progress to more in-depth technique, styling, and a couple of variations to spice things up. As usual with our courses numbers will be limited so we can give you personal feedback on what you need to make your swingout awesome.

This course is a good follow on from our Fundamentals Course for those who are feeling confident with the basics. It is also appropriate for those who have learnt a swingout in a drop in class and want to improve on their technique, learn to dance faster and add some styling (swivels!).

swingout.jpg

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Is Lindy Hop for You?

Lindy hop is becoming more and more popular these days. There are a whole range of fantastic reasons to take up swing dancing! Some people start because of a love for swing music or vintage fashion, some are looking for a fun way to get more exercise, others are in search of a new hobby or a new challenge, some people are looking for a new way to connect with their partner or make new friends. Whatever the reason we’d love to see more people give swing dancing a try.

We take pride in the diversity of the Leeds lindy hop scene. You’ll see a range of ages on the dance floor, from 20-somethings to 60-somethings, in all shapes and sizes and colours. If you want to find out if swing dancing is right for you the best thing to do is pop along to a class. Our Fundamentals Course is a great way to start:

Learn the basics of Lindy Hop in just 4 weeks!

This course will give you a solid foundation in fundamental lindy hop moves and techniques, ideal for people who’ve never danced before. With small class sizes you will meet a lovely group of people, meaning you’ll have friends to dance with when you come along to a social dance or drop in class.  It is appropriate for absolute beginners and anyone else who wants to re-visit their basics in a structured learning environment. We run these courses regularly–the next one starts in May.

Course Details:
Wednesdays 1st -22nd May
6:30-7:30pm
at Dance Studio Leeds
cost: £32 for the 4wk course

Pre-booking and payment required in advance
to register email: swingdanceleeds@gmail.com

For a full list of beginner lessons and drop in classes have a look here. And for those who might be feeling a bit nervous about their first class, check out this blog post: How to Survive Your First Dance Class

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #85!

This fortnight’s variation is Leg Flick in Front!

A nice flourish for a chilled out dance

Make sure to prep for this one on the 7-8 so that you’ll be on the correct foot

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How to Survive Your First Dance Class

We run a few different classes that are open to complete beginners so we see a lot of folks coming through the door who have never taken a dance class before. If you’re considering having a go at dancing here are some handy tips to help you breeze through your first class like a pro.

Know That You Aren’t Alone If you’ve booked onto a class that is open to beginners it’s very unlikely that you’ll be the only newbie. Go in assuming that everyone else is starting from square one just like you. If you arrive a bit early chat to other students. See if they are feeling as nervous as you.

Dress for Success There’s nothing worse than turning up to a class in a leotard and tights when everyone else is in street clothes! Try to find out ahead of time what kind of shoes and clothing people usually wear to class so that you know you’ll be appropriately dressed. For most lindy hop or solo charleston/vintage jazz classes its a good idea to wear comfortable casual clothes and flat shoes that aren’t too grippy (plimsoles are a good cheap option)

Listen to the Teacher This might seem obvious but as adults we aren’t always as good at listening as we’d like to think. Some instructors might come round to give everyone individual tips, some may not so it’s really important to listen to what is being said to the class especially if you don’t think you’re “getting it”. Trust that the teacher has noticed your struggle and is about to tell you exactly what you need to do to fix it.

Have Reasonable Expectations for Yourself Everyone learns at a different rate and different aspects of the dance may be easier or harder for you than they appear to be for others. No matter what your background is try to go into a new class with the expectation that it will be a learning process that will take a little time. Expect that you might understand something intellectually but still take a bit longer to get your feet to do it. If you feel like you aren’t getting something but the teacher hasn’t swooped in to help, keep trying, you’re probably doing just fine and just need to try it a couple more times to nail it.

Dance Like No One is Watching Because they aren’t. No one is looking at you thinking that you’re the worst dancer in the class, they’re all focusing on trying to get the steps themselves. Whatever new steps you’re trying just go for it and if you are going to fail, fail BIG. No one will notice. Except the teacher and then they’ll know what you might need help with.

Practice Makes Perfect With most dance classes you get out what you put in. Practicing between sessions is a great way to solidify your learning and help you feel ready to keep adding new material. How do you practice a partner dance if you don’t have a partner? You can still practice the footwork, commit that to muscle memory and you’ll have one less thing to think about at the next lesson.

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It Don’t Mean a Thing….

You know it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing…If you’re ready to move beyond just executing moves this is the next step. Join us this May and learn to EXPRESS YOURSELF with our Musicality Course!

Musicality Course
Wednesdays; 1st – 22nd May
8:30 – 9:30pm at The Dance Studio Leeds
£32 whole course

Once you have a solid grasp of the basics and a good handful of moves under your belt the next challenge for most dancers is musicality–taking the moves and steps you learn in class and turning them into a three way conversation between you, your partner, and the music.

We take a practical and structured approach to musicality. We’ll cover the basic structure of swing music. We’ll help you find the parts of the music that speak to you and give you the tools to express what you hear. We’ll also look at how to work with a partner, and take inspiration from those around you.

As with all our courses the class size will be small so we can answer any questions and give individual attention. No partner required but pre-booking is essential.

Email swingdanceleeds@gmail.com to book your place

Here’s a favourite clip of ours, showing how musicality doesn’t have to be choreographed polished routines but just making it up as you go…

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #84!

This fortnight’s variation is the Birdie!

Gracefully flapping bird wings optional

Also known as the Hangman

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