Fancy testing out your swing in a fun environment?
If you’ve been keeping up with this blog then you might have already seen how we like to encourage dancers to get out and about as much as possible, as early as possible.
Swing Dancing was built around the concept of socialising, so it only makes sense that you should take your new found skills into a social atmosphere to test them out. It can be stressful taking your dancing out of the classroom and into the public arena for the first time, but don’t worry, dance events are less about judging each other and are more about participation.
We’ve already suggested a handful of Dinner & Dance events that you can attend, but if you’d rather start out at somewhere even more relaxed then you can try booking yourself into one of these Swing Festivals:
IpSwing Vintage Music and Dance Festival
This festival is in its very first year and promises to take guests back in time celebrating music from the 30s right the way through to the 60s. There’ll be live bands, singers and DJs playing a unique blend of upbeat vintage tunes giving you plenty of opportunity to give your newfound dance skills a test run in a fun environment. The lineup includes Katie’s Crooked Swing Band and Tessa Smith and the Applejacks.
Bristol Shag Fiesta
This popular dance festival is not just for Shag dancers! All kinds of swing dance is welcome at the Bristol Shag Fiesta and there’s always a good supply of live bands to keep you swinging. There’s a fantastic atmosphere of inclusivity here too, so you’re guaranteed to feel welcome whatever skill level you find yourself at.
JATS Brighton Swing Festival
JATS stands for ‘Jump At The Seaside‘, this is a fantastic location to dance at and the number of skilled teachers will be able to put you through your paces and hopefully bring your swing dance game up a few notches. There are always plenty of dancers in attendance, so you won’t have to worry about finding a partner either.
Leeds Swing Exchange
All types of Swing are welcome at the Leeds Swing Exhange, an event that prides itself on its bubbly dancers and variety of social events. There’s plenty to see and do besides dancing whilst you’re here including tours, picnics and lots of live music.
Balboa might not be as popular as the Lindy Hop, but it still enjoys popularity around the world and is particularly well loved for its vibrant rhythmic weight shifts and lead-follow partnership. Due to its lack of ‘flashy’ or ‘showy’ tricks Balboa is considered a dance for dancers rather than a spectator sport, which makes it particularly tricky to learn, thankfully there are teachers on hand at Bal Extra to take you through it.
Organised by the massive dance community, Swing Patrol, the London Throwdown is a perfect introduction to the world of competitive dancing that doesn’t require newcomers to compete. There are plenty of opportunities for social dancing here in between watching some of the best competitors from around the world throwing down against each other.
Are you looking to make your next party or event that extra bit special?
Hire one of these fantastic Swing dance troupes to bring a bit of pizzazz to your next event.
Organising a party is no mean feat; it involves time, effort and commitment to pull together a great event but there are a few shortcuts to party success that you can take in order to alleviate some of the pressure. The task that any events coordinator is up against when organising a birthday party or anniversary celebration is concerned with a simple question:
How can I make this event unforgettable?
Having a brilliant spread of food should certainly be on your agenda, as should drinks and live music, but have you considered adding that ‘something extra’ to really make your event one for the books?
It can often be the little touches that make a party truly stand out from the crowd, these ‘little touches’ don’t necessarily have to cost you a fortune either! Seemingly simple decorative centrepieces such as beautifully carved ice sculptures or flower arrangements can be affordable if you shop around and might well make the difference in your guests’ opinions. However, if your budget is a bit bigger then you’ll be able to afford to pay live performers which are certain to turn any simple event into a full-on spectacle!
These Swing Dance troupes offer some of the best live entertainment in the country, check their websites out to find out more:
Simon Selmon and Anna Lambrechts founded Swingdance UK in 1986, they’re experts teachers who run numerous weekly classes in addition to offering their services for hire.
As a duo they can either perform a 10 minute-2 hour show, or even teach your guests how to dance themselves.
Swing Patrol are less a performance troupe and more of a Swing Dancing collective. Ranging in ages and styles, they are a true community of well over 1500 dancers who perform, take fitness classes, teach swing and hold competitions.
The Swing Era
Based in Birmingham, this dance school was started by Martyn Nelson in 2014 who is a relative newcomer to the game himself having only been dancing since 2008!
In addition to dancing, Martyn also plays in his band ‘Martyn Nelson and the Rhythm Remedies‘, you can hire them as a band in addition to a dance troupe associated with the Swing Era for the complete package.
Having performed up and down the country in some of the biggest venues in the world (including the Royal Albert Hall and Canary Wharf), Jive Swing are well known for their energetic live performances that have wowed audiences all around the world. They dance a range of styles such as the Charleston, Cake Walk and Lindy Hop.
Down for the Count
This professional collective of musicians and dancers provide a huge range of performance options, but top of the pile has to be their Vintage Swing Collective. Their popular Swing Orchestrea comes complete with The Hotfoot Strutters making for a pitch-perfect night that will be sure to make your night one to remember.