A place we can learn, work hard, practice and meet new people – the workshops are a great way to boost our swing dance learning and inspire us in new ways. There’ll be a range of levels open for partner swing dancing and each track includes some solo jazz so there is truly something for everyone! Workshops take place in the daytime on Friday Bank Holiday, Saturday and Sunday. Workshop Passes and Full Passes will be entitled to 8 hours of workshops over the course of the event, except the Happy Feet, Shuffle Along and Banana Split Solo Jazz Track which will have 6 hours of workshops each.
We offer six partnered swing dancing levels at London Swing Festival: Happy Feet, Hellzapoppin’, Sugarhill, Congaroo, Killer Diller and ‘A’ Train. This year we also have the Banana Split Solo Jazz and the Shuffle Along Balboa Track! Check out the level descriptions below to find out which track is right for you.
HAPPY FEET (Beginner)
You’ve been dancing for under 6 months or have maybe only taken one or two swing dance classes before! This dance is totally new to you.
You’re no longer a beginner dancer – you’ve found your weekly class (or two!) and you may have gone to a social dance. You’ve been to enough classes to have a dance and a good time but you know there are still a lot of things about social dancing that evade you and there are moves and steps that you’re not sure about.
You attend weekly classes and go social dancing often. You may have performed or competed once or twice but solo jazz is still a new thing for you. You know how to do a swing out and are familiar with different types of Charleston and 6 and 8 count lindy hop, and you can transition between them. You are excited to develop more connection and partner dance skills as well as broaden your swing dance repertoire!
You attend various weekly classes, workshops, social dances, weekend festivals and maybe even events abroad. You may have performed or competed a few times (perhaps also placed) and you have taken lots of solo jazz classes. You dance with transitions between different types of charleston and lindy hop with confidence and can swing out at a good speed! You know how to connect well with a partner, move through different figures with different energy and in a musical way. This track is for dancers who have developed some self awareness of their own dancing and are looking to add more variety, depth and finesse.
You attend the highest level classes, workshops and courses in your scene and abroad, as well as working independently on your own practice and perhaps also your own choreography. You regularly social dance in your scene and nationally/internationally. You may have competed many times and placed in a few competitions and/or may teach in your local scene. You have attended many solo jazz classes and workshops and work on your solo dancing in your own time. You are able to combine tricky moves and movements into a dance and experiment with variations, flow and dynamics. This track is for dancers looking for ways to dig deeper into the nuance of the dance, to find greater connection, precision and complexity within partner dancing and solo jazz.
This track is Invitational. If you are interested in applying you may contact the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org
You are a seasoned pro – dancing competitively, creating unique choreography and teaching regularly and internationally. You strike a balance between being in tune with your partner, with the music and with your own personal ‘voice’ when dancing. You can quickly pick up complex material and understand how to adapt and combine different rhythms and patterns to create exciting ideas. This track is for dancers to challenge themselves and work with an intimate group of peers to explore advanced skills and concepts.
BANANA SPLIT (Solo Jazz Track)
This is an open level track, however we recommend that dancers registering for these workshops will have done some solo jazz before – at least taken a few classes and have learnt the Shim Sham! You will work on classic solo jazz steps, hone your rhythm awareness, explore improvisation and choreography and get more confident in your solo jazz movement. Dancing solo jazz is a great way to develop your musicality and quality of movement and is a fantastic vintage dance form in its own right – as well as being key to progressing in your partner dancing. As it is an open level track the teachers will be able to give options for all levels of dancer in this class, from improvers to advanced. The teachers for the Solo Track will be from the teaching line up.
SHUFFLE ALONG (Balboa Track)
This is an open level track taught by the incredible Jo and Mel Calanglang. We recommend that dancers registering for these workshops will have done some Balboa / Bal-swing before – at least taken a few classes! You will work on classic Balboa steps, figures and movements. As it is an open level track the teachers will be able to give options for all levels of dancer in this class, from improvers to advanced.