Category Archives: News

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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Filed under lindy hop, News, video

Book now for our next Lindy Hop Fundamentals Course!

Get out on the Dance Floor

Our Lindy Hop Fundamentals Course is by far our most popular course. It’s your gateway drug to the world of Swing Dancing! After just four weeks you’ll be able to join in with other Lindy Hoppers at a social dance or wow your friends at weddings.

We’ll teach you the basics of Lindy Hop in over the course of four weeks. Each week builds on the last with plenty of time for review and repetition to give you a solid foundation in basic moves and techniques. We often have people in class who’ve never tired partner dancing before–so if this is you don’t worry. Our small class sizes help you get to know a lovely group of people so that you’ll have friends to dance with when you come along to a social dance or drop in class.  The course is appropriate for absolute beginners as well as anyone who wants to brush up on their basics.

Course Features:
– Small class size
– Individual feedback
– Structured learning

Course Details:
Wednesdays 3rd – 24th April 
6:30-7:30pm
at Dance Studio Leeds
cost: £32 for the 4 week 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 #83!

This fortnight’s variation is Jump to the Side!

It’s just a jump to the left…

Put a spring in your step with this seasonally appropriate variation!

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Our Frankie’s Moves Course is Back!

frankie-Manning multi image.jpg

This course was a special addition to the lineup last year and definitely a keeper! We’ll spend the whole four weeks working on some of Frankie Manning’s signature moves.

Who was Frankie Manning? He was one of the greatest lindy hoppers of his time (he was the first to add air steps to the dance!). He was also hugely instrumental in the swing revival. As a young man he performed all over with Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, in his later years he traveled the world teaching at lindy hop events, large and small, nearly every weekend. He became known as the Ambassador of Swing and even got his own google doodle a couple of years ago. Come along and learn some of Frankie’s classic moves.

The Frankie’s Moves Course is appropriate for dancers who are comfortable with the basics and ready to add some new classic moves to their repertoire.

Wednesdays, 3rd-24th April
8:30-9:30pm
at Dance Studio Leeds
cost: £32 for the 4wk course

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

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #82!

This fortnight’s variation is Heel Rock!

We think you’ll be rockin’ this variation in no time.

Just make sure you’ve got good strong heels on your shoes!

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