‘Improvers’ Category

  1. Don’t Let The Triple Step Pass You By

    October 16, 2021 by Joo-Lee

    Our Social Dance courses will help you to improve and sharpen your pass-by technique, to let you perform the move more clearly and easily. If you are an experienced dancer who is familiar with the pass-by, it will pay dividends to work the finer details of pass-by technique, as this will help prepare us for the ultimate Lindy Hop move – the Swingout.

    The pass-by and the Swingout combine many movement elements and many many layers of rhythm – so I’d love you to take this opportunity to enjoy each mini move and each little element to solidify your core technique, rather than rush ahead now, and then have to fix your pass-by or Swingout later on.

    One of the most important aspects about being a good partner is to have good rhythm. We connect with our partners in different ways, so when people say “I want to connect with my partner”,or “I want to have better connection from my partner”, “How do I connect with an advanced leader”, or “I want better connection when I’m leading”, I’d say that you need to start with yourself and focus on developing your own technique. Your ability to stretch will connect you but your rhythm is key. If your rhythmic accuracy is off, then no amount of good stretch will make it work.

    So to help you improve, I’d like you to practise your Triple Steps by watching short 20 second videos of your feet. Check whether you’re dancing flat-footed or are you rolling through your feet. Check whether your ankles are flexing a little rather than looking stiff. Check if you have enough of a bounce. Check if your arms are swinging from your shoulders or if your arms are still and your hands are gripping. All these habits will affect your Triple Steps.

    By thinking about the techniques when practising and by repeatedly training your body to develop good habits, you will be able to enjoy dancing without over-thinking, even when you are combining exciting moves and rhythms on the fly. Our next Social Dance course begins 2/3 November. Come & join us!

    Check out the course details here.


  2. Get Ready to Social Dance Again

    August 5, 2021 by Joo-Lee

    Shim Sham, Tranky Doo
    Lindy Jazz Dancers dancing together in the hall after months of practice on Zoom

    As a Lindy Hop dancer, you’ll know that the absolute best things about coming to classes are meeting other people and dancing with different partners in a warm and wonderful social environment.

    But how do you do that in a world where we still feel unsure about giving people a hug?

    Covid rates are still high, so that means it’s not yet safe to dance in the sociable way that we used to.

    However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t use this time to prepare for when we can social dance and dance with partners again.

    You see, many people think that social dancing is about dancing in close contact or it’s only possible if you dance in pairs.

    But really, social dancing can be whatever you want it to be.

    Want to dance with friends, old and new?

    It’s the perfect chance to have fun and see your friends.

    Don’t feel safe being in close contact right now?

    You don’t need to be. You can dance Lindy Hop solo, in pairs, or in groups of 3, 4, 5, or more.

    Hopefully, very soon, we’ll all be partner dancing again, but for now, why not work on your skills so you feel confident when the time comes?

    First, there’s something I need you to know.

    Learning partner dancing skills does not require you to:

    • Have a dance partner or have close contact with anyone;
    • Lead and/or follow a partner;

    Confused? Don’t be!

    The most effective ways to hone your partner dancing skills are:

    Mastering your own movement

    If you’re not in control of your own movement and coordination, this affects your dance partner.

    Improving your dance vocabulary

    This means learning as many moves as you can BEFORE you partner up. That way, you’ll have the confidence to dance with dancers of different levels when social dancing is back again.

    Improving your leading and following skills

    If you have a partner, you can dance with them in hold, as we all did before the pandemic. If you don’t have a partner, this can be done with ‘shadow dancing,’ where no physical contact is needed. Often, dancers over-rely on physical contact to help them lead or follow and this can affect the flow of the dance.

    Do you want to be confident with all of this and more?

    Get yourself back into the swing of things for the social dancing comeback with our next course which starts 7th September.

    The course is designed to get you feeling confident enough to enjoy social dance events again.

    Don’t let fear or a lack of confidence stop you from doing what you love.

    Learn new moves, rewind and re-learn the moves that you used to know, and learn to lead and follow with confidence.

    Your next social dance event awaits.

    What are you waiting for?

    Click here to see the course details.

    • 6-week course – Tuesdays 7 September – 19 October 19:30 on Zoom
    • 6-week course – Wednesdays 8 September – 20 October 19:30 at St Aidan’s Church Hall, Durham DH1 5BL
    • Workshop and Social Dance – Saturday 23 October – 12:00 at St Aidan’s Church Hall, Durham DH1 5BL


  3. 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.