Tag Archives: intermediate

Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #79!

This fortnight’s variation is Shave and a Haircut!

Have a little play with this oh so familiar rhythm

For an extra challenge try it as a call and response with your partner (and send us the video!)

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #78 Joy Jump!

Jump for joy this Christmas with this weeks footwork variation of the fortnight – the joy jump!

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by | December 24, 2018 · 9:30 am

8 Ways to Improve Your Dancing Outside of Class

We try to make our classes fun and enjoyable but there’s more to Lindy Hop than just taking classes. Whether you’re in it for the fun and friends or you want train hard and really ramp up your skills here are some great ways to hone your dancing skills outside of class (in no particular order):

  1. Listen to swing music and learn more about it. A good place to start is Andy Lewis’s excellent DJ blog
  2. Social dance! Lindy Hop is a social dance so learning the moves in a classroom will only get you so far. In order to really work on your connection, reaction, improvisation, and musicality skills you’ve got to get out on the dance floor and dance a whole song or two (preferably way more!). Locally we recommend The Sunday Swing Set (and btw it’s FREE!) If you don’t have a well established social dance where you are see if you can get the room a bit longer after a class for a bit of practice time or try to find a local venue that would be willing to let you play some swing music on a typically quiet night. party
  3. Travel to events in other cities Even if your local teachers are international superstars it’s still good to get out and learn from other teachers. Because Lindy Hop has never been standardised, there are a wide variety of dancing styles and teaching styles out there and the dance is constantly evolving. So go out and experience a new perspective–see how other dancers and other teachers approach it. Dancing in a new place can also show you that you’re learning a truly international dance language that enables you to dance with other Lindy Hoppers all over the world!
  4. Watch other dancers Once you’ve got the basics down watching other dancers can be really inspiring, it can show you what’s possible and give you new ideas to try. When you go out to a social dance don’t forget to spend a little bit of time watching dancers that you like. Try to pick out what it is that you like about their dancing and try some of those things for yourself. There is also now a veritable smorgasbord of Lindy Hop videos available on the internet! You can see what Lindy Hop looked like “back in the day”. Bobby White’s blog is a great place to start. You can also catch hours and hours worth of performances, competitions and teachers demos from the past fifteen years or so. Here is an interesting blog post about some influential modern clips or just search for ILHC on Youtube and dive into the giant rabbit hole of related clips.tap
  5. Try other related dance styles At first the idea of learning yet another dance style might seem like it would make your head explode but once you get past that point it can be good to be a bit adventurous. Learning other swing era dances and/or dances that heavily influenced Lindy Hop can help you become a better dancer (they’re also lots of fun in their own right). Balboa can tighten up your footwork and help you explore new kinds of connection, Blues is great for working on control and improvisation, Charleston and vintage jazz are great for learning footwork variations, Tap can help develop your sense of rhythm and African dance can help you learn to loosen up and use your whole body.
  6. Strengthen your core. Core strength is super important for good connection and control so anything that strengthens those core muscles (yoga, pilates, pole dancing, aerial hoop, acrobalance, etc) will help your dancing as well.
  7. Build your endurance. Improving your technique and connection makes dancing faster much easier but even if you’re on top form dancing three songs in a row at 200 bpm is some serious cardio. Any activity that gets your heart rate up can help build your endurance–things like running, swimming, football and Zumba
  8. Invest in some decent dance shoes. This doesn’t have to be a costly effort but if you’re still wearing your Doc Martins to class getting a pair of  shoes specifically for dancing could make a big difference. Check out our recent blog about shoes for some good options to fit all budgets.

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Pimp your Swingout!

The swingout is probably the most iconic lindy hop move but it’s not the easiest nut to crack. Ask any teacher when they perfected their swingout and most will tell you that they are still working on it. Whether you’ve just begun your lindy journey or have been taking classes for a few months we’ll help you get your swingout on track with lots of tips on both technique and styling.

Swingout Course
Wednesday, 6th-27th February
8:30 – 9:30pm at The Dance Studio Leeds
£32 whole course

No partner required but pre-booking is essential. To book your place email swingdanceleeds@gmail.com or fill in our webform

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’s also a great course for those who have had a go at swingouts but want to delve a bit deeper and really work on improving their technique, learn to dance faster and add some styling (swivels!).

Swingout

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #77!

This fortnight’s variation is Kick It! &3&4

Kick it! Kick it real good!

This one reminds me of the second half of a Shish-ka-boom-ba

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #76!

This fortnight’s variation is Slip Step!

This slippy variation requires the follower to come in on 3–but don’t panic you’ll still have time to get round! (and its a good skill to work on)

If your shoes aren’t slippy enough for this variation check out our recent Cat’s Corner post about shoes to find out about all your shoe options!

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Footwork Variation of the Fortnight #75!

This fortnight’s variation is Big Kick!

Wow your audience with this power move

Sometimes our variations are inspired by other dancers. This one is classic Helen. Check out those high kicks!

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