Upcoming Events

Upcoming Dinner and Dance

Fancy shaking on down at one of these events?

There’s no fun in learning how to Swing dance unless you’re given a chance to show off!

Part of the joy in learning how to dance is taking your moves out of the classroom and into the public arena, although this can often be a real challenge for nervous or shy dancers taking part in a competition is a key part of dancing culture and can serve to improve your skills and boost your confidence.

They might sound intimidating on the outside, but the truth is that these events are organised by people who are passionate about dance, despite what certain movies might suggest, the world of competitive dancing is a friendly one made up of thousands of individuals who have a shared passion for dance: in short, you’ll always find a warm welcome at a dance competition.

Regardless of the level that you dance at a competition is a great way to focus your dancing efforts and get a gauge at how your dancing compares to others. However, before you sign up for a dance competition, it’s imperative that you understand the various grades that each round is split up into. Although these classifications might change from competition to competition, they’re worth checking out before you sign up. The classes are as follows: Social, Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Pre-Championship and Open. In large dance competitions, these grades will be split up into age groups but in smaller ones you’re likely to be competing with a larger range of ages.

You can ask your dance instructor to suggest the appropriate level to compete at, if you’re still unsure then you should attend an event for yourself so that you can see what the standards are like. Casual events, such as Dinner & Dances are great events to get started at. These events are very social and relaxed, so you’ll be more than welcome to simply come along and just spectate. But if you do get the itch to join in the action, you can always jump up and do so!

These Dinner and Dance events are run by the Dance Promoters’ Association – head to their site for details:

DPA Bournemouth Summer Festival Dinner & Dance 2019

When? 28/07/2019
Where? Bournemouth International Centre
Exeter Road

North of England Ball 2019

When? 29/09/2019
Where? Longfield Suite
M25 1AY

ABD Dinner, Dance & Cabaret

When? 29/09/2019
Where? Walsall Football Club
Bescot Stadium
Bescot Cresent

Stoke-on-Trent Dinner & Dance Festival

When? 27/10/2019
Where? Kings Hall
off Glebe Street

The Star Championship

When? 27/01/2020
Where? Walsall Town Hall
Lichfield Street
West Midlands

Summer Swing Festivals Galore!

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.

Bal Extra

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.

London Throwdown

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.

Hire Swing Dancers For Your Event!

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:

Swingdance UK

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

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.

Jive Swing

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.