Swing

FAQs

Q. What is swing dance?

A. Swing dance is an umbrella term to describe several vintage dances which developed in the 1920s to 1940s, danced to the big band jazz and swing music of the era. Of these dances, we mainly teach Lindy Hop, Charleston and some Solo Jazz. Here’s some examples of each: Lindy Hop, Mix of Lindy Hop and Charleston & Solo Jazz.

Q. Do I need to bring a partner? Can I learn with my {insert person here}?

A. In class, we randomly partner everyone up, and then frequently rotate partners during the lesson, so no, you don’t need to bring a partner. If there’s someone you’d like to learn with, that’s great, bring them along! You won’t be dancing together all the time, but you will be learning to dance together. If you don't want to learn a partner dance, maybe you could give our solo jazz classes a try.

Q. What clothes should I wear? What shoes should I wear? Do I need to bring anything else?

A. Just wear something comfortable, if you can walk in it, you can probably dance in it. It can get warm in class, so layers you can remove are a good idea, and shorts and t-shirt are perfectly acceptable, especially for a solo jazz or charleston class. As for shoes, pretty much any flat shoes should be ok. Lace up plimsolls/pumps are a popular choice. Just bring yourself, enthusiasm, and maybe a bottle of water.

Q. Do I need any dance experience?

A. Our beginner or open classes are open to anyone and suitable for complete beginners, no previous dance experience necessary!

Q. Are there shows and/or competitions?

A. Swing dance is primarily a social dance, and as such, we aim to get you dancing socially. Social dances are a great way to meet new people and practice your new moves on the dance floor! Generally, we don’t really perform or compete, however, we do plan to take trips to different swing dance weekend camps held around the country. Sometimes, these include competitions, which you can choose to enter if you’re feeling competitive! Normally, these still take the form of social dancing, where you’re matched with a partner at random, so you don’t need to train for them.

Q. You've mentioned it a few times now, what it social dancing?

A. Partner swing dances, such as Lindy Hop or Charleston, are social dances. Learning to swing dance is sort of like learning a new language, and everyone who learns throughout the world learns the same 'language'. This means you can attend 'social dances' and follow or lead your partner in a dance improvised to the music. Once you've had a chance to learn the basics, we'll be organising trips to social dances, so you can practise your new moves on the dance floor. If this sounds scary, don't worry, you've probably already been social dancing in class, when we've given you a few moves and then stop calling out which move to do when.

Q. How much are lessons? Do I have to join the society? I’m not a student, can I still come? How do I pay for membership/classes?

A. You don’t have to be a member to attend classes, but they are cheaper for members. Classes are £4 each for members (membership is £3) and £5 for non-members. We also sell a semester pass for just £20, which lets you come to as many classes as you want. You don’t have to be a student to attend or join, as we also accept associate members. To join as an associate member, you first need to join the SU as an associate member (instructions here), and then you can buy membership at the normal price. You can buy membership online, on the SU website, or at the SU Box Office in Portland Building. Semester passes are also available online, or you can pay for classes on the door.

Q. It’s week {insert number here} and I really wanted to try swing dance, but haven’t made it to your classes yet, can I still come?

A. Of course! We run our classes on a drop-in basis, so feel free to come or bring your friends along at any time. We start each class by going over the basic steps, but maybe mention you’ve not been before when you arrive.

Q. Is it fun?

A. Yes! Come along and give it a try!

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General Secretary
Hollie May Taylor
President
Lewis Newton
Social Secretary
Jonathan Mann
Treasurer
Edith Helewise Ginestier
Vice President
Alice Diana Milford Linton
 

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