Don’t ask what your dance community can do for you, ask what you can do for your dance community! So you’ve been bitten by the Lindy Hop bug and you want to shout it from the rooftops! Here’s a list of things both big and small that you can do if you want to get more involved in your local lindy scene:
- Welcome new dancers They may be a bit awkward at first but they’ll get better. All they need is a little bit of encouragement. If you see someone you don’t recognise at a class or a social, go over and introduce yourself, ask them to dance, invite them to the pub, and be encouraging so that they’ll see what a lovely community of dancers they’ve found and want to come back.
- Tell your friends Let your friends know what a great time you’re having! Invite them to come with you to beginner friendly events. Share dance events on social media.
- Help beginners by being a top-notch dance partner Having more experienced dancers in a beginners’ class or a taster can be really helpful because it helps newbies see how the moves should look and feel. The best way you can help with the class is to dance the moves through accurately and consistently exactly as they are being taught so that the newbies get the chance to practice with a really good partner. If you are dancing with someone who seems to need a bit of extra help, be encouraging–let them know they are doing great and will get there with a bit more practice! You might also encourage them to listen to the teacher (who is likely to be aware that they are struggling and will be giving them extra time to practice or tips to help). Avoid giving instruction yourself as that will often make new dancers feel self-conscious and can be quite disruptive and disrespectful to the teacher.
- Volunteer your time It’s likely that at least some of the classes or social dancing events that you attend are not for profit and rely on volunteers to do things like setting up, tidying up, or taking money on the door. Maybe you’ve got a special skill that could be put to good use like designing logos or making eye catching room decorations or maybe you are just really great at making people feel welcome. Ask the organiser of your favourite event what you can do to help or just pitch in and stack some chairs.
- DJ If you’ve started to enjoy building a collection of music that you like to dance to its worth asking your local organisers if they need new DJs. Expect to start small with early slots at smaller events. If you can, try to get some mentoring from one of the more experienced DJs in your scene or attend a DJ workshop at a dance weekend.
- Start something new Do you have a great idea for something that seems to be lacking in your local scene? Sometimes the best way to contribute to your scene is by becoming an organiser yourself. The truth is many of us are stretched a bit thin and just don’t have the capacity to run everything we’d like while also working, studying etc… Pitch your idea to the organisers in your scene. They’ll probably be thrilled to see someone else stepping up and should be able to offer tips, support, maybe even funding. Do make sure that you are aware of what else is going on in your area so that you can avoid competing with other events.
We know its hard to keep up with everything that’s going on these days! If you like what we do here at Swing Dance Leeds and you want to keep on top of all the latest news here are a few different ways you can do it. Click the links to be taken to the appropriate subscription pages:
- Subscribe to our website to get notifications about new posts. You can do this by clicking the “Subscribe button” in the upper left corner.
- Subscribe to our Youtube channel to get updates whenever we post Footwork Variation of the Fortnight, performance videos or class recaps.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
- Subscribe to Charleston Shout our monthly email newsletter about all things Charleston related (and now fully GDPR compliant whoop!)
Rob, Tina and Talia were interviewed last night on Georgey Tonight about the Lindy Hop craze that’s sweeping the North. If you didn’t catch it you can listen here on iplayer. We’re on at around the 32 min mark.
Even though we’ve got more family responsibilities now, we still enjoy teaching weekend workshops and festivals in other cities. We love connecting with other dancers around the country and it keeps us on our toes! Here’s a quick update on what we can offer for those who might be wondering:
Rob on his own: Rob can teach solo classes, partnered classes and teacher training on his own or with a local teacher/demonstration partner. Recently he’s taught with Trisha Sewell (as a leader) and Scott Cupit (as a follower) at Swing Time in the Highlands and with Lucy Helena Toseland in Senegallia
Rob and Tina: We’re still happy to teach full day workshops and full weekends as a couple. When you book both of us, you get our toddler as a bonus (she’s very cute). We’re accustomed to teaching with her in the room and so far everyone seems to really enjoy having her in class. If you have someone in your scene that would enjoy helping keep the little one entertained it makes everything a little bit easier for us but it’s not a necessity. If the event involves evening social dances and/or competitions we may need to leave a bit early or divide and conquer but we’ll be there to dance with everyone as much as possible. Other than that our needs with regards to travel, accommodation, food etc are no different than what you would expect for other teaching couples.
To make an inquiry email email@example.com or use this form
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!
Wednesday, 6th-27th June
8:30 – 9:30pm at The Dance Studio Leeds
£30 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 a bit. 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 shape and want to improve on their technique, learn to dance faster and add some styling.