Category Archives: lindy hop

Dance Weekends 101

If you’ve been taking classes and maybe even started venturing out to try social dancing the next adventure for you should be traveling to a dance weekend. You now speak the international language of dance and one of the most fun things you can do with this new found skill is to travel to another city anywhere in the world, have a dance with someone you’ve never met, and be amazed at how well it goes! Not sure where to start or what to expect here’s a handy guide:

Types of Events

Dance Camps: These are weekends or even a whole week with classes from one or more sets of teachers and often social dancing as well. This kind of event is great for those that like intensive/immersive learning opportunities. They’re also really great for getting to know other dancers since you will spend a lot of time with the group of dancers in your classes. Some events have leveled streams, others are multilevel, some offer taster classes in other related dance styles. Some events may also include competitions as a small part of the event or even as a focus. There are several camps that run over Christmas/New Years and in the summer that offer a whole week or multiple weeks of classes and events. Examples of dance camps: Swing Revolution, London Swing Festival, Lindy Shock, Herrang, Swing Summit

Exchanges: An exchange is a full weekend of social dancing (usually without any classed). These often feature live bands, and some combination of evening dances, late night dances, daytime dancing and social events. Exchanges are great for dancers who want to dance dance dance as much as possible and also chill out and meet new people from all over. Examples exchanges: Leeds Swing Exchange, London Lindy Exchange, Arctic Lindy Exchange

Top Tips for Attending Dance Festivals

Where to Look: If you’re looking for an event to attend, Swing Planit is a good one-stop-shop. Your local teachers may be able to recommend events that are popular with dancers in your area. If you want to know what events we’ll be teaching at have a look at our Dance Weekends page.

Plan Ahead: If you’re a single leader you may be able to spontaneously book an event the week before but be aware that some sell out way in advance. It’s a good idea to be looking ahead several months and take note of when bookings open for events you want to attend. If you’re a single follower, booking onto events in Europe can be a challenge–try to register as soon as bookings open to avoid being put on a waiting list. Or, even better, try to find a leader to book with either by asking around in your local scene or posting a message on the event’s facebook page or in a group like Followers & Leaders Let’s Book Together

What to Bring: Let’s just start by saying it’s totally fine to pack twice the amount of clothing and shoes for a dance weekend that you would for any other weekend trip! If you haven’t been dancing for very long be prepared for your feet to take a bit of a beating. Definitely bring more than one pair of shoes to dance in, in case one pair becomes uncomfortable or isn’t a good match for the floor at a venue. It’s also a good idea to bring some plasters and moleskin tape or blister plasters. Bring cool comfy clothes for classes. Depending on where you are staying you may need to bring a sleeping bag, towels, ear plugs/sleep mask. Evening socials may have a theme, if you plan to go to a dance in fancy dress plan a costume that will be comfortable to dance in. If there are no themes you may want to just bring some nicer outfits for the social dances. (Pro tip for those who wear dresses: lot’s of dancers wear shorts under their dresses so that they don’t have to worry about showing their pants). Social dances may be a bit more crowded and hot and sweaty than what you’re used to so you may also want to consider bringing extra tops, a fan or a sweat rag.

Make the Most of It: The best way to make the most of your dance event experience is to DO ALL OF THE THINGS–especially the things that make you a bit nervous! Ask strangers to dance, enter a competition, take a tour of the city, take advantage of all of the learning opportunities. If you are taking classes bring along something to take notes on after class or make sure you have space on your phone to film the recap that many teachers will do at the end of a class. Dance weekends are also a great opportunity to take private classes from teachers you like. If meeting new people is a priority, try to stay with local dancers rather than in a hotel if that’s an option, volunteering at the event is another great way to meet people (if volunteering isn’t offered as an option when you register just ask the organiser), taking classes is also a good way to get to know people or if you’re attending an event with no classes make sure to take part in whatever tasters or social activities are offered.

Avoid Burnout: Dance weekends can be pretty full on! Here are our best tips for avoiding fatigue: If possible try to stay as close to the venues as possible (to minimise travel time and maximise napping time!). Scope out the food options ahead of time for lunch and dinner (and consider how many other dancers will be there at the same time) to avoid having to wait a long time to your food. More waiting=less napping. If you prefer less crowded dance floors and a good night’s sleep, you’ll probably want to arrive right at the start of the evening dance. If you want to be able to make it to the end of the late night (and get up for class the next morning) you may want to have a good rest over the dinner break and arrive a bit later to the evening dance. Either way, you might want to consider booking the day after the event off of work so that you have a day to recover! If you’re taking classes don’t be too hard on yourself! Get geeky about your dancing during the classes and have a bit of a practice of your new skills at the social dances, but make sure you also give yourself a bit of a break to just enjoy dancing so that your head doesn’t explode.

 

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How to Nail Those Tricky Moves

With so many awesome Lindy Hop moves to learn there are some that can fall through the cracks–moves that are just a bit too tricky to really get in a drop-in class. That’s why we’re introducing another new course into our Classic Moves line up, focusing on Tricky Moves!

In this four week course we’ll teach you some great classic moves that are a bit on the tricky side but with four weeks to work on them you’ll totally nail them! We’ll be working on the Texas Tommy, Switches, Charleston Swingouts, Hacksaws and maybe more depending on the group. We’ll spend a good amount of time learning how to do these classic moves well so that you can lead/follow them with confidence on the social dance floor or in a jam circle.

You don’t need a partner to book but you will need a good grasp of Lindy Hop Fundamentals.

Classic Moves Course: Tricky Moves

Wednesdays, 26th Sept – 17th Oct
8:30-9:30pm

at Dance Studio Leeds
cost: £30 for the 4wk course

£10 discount if you’ve taken a previous Classic Moves Course (inc Frankie’s Moves)

Pre-payment required. To register email: swingdanceleeds@gmail.com

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #68!

This fortnight’s variation is Fish Tail!

Get your mermaid on!

A variation on the fishtails jazz step. This one is just one deep swish of the tail ;)

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Our Next Fundamentals Course starts 29th August!

Welcome to the wonderful world of Lindy Hop! Whether you’re looking for an excuse to wear that new vintage outfit, a fun couples’ activity, a physical and mental challenge or a way to make friends, you’ve come to the right place!

Lindy Hop is becoming more and more popular and it is showing no signs of slowing down.  It is a fantastic way to get fit, learn a new skill and meet a fabulous bunch of people. For a whole list of reasons why partner dancing is good for you click here or just take our word for it and give it a go–why not?

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

Benefits:
– Small class size
– Individual feedback
– Structured learning

Course Details:
Wednesdays 29th Aug – 19th Sept
6:30-7:30pm
at Dance Studio Leeds
cost: £30 for the 4wk course

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

Have a look at this video for a taster of what you can expect on the course:

For a full list of course dates visit our courses page

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #67!

This fortnight’s variation is Double Tap!

Toe taps, toe taps, we’ve got ALL the toe taps!

Pro-tip: Do not attempt this variation in flip-flops! Actually just don’t dance in flip-flops…trust us on this one ;)

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #66!

This fortnight’s variation is The Pony!

A new twist on a modern classic!

You can take inspiration for footwork variations from just about anywhere. Here’s one based on a dance move that some might remember from the 1960s (or the 80s).

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #65!

This fortnight’s variation is The Scaredy Cat!

For scary good swingouts give this one a go!

A simple but eye catching variation.

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