Our Classes and Workshops
Join us for regular weekly classes and one-off workshops for all levels and abilities, in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
you can learn a range of solo and partner dances, and there is no need to bring a partner for any of our classes.
Charleston is back!
Every Wednesday from 22nd January 2020!
Authentic Jazz & Charleston open class
Join us every Wednesday from 22nd Jan for an Authentic jazz & Charleston class where as usual we will be covering key moves of this iconic 1920's dance as well as introducing variations and styling for more experienced dancers. Improving your musicality, improvisation skills and coordination. A great way of having fun and improving fitness.
Time: Wed 6pm-7pm
Level: Open class, with variations of steps and moves for the more experienced dancers. Beginners are welcome!
Venue: Neal’s Yard Meeting Rooms
14b Neal's Yard, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9DP
Price: £ 10 (pay 4 classes in advance and have 1 free)
For more info: 0794 197 9949
Want to book one of our Swing dance Courses? Click the button for more details.
Swing dance styles
Think of the Charleston and you immediately conjure up images of flappers and The Great Gastby. The dance was created in the early 1920's and stemmed from authentic jazz, with moves borrowed from african-american dance stles such as juba. A fast rhythm and twisting step characterises the charleston. many people will recognise charleston steps such as 'grannies knee caps' and 'birdie walk', made famous by stars such as josephine baker.
Why Learn Charleston? The basic Charleston step is easy to grasp, enabling students to progress quickley into learning styling and variations. The Charleston can be danced solo or with a partner, making it versatile for all situations. The Charleston is also the originator of many modern dance styles and has brought about dance forms such as hiphop and funk, so those with a background in other dance forms will also gain from studying Charleston.
Lindy Hop originated in the 1920's and 1930's in Harlem, New York, drawing from Jazz and Charleston, and bringing African-American influences and combining them with a traditional european 6 beat or 8 beat count. The Lindy Hop is a partner dance with trademark moves such as the 'texas tommy' and can incorporate aerials such as 'over the back', many of which originated in the 30's in the renowned Savoy Ballroom. The most celebrated Lindy Hopper in history is Frankie Manning, who, together with groups such as Whitey's Lindy Hoppers popularised the dance and brought it into the mainstream.
Why learn Lindy Hop? The Lindy Hop is perfect for those who enjoy social dancing. A fun and creative dance, the Lindy Hop can be danced to a wide range of music due to it's long history. The Lindy Hop is also closely related to other forms of Swing dancing such as the Jitterbug and Jive and there is often crossover between the types.
The Jive is closely related to the Lindy Hop, with moves stemming from this dance. Jive became the most common form of swing dance after WW2 and it's heyday was the 1950's where the big skirts and petticoats in fashion led themselves to the twists and spins of the dance. Jive can be danced to any upbeat swing music but lends itself to boogie woogie and rock 'n roll. The dance is characterised by a bopping motion and lifting of the knees, along with a rocking or swaying motion of the hips.
Why learn the jive? As the Jive is classified as a latin ballroom dance, it is a great crossover for those who enjoy latin dances and want to try something new. If you love swing, and music from the rock 'n roll era, the jive fits in with this perfectly. It's a fun and social dance so great if you love dancing with others.
Swing dance is a term for a group of related dances, which all evolved in the 20's and 30's in the USA. The most popular style of swing dancing is the Lindy Hop, but others include Charleston, Jive and balboa. Swing Dancing is usually done to a range of jazz and swing music - from ragtime of the 20's to early rock n' roll from the 50's covering all the greats inbetween like glenn miller, artie shaw, ella fitzgerald and more! Swing dancing is a social activity and at Swing Out and Shimmy we enjoy attending swing dance events, and letting all of our followers and friends know about them too!