‘Health & Fitness’ Category

  1. It’s OK To Be Confused

    May 14, 2022 by Joo-Lee

    So, you’ve been swing dancing for a while, and you’re no longer a ‘newbie.’ Next stop for you, you want to be an awesome dancer. However, there are a few things that are getting in your way.

    • You are short on time and want to get to grips with new moves as quickly and as easily as possible;
    • You are short on patience and you want to fast forward to being an awesome dancer NOW!;
    • You are sometimes short on energy and you’re worried that you won’t be able to keep up with anything complicated, or even get your head around it in the first place.

    Well, let me remind you of my mantra.

    If you want to be an awesome dancer, you have to learn to RELAX, RELEASE, and RECEIVE.

    Relax, Release, Receive: The Steps to Discovering the Joy of Swing Dance

    Let’s look at how this might work.

    Say you find yourself feeling confused in lessons at times when new, unfamiliar concepts or movements are introduced. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable when your comfort zone is stretched. What’s your default reaction? You probably feel the need to seek what is comfortable, familiar, and easy to implement. If you feel like this is not available to you, you might want to throw your hands up in the air and give up.

    But what if you just kept going and kept following the lesson?

    It’s a bit like when I’m driving through an unfamiliar place and I feel lost. I have my sat nav to guide me, but how many of us have trust issues with our sat nav. We need it, but we doubt that it can get us to where we want to go. Then we feel that familiar tension of ‘should I follow the instructions or not?’

    Whether you’re feeling confused in a Swing Dance class (in person or on Zoom) or you’re trying to trust your sat nav, here’s what you need to do.

    RELAX– Just take a breath and decide to keep following the instructions.

    RELEASE– Stay with the ‘not knowing’ or ‘I’m confused’ feeling for a few minutes. You don’t need to understand everything immediately. It’s okay to not be clear on everything, every step of the way.

    RECEIVE– After you’ve relaxed and released the need to understand everything and get it right, everything will come together. I promise that by the end of your lesson or course, there’ll be no more confusion!

    Why Our Courses Help Your To Be Awesome Dancers

    In our taster-style dance classes which are often presented at events as a one-off experience, you are invited to copy the teacher and dance along. This way you get quick results and everyone is happy!

    When you attend a Lindy Jazz course, you get much more than a ‘copy along’ class. You get to develop real and lasting skills so you have a clearer understanding of Swing Dance. This is what will help you dance with style and confidence. The second way of learning takes a little more time, but what you invest, you get back out. By the end of your course, you’ll be so pleased with the way you dance.

    Are you New to Dancing?

    Your Lindy Jazz teachers know how scary it feels to try something new if you’ve never danced before. That’s why we’ll always be gentle with you and help you to take the easy steps to building some great foundations so everything makes sense.

    No Longer New?

    Are you itching to take your dancing to the next level? It’s time to be adventurous! Don’t forget, your reptilian brain may be triggered when it’s faced with something new and unfamiliar. The ‘panic’ brain over works and over thinks in an effort to protect us from anything we aren’t familiar with. Switch on your ‘thinking’ brain if you can and this will help you focus on the class and all the wonderful new moves you are learning!

    Dancing is all about having fun. We don’t take it too seriously, and neither should you.

    What we are serious about is helping you discover the joy of Swing Dance.

    Are you ready to feel the fear and become an awesome dancer anyway?

    You’ve been Swing dancing for a while, and you’re no longer a ‘newbie.’ Next stop for you, you want to be an awesome dancer. However, there are a few things that are getting in your way.

    • You are short on time and want to get to grips with new steps and routines as quickly and as easily as possible;
    • You are short on patience and you want to fast forward to being an awesome dancer NOW!;
    • You are sometimes short on energy and you’re worried that you won’t be able to keep up with anything complicated, or even get your head around it in the first place.

    Well, let me remind you of my mantra.

    If you want to be an awesome dancer, you have to learn to RELAX, RELEASE, and RECEIVE.

    Relax, Release, Receive: The Steps to Discovering the Joy of Swing Dance

    Let’s look at how this might work.

    Say you find yourself feeling confused in lessons at times when new, unfamiliar concepts or movements are introduced. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable when your comfort zone is stretched. What’s your default reaction? You probably feel the need to seek what is comfortable, familiar, and easy to implement. If you feel like this is not available to you, you might want to throw your hands up in the air and give up.

    But what if you just kept going and kept following the lesson?

    It’s a bit like when I’m driving through an unfamiliar place and I feel lost. I have my sat nav to guide me, but how many of us have trust issues with our sat nav. We need it, but we doubt that it can get us to where we want to go. Then we feel that familiar tension of ‘should I follow the instructions or not?’

    Whether you’re feeling confused in a Swing Dance class (in person or on Zoom) or you’re trying to trust your sat nav, here’s what you need to do.

    RELAX- Just take a breath and decide to keep following the instructions.

    RELEASE- Stay with the ‘not knowing’ or ‘I’m confused’ feeling for a few minutes. You don’t need to understand everything immediately. It’s okay to not be clear on everything, every step of the way.

    RECEIVE- After you’ve relaxed and released the need to understand everything and get it right, everything will come together. I promise that by the end of your lesson or course, there’ll be no more confusion!

    How Our Courses Help You To be An Awesome Dancer

    In our taster-style dance classes which are often presented at events as a one-off experience, you are invited to copy the teacher and dance along. This way you get quick results and everyone is happy!

    When you attend a Lindy Jazz course, you get much more than a ‘copy along’ class. You get to develop real and lasting skills so you have a clearer understanding of Swing Dance. This is what will help you dance with style and confidence. The second way of learning takes a little more time, but what you invest, you get back out. By the end of your course, you’ll be so pleased with the way you dance.

    Are you New to Dancing?

    Your Lindy Jazz teachers know how scary it feels to try something new if you’ve never danced before. That’s why we’ll always be gentle with you and help you to take the easy steps to building some great foundations so everything makes sense.

    No Longer New?

    Are you itching to take your dancing to the next level? It’s time to be adventurous! Don’t forget, your reptilian brain may be triggered when it’s faced with something new and unfamiliar. The reptilian brain over works and over thinks in an effort to protect us from anything we aren’t familiar with. Switch on your ‘thinking’ brain if you can and this will help you focus on the class and all the wonderful new moves you are learning!

    Dancing is all about having fun. We don’t take it too seriously, and neither should you.

    What we are serious about is helping you discover the joy of Swing Dance.

    Are you ready to feel the fear and become an awesome dancer anyway?

    Remember, when you feel uncomfortable, you’re learning & you’re improving!


  2. Letting Go Is The Way To Go

    November 20, 2021 by Joo-Lee

    Letting Go is the Way to Go

    In today’s blog, I want to talk about ‘relax, release, receive.’ When it comes to learning how to dance, I always tell my students and teachers that this should be their mantra.

    It’s a joy to see that so many of you are now more relaxed when you are dancing and that you’ve come so far. You’re no longer the nervous newcomers that you were at the beginning, so in many ways, you’ve achieved Stage 1. You’ve nailed the ‘Relax’ bit!

    Letting go is hard to do

    Achieving Stage 2: Release can take a little more time. Letting go is hard to do, especially letting go of the need to be right. This is because we’ve had years of conditioning and programming; that inner voice is always telling us that if there’s a lesson and a teacher, and you’re a student, you always have to get it right.

    Hands up who believes that you have to be good at something to enjoy yourself while you’re doing it?

    Well unless you let go of the need to be right and give yourself permission to enjoy yourself, whatever you’re doing is just not going to feel right.

    Allow the space for spontaneity

    Then there’s Stage 3 – Receive, the holy grail.

    That stage where you get to say ‘I get it!’

    But how to do you ‘get it’?

    You have to ‘Release’’; to let go of the need to be right. You have to release the pressure to be good at what you’re doing and allow the space for spontaneity to come in.

    Allow yourself to go wrong, allow yourself to wobble. Allow yourself to not know if you’re doing it right.

    If you don’t let go of the need to feel reassured all the time, you’re not going to reach the next stage.

    Use your ears, not just your eyes

    In many beginners classes, teachers will wrap you up in cotton wool and try to make things easier by getting you to copy them. I sometimes don’t let you copy me, which I know makes some people uncomfortable, especially if they are visual learners. But in Lindy Hop, you also need to get used to learning by listening and feeling.  Allow yourself to listen for the beat and to feel the rhythm.

    You might feel lost when trying to follow unfamiliar music. You may try to use your eyes to find a clue, an instruction, or a hint about whether you’re doing well. It can feel uncomfortable, but you know what? It’s okay.

    I’m allowing you to feel uncomfortable to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone. When you allow yourself to get out of your comfort zone, this is where the magic happens. This is when you will progress onto the next level

    The only real way to avoid being uncomfortable and not make mistakes would be to not dance at all. That would be a real shame.

    Have a go at letting go!

    So allow yourself to be uncomfortable. I’m inviting you to give it a go. In your next lesson, when you feel that urge to look for a visual cue, try listening to the music instead. If you feel lost, just remember, ‘I’m showing up, I’m doing the moves, I don’t need to keep assessing myself.’

    Everyone, have a go at letting go!


  3. Three Qualities You MUST HAVE to dance well

    January 5, 2021 by Joo-Lee

    Relax……

    Ever wonder why some people can pick up dance easily, while others seem to struggle? 

    Or why some understand what’s going on in a class while others only get a vague idea? 

    We’ll give you a hint – it has NOTHING to do with how hard they work to memorise moves!

    The main reason your moves might not be working as well as you want is your MOVEMENT. 

    Being able to move with ease is the secret to dancing well. Repeat after me: “Movement is not the same as moves”. Movement is about learning to move well. Moves are a bunch of patterns and sequences.

    You can have movement without moves – but you cannot have moves without movement.

    So what’s the secret for moving with EASE? 

    Here are the 3 Core Qualities of Moving with EASE: 

    1. Relax — If you are trying too hard and you grip your hips, your hands, your shoulders etc, or carry too much tension…. You will feel stiff. You will look stiff. Gripping and tensing will make it harder for you to move. Dancers who are relaxed look so cool. They make everything look so easy. That is because it’s easy (or easier) when you relax! Trying to force a move is a recipe for creating tension.

    2. Release — When you allow yourself to relax, your body is ready to move and your mind is ready to take in the information given to you in class. If you can relax, then the next step you can take is to RELEASE and that means letting go of tension and very importantly, letting go of the need to get everything right, right now. Allow yourself to miss a few things, stumble a little and feel like you don’t know everything. If you can release the need to be in full control all of the time, you will start to ‘get it’

    3. Receive — When you let go of the need to be right, to be in control and to make sense of everything, you will start to receive the information in class. When you can RELAX and then RELEASE the need to be right all of the time, you will be in a more receptive mood and you will take in more of the information shared with you. 

    Focus on relaxing and releasing and your dance will flow with natural ease.

    So go ahead, and give yourself the chance to let go and not have to know anything prior to joining a dance class.

    P.S. Have a specific dance question or want some feedback? Email us info@lindy-jazz.co.uk and we’d love to chat. 


  4. Why am I confused?

    November 27, 2020 by Joo-Lee

    Hands up if you’ve ever been confused in a dance class?

    You’re definitely not alone.

    So when might confusion happen and how do you deal with it?

    Confusion tends to happen when we have an idea about how something is, or how it will be, then we go to a class and we see it being presented in a different way to what we expected.

    Our brain is looking for a match; something that fits in with our ideas, and when our ideas don’t match someone else’s, confusion can occur.

    Confusion can also happen when we dance with a partner who may interpret the music very differently from us. What can happen in this case is that it throws us and we freeze, or feel tense and confused.

    My advice for when you feel confused is to not look for uniformity. We are not meant to dance in perfect unison with our partners or in exact timing. The thing you have to remember about social dance is that we’re all different. Our minds are different, our bodies are different, and so are our personalities and preferences.

    We can be ourselves in social dance, and therein lies the magic.

    Dance the steps you want to dance and do your own thing; you can still be a responsive partner.

    So for example, if I dance with my partner and s/he dances a different way to me, I can choose my response. I can either imitate my partner, do something that will contrast to what they are doing, or do nothing.

    What I always do when I’m dancing is tell myself to stay relaxed and open. That means I don’t feel under pressure to do anything or to try and match him.

    If you find yourself getting lost in confusion in your Swing Dance class, my suggestion is that when something presented to you and it’s completely in contrast to what you imagined it to be, try NOT to have a solution. You don’t need to be right, fix anything or analyse. Go with the flow.

    In the social swing dance world, the song is played once and that’s it for the evening. Just go with it.


  5. Not Just a Bunch of Moves

    October 31, 2020 by Joo-Lee

    NotJustaBunchofMovesWhat makes a great dancer?

    I’ll give you a hint: it’s not just about knowing a lot of moves.

    Learning to dance with Lindy Jazz, and dance well, is about having a balanced set of skills. Unlike other dance styles, Lindy Hop has no defined syllabus, curriculum, national or international standardisation, medals, or exams. It’s very free and easy, and the emphasis is on enjoying the social side of dancing and going with the flow. But to get the best out of your Lindy Hop experience, it pays to learn the skills you’ll need. Lindy Hop is not just a bunch of moves.

    Having lots of moves, steps, and patterns to draw from is important, but they are just some of the tools you need in your toolkit. Just having moves still might mean that you do them stiffly or you may be doing a bunch of moves that have nothing to do with the music. Or you could be doing a bunch of moves clumsily or you’re having to sit out for faster songs.

    The skills you need to be a great dancer

    Have a look at the worksheet I’ve put together. These are the skills that I think great dancers have, from my experience.

    If you don’t know what to look out for when you watch clips of amazing dancers on YouTube, it’s easy to think ‘Oh my God, they know thousands of moves!’ but Lindy Hop is not just a bunch of moves; to dance well, we need to add another set of ingredients into the mix like:

    Creativity: Those amazing dancers you see might really only have a small range of moves but they are able to change things up with variations and options, and when they trip up or make a mistake, they can fiddle their feet and it becomes a whole new move.

    That’s the beauty of Lindy Hop, it’s not a set of patterns to be repeated and regurgitated so you can improvise and interpret things in your own unique way.

    Great motor skills: Really good dancers have worked hard to develop excellent motor skills. They coordinate their arms, legs, head, everything. And of course, they can dance to a huge range of music, they don’t sit out because the music is too fast.

    Good cardiovascular (CV) fitness and flexibility: Great CV fitness helps dancers cope with faster music and good flexibility means they can dance with ease and grace, and avoid injury.

    Plenty of muscular endurance: Some dancers can dance all night at an event. They don’t seem to tire and they don’t get aches and pains. That is because they have developed good muscular endurance, either through dance or something else.

    Musicality: This means being able to listen to the music, understand what’s going on, and make our moves connect with it.

    In some dance styles, music is just in the background to create an atmosphere, but with Lindy Hop, music is a key component. Understanding the music is very important if you want to be an amazing dancer and get the most out of your dancing.

    Social skills: Some people may know a lot of moves but nobody seems to want to dance with them. This might be because they are unresponsive to their dancing partners or just find it hard to connect to people in general. Social skills help you become a great partner who responds to, and connects with others easily.

    Mindset skills: This involves training our brains so we can be fully present when we are dancing. This means not worrying about the mistakes you made last week, the moves you’re going to do next, or which song is going to come on. It’s also about being patient with yourself when you are learning and coping with new people, new technology, and new techniques.

    Understanding the cultural and historical context of the dance style: If you think that Lindy Hop is just a bunch of moves, what will happen is that you might dance Lindy Hop moves to different styles of music like rock or pop. Not that there are any laws against that, it just won’t really be Lindy Hop. Remember that the music affects the way you move, so having a good understanding of where the music comes from and of the origins of the dance will make you an even more amazing dancer.

    Celebrate your skillset

    On the worksheet, I’d like you to rate your level of satisfaction with each area out of 10. This is not about beating yourself up!

    Have a look at your skillset, think about the areas you are good at, and celebrate. Know that different people in our group have different strengths and weaknesses, and it’s all about social learning; we are learning together.

    Some of us might have great flexibility but don’t know so many moves. Some of us may have a good understanding of music but we may be a little uncoordinated. But together, we have all of these 10 skills and together we make a great community, because we are dancing in harmony. We don’t have to copy or be like each other.

    We have different backgrounds, different interests and preferences, and different bodies, but together we dance as a happy community. We dance to deepen our friendship and to experience our love and passion for dance together.

    Happy Dancing!

    Joo-Lee


  6. No longer new? What can you expect?

    February 23, 2020 by Joo-Lee

    Deep Roots Tall Trees

     

    So you’ve decided to continue your swing dance journey with us, and you probably have a few questions. Some of you may be excited about learning a few more moves, some of you want to improve your skills and some of you want to know how ‘levels’ work at Lindy Jazz.  In this blog post, I want to answer some of those questions for you, and give you some of my top tips on how to get the best from your swing dance class.

    No longer new? What can I expect?

    You can expect this course to be packed with great moves for you to try. Lessons will combine new material with helpful reminders of techniques that you need to practise to keep your swing dance foundation skills strong.

    What moves will I learn?

    The seven courses we teach at Lindy Jazz will help you learn everything you need to know so you can have fun and enjoy dancing to swing music. You will be taught the skills and moves that will enable you to dance at social events with confidence and ease, including how to dance to different rhythms, such as the Charleston and Triple Step rhythms.

    Welcome new beginners

    Many of the new beginners who join this course will be more nervous than you, so give them a smile and say something encouraging. We ask that you do not give them any feedback, even though it is well-intended, as it can feel overwhelming for new beginners to take in too much information at once. So just offer them smiles and lovely words, please. ☺

    When can I join the Intermediate course?

    If you have completed six (out of the seven) beginner’s courses, then it’s time to book on the Intermediate course. If you have completed fewer than six beginner’s courses, then book the next beginner’s course, which will consist of different material.

    Are all the courses the same?

    There are seven courses on offer throughout the year. Each course covers a different topic and equips you with a different set of dancing skills to add to your tool kit.

    What if I am no longer a beginner?

    After one course, some people may feel that they are no longer a beginner and they may want to skip the basics. We recommend that you focus on the basics, as they will provide you with the strong foundations needed to learn the more complex moves later on.

    What if I have other dance experience?

    Some people who come to Lindy Jazz with previous experience in different dance styles may feel that they are not beginners and they want to skip the basics. We recommend that you focus on the basics because there is quite a lot of material that’s completely different from other dance styles.

    What if I want to book the Intermediate course without completing six beginner courses?

    Please see Joo-Lee for options such as private lessons, workshops, and the opportunity to attend an audition.

     

     

     


  7. What To Expect At Lindy Jazz

    February 23, 2020 by Joo-Lee

    DJAM 2020 C-25-Ellie-Thomas

    So you’ve decided to start your swing dance journey with us, and you probably have a lot of questions. In this blog post, I want to answer some of those questions for you, and give you some of my top tips on how to get the best from your swing dance class.

    1. Relax

    This is a very informal course. You can try everything we show you in class, or you can choose to have a go at some parts of the material. The choice is yours. As long as you’re enjoying yourself and having fun, the rest is easy!

    2. Release the need for perfection

    If you are new to dancing, it is normal to feel you have to concentrate or try hard, and the chances are that the moves won’t come easy. But if you are concentrating too hard, your muscles (and your mind!) are tense, and this can stop you from just letting go and enjoying the dancing. We want you to relax, have fun, and enjoy yourself.

    So remember to release any tension in your arms, hands, knees, and also your mind. You don’t have to get everything right and no one is expecting you to. Just turn up, enjoy the classes, and I promise you that everything will click into place.

    3. Go with the flow

    If you allow yourself to relax and let go of the need to get things right, you’ll find that it’s so much easier to learn to dance. Learning the steps will come much easier when your mind and body are relaxed, so let go of any worries and just go with the flow.

    4. Get out of your head and connect with the rhythm

    Being able to relax your mind and release tension in the body can also help you feel the rhythm more easily. Great dancing is about connecting with a rhythm, so we like to encourage everyone who comes to our classes to repeat the rhythm with the teachers during the lesson. When you focus on the rhythm, the movements come easily. If you get caught up in looking at your feet, overthinking the steps, or constantly wondering whether you’re good enough, you’ll only find it more difficult to learn and have fun.

    5. Repeat, repeat, and repeat some more

    You will find that we repeat a few steps over and over in the lesson. This is because we want to practise the moves with you so that they become second nature to you. Repetition is very helpful when it comes to learning how to dance, so that’s why we recommend lots of practice and lots of repetition in order to build strong foundations. Having strong foundations will help you to learn the basics and the fancy moves much more easily. You’ll go from two left feet to competent dancer in no time, and have a great time doing it.

    We just know that you’ll fall in love with swing dance and we hope that these tips make it easier for you to get the most out of the experience.

    This is just the beginning of your dance journey, and we’re so happy you’re on it with us! For more details about beginner courses at Lindy Jazz, click here to read more.

    Happy Dancing!

     


  8. When Can I Join The Intermediate Class?

    February 6, 2017 by Joo-Lee

    So you’ve been attending beginner classes on and off for a while and you’re wondering when you can join the Intermediate Class? Here is everything you need to know!

    I’m often asked by dancers if they can join the Intermediate Class as the class time suits them better or they have previous dance experience in another style and therefore consider themselves to be able to pick up new steps quickly or they feel it’s been some time since they’ve started beginner classes, and although these are all valid reasons, there are certain skills and qualities that I look for before inviting dancers to join the Intermediate Class.

    It is worth noting that progress is not always related to the number of weeks or months that you have been dancing in the class. Progress usually relies on both attendance and engagement, so if you turn up to class regularly and engage as fully as possible, then your dancing will improve quickly, whilst if you attend class sporadically, you have to leave early and you rarely dance with other students, then your progress will be slower. It is important to really focus on building your basic Lindy Hop toolkit, so that you don’t struggle or hold others back in the Intermediate Class.

    What do I need to know about joining the Intermediate Class?

    When joining the Intermediate Class, you will be joining a group of experienced dancers who have been working on their dancing for a while. They are also keen to keep improving all the time, and although you can expect everyone to be very welcoming and encouraging, please bear in mind that when you rotate partners all of you will affect each other.

    If you’re interested in joining the Intermediate Class, then practice, attendance, an openness to teacher feedback and enthusiasm are key. My advice would be to stay back after class to practise with other dancers and to ask for feedback from your teachers as regularly as possible to build your foundation before moving to the Intermediate Class.

    The focus of learning to dance at Lindy Jazz is personal development; to build our skills, confidence and to gain more joyful dance experiences. Our focus is not social status so you will find that we are not concerned about which ‘level’ we might be. Within the Intermediate Class, you will find that some dancers are more advanced, more skilled and more experienced than others and everyone has different aims and learn at a different pace.

    What skills or qualities do you look for when inviting someone new to join the Intermediate Class?

    Every scene or community runs classes in their own way, and at Lindy Jazz, we have some expectations of what we’d like to see before you join the Intermediate Class. These skills are taught at our weekly classes and weekend workshops, and we encourage you to attend these classes before jumping into the Intermediate Class.

    1. a clear and consistent pulse (or ‘bounce’)
    2.  relaxed arms & shoulders that ‘stretch & release’ without over-extending
    3. a ‘free foot’ when shifting weight
    4. triple step footwork with ease
    5. Charleston footwork with ease
    6. an open attitude to feedback
    7. a positive response to mistakes e.g. joy instead of stress
    8. regular attendance at intermediate and beginner classes – every week if you can
    9. regular attendance at weekend workshops – at least once a month if you can
    10. regular practice – staying back to practise social dancing every week and practising your drills for 5 minutes every day if you can

    When I see dancers meet most of the above expectations, I will invite them to join the Intermediate Class. Sometimes, I may invite them to join the warm up drills at the beginning of the class and then to observe the rest of the class, sometimes, I might ask a lead-follow couple to stay with each other instead of ‘rotating’ for a couple of weeks until their basics are secure.

    Every class is different

    Please remember that there are no set rules in the ‘world of Lindy Hop’ and that every class is run independently so the expectations as explained in this blog post are created as a guide for classes at Lindy Jazz. Having said that all Lindy Hop communities are united along similar key philosophies which are joy, fun and friendship through social dancing, so keep dancing!

    Join Lindy Jazz classes on Tuesdays at Gosforth Parish Hall NE3 1YT

    19:30 Beginners’  Class

    20:45 Intermediates’ Class

    21:30 Social Dancing & Practice

    Join Lindy Jazz classes on Wednesdays at St Aidan’s Church Hall DH1 5BL

    19:30 Beginners’  Class

    20:30 Intermediates’ Class

    21:15 Social Dancing & Practice

     


  9. Do I Need To Learn Routines?

    December 9, 2016 by Joo-Lee

    Screenshot 2016-08-24 13.22.45

    New beginners often ask us to teach them a routine or a sequence when in fact, it’s easier to dance if you learn the skills to dance rather than try to memorise a lot of moves. So often we see new dancers  busy learning a whole bunch of moves. My question is, “Do you remember everything? Do your moves work when you social dance with dancers who haven’t done that exact class and those exact moves?” Perhaps what you’ve just learnt doesn’t work because you haven’t had the chance to consolidate anything and your body hasn’t had the chance to learn how to move. Then at social dances, you end up forgetting your moves.

    When learning a social dance such as the Lindy Hop, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut by just dancing patterns and routines, rather than learning to move naturally and confidently so that you don’t need to think and concentrate hard when you dance. If you develop the skills to move well and train your body to do what you want it to do, then you will be able to carry out new and exciting moves. I truly believe that we all need to learn how to move easily before being concerned about how many moves we can pull off on the dance floor.

    Using the building blocks and drills taught in class will give you structure, certainty and security when you dance. These are short phrases that you can practise over and over again until you develop the muscle memory for the basics, such as the pulse and rhythm. However, if you are new to this and have got used to set moves and routines, you may find it to be very unfamiliar but if you are able to spend 5 minutes a day practising these simple techniques, you will soon find dancing easier and more enjoyable.

    Then you might be asking yourself, “Will I have enough moves to get through a whole song without being boring to my partner?”. Well, the constant repetition of techniques like triple steps and Charleston kicks in class is not meant as a pattern for every dance, but rather they should be practised as useful drills that can help you to develop muscle memory, so that, with practice, you will be able to simply enjoy dancing without thinking consciously about the actual steps. When you start to intuitively dance like this and let your mind relax, then you will find it easier to move to the music in a fluid manner, which in turn will give your partner a really good dance too. In other words, knowing a few rules without being rigid with the rules can give you a lot of freedom!

    There’s no right or wrong way to dance, so if you prefer to dance a set of routines that you know, then that’s absolutely fine. As you gain more experience, you will find yourself naturally being able to take on these amazing and exciting skills.

    So if you’re keen to take your dancing to the next level, and wondering what skills you need to learn so that you get a strong grasp of the techniques to social dance with confidence,  then why not join us on Sunday 8th January for one of two excellent workshops, and give it a go?

     

     


  10. Share With A Beginner

    August 24, 2016 by Joo-Lee

    The Expert In AnythingI’ve been working on something new and I can’t wait to tell you about it!

    It’s mainly for beginners but if you’re not a beginner, it’d be fantastic if you can help by sharing this with your friends who are new to dancing. So, what’s going on…..?

    Well, it’s been a busy summer with quite a few of you coming for one-to-one private lessons. Beginners want to have a sense of control so they don’t feel embarrassed when they attend their first class, whilst experienced dancers usually ask for a check up and tune up, where they can get feedback and make better progress. So, it’s great to teach so many private lessons. However, as my schedule is getting a bit crazy (in a busy & exciting way), I have decided to create Swing Dance Beginner, an online course so more dancers get the chance to build some brilliant basics.

    This course is perfect for beginners who may be concerned about feeling embarrassed when learning to dance ‘in public for the first time’. By learning online in the comfort of your own home, you can learn how to do the basic steps  and build your confidence before you join a class.

    If you are no longer a beginner but you want to build strong foundations in your swing dancing, or perhaps you’ve missed a few classes and need to catch up, this course will not only show you what the moves are but will teach you how to do them step by step.  You can also use the video lessons on this course to practise in between lessons and if you do this,  you will soon become a more confident swing dancer.

    Registrations will be opening on 12 September so check it out here and be among the first dancers to join this new course!

    Plus…….. If you Invite Your Friends to join the Swing Dance Beginner online course, you will receive £10 off any one of the Lindy Jazz courses.

     

    Happy dancing!