July, 2014

  1. A little more than just a dancing partner

    July 24, 2014 by Joo-Lee

    We don’t usually play cupid in our classes but Scott Cupit and Joo-Lee Stock knew they had to do something when they saw Toby and Vicci at a Lindy Jazz workshop one Saturday afternoon. See what Vicci has to say. . . .

    Swing dancing is such a sociable hobby; you get to interact with so many people in a short space of time, especially thanks to Joo-Lee’s “thirty second relationship” rule during class rotations! Seriously, though, dancing provides you with a great social life – and not just at the weekly classes, as many dancers meet up socially away from the dance floor as well.

    I started swing dancing in 2009 about a year after graduating from university; many of my friends from my four years of study had moved away and I found myself, as many new graduates do, facing the realisation that my life would now consist of full-time work and far less fun. I didn’t want my work colleagues to be the only people I saw! I didn’t join Lindy Jazz specifically looking for a partner but, like most singletons (I suppose), I was open to the possibility of meeting someone.

    I first met Toby, who I will be marrying on 24th July next year, in As You Like It at one of Joo-Lee’s Blues nights in late 2009. But that was that for a couple of years; we knew each other to say ‘Hi’ to on the occasional nights that Toby was able to come to Lindy Jazz, since he was working in Scotland until 2013. All that changed in November 2011, when Joo-Lee and Scott Cupit from Swing Patrol in London (maybe you saw his success in Dragons’ Den on Sunday night?) began their match-making… Even after some gentle (ahem, actually, subtle as a slap round the face) encouragement from the two of them, still, no sparks flew. It wasn’t until the Lindy Jazz Snow Ball the following month, when we actually engaged in a conversation beyond “Hi, how are you?” that we decided to give it a go.

    Vicci Tarry

    We still dance together now and then, though definitely not as often as we should. Otherwise hectic lifestyles and a geographically-challenged relationship over the last two years (between us we have lived in Newcastle, Leuchars, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Catalonia and Worcester in that time) have meant we’ve been away from Lindy Jazz for far too long. This will change when we return to the north east properly in September!

    It does seem silly that I now rarely dance with the man I will be spending my life with, as it is a great way to connect. Many people who dance and whose (romantic) partner doesn’t are very envious of people like me who have a dancing partner in more ways than one! We really should make the most of it! As we will both continue to be very busy in the coming year, maybe going to Lindy Jazz together will be the motivation we need to spend quality time together!

  2. Mr. & Mrs. Cheason

    July 4, 2014 by Joo-Lee

    Mr. & Mrs. C Part One – Stephen

    “Some forms of dance don’t have the kind of adrenaline you get with Swing, even with the subtlety of something like Balboa”

    Like any good North East man Stephen (AKA Mr C./Swing Commander) says that he loves his football. His main hobby, however, is dancing. He says he and Tracey have managed to keep it to a minimum and not let it take over their lives… “We’ve kept it down to three, four, five nights a week, a couple of weekends, pretty much every weekend”.

    Stephen says he was less than convinced by the idea of dancing to begin with but when Tracey presented him with a dance school that had its own licensed premises he found it hard to resist … “I thought ah well, there’s a bar, how bad can it be.  At least I can have a drink”. That was 11 years ago!

    Mr & Mrs C 1

    Initially trying various dances including Latin, Ballroom and Modern Jive the lure of tasselly dresses proved too much… for Tracey and so they came to Lindy Jazz. Although still dancing Latin, Ballroom and Argentine Tango socially Mr. C has an obvious soft spot for Swing dancing. He says it’s sociable, high energy, has a good buzz about it and is a great mood lifter

    Stephen’s favourite memory is reaching the final of the ‘Jack & Jill’ competition at DJam 2013, his first ever competition! “Ultimately I didn’t win, but it was just great to be considered good enough to compete with 4 or 5 of what I would consider the best guys dancing in the UK”

    To anyone thinking of coming to Lindy Jazz Mr C says you need a few lessons before you start to relax. “If you already knew how to do it you wouldn’t need to come to classes. I’ve seen lots of people come and think they’re not able to learn this but almost everybody who has persevered has learnt it!”


    Mr. & Mrs. C Part Two – Tracey

    Mr & Mrs C 2

    “Lindy Jazz was different. There was a good crowd getting involved from the start, that’s why we stayed and ended up dancing more and more”

    Tracey (AKA Mrs. C) loves dancing! A Contracts Engineer for a manufacturing company by day, Tracey seizes every opportunity to immerse herself in dance. When she’s not learning to dance or dancing socially, you’ll find her attending music gigs or at the theatre – she saw Ballroom stars Vincent and Flavia perform live the other week!

    Ever since she was young (and saw Dirty Dancing) Tracey had wanted to dance and with the art of gentle persuasion (otherwise known as a bar and the fact Darren Gough won ‘Strictly Come Dancing’!) she convinced Stephen to give it a go. “When we first learnt we went on a cruise and just used to get up and dance and find our own way, we really enjoyed it”

    After trying Latin, Ballroom, Salsa and Modern Jive as a result of a 40s weekend in Pickering, they decided to give Swing dancing a go and stumbled upon a Charleston class – cue Lindy Jazz. 5-years later they’re still with us and we couldn’t do without them!

    The best memory for Tracey is when she and Stephen were invited to the RAF Summer Ball 2-years ago, where they taught a taster class to the Officers and their wives. Tracey thoroughly enjoyed teaching a mixed ability group and was so enthusiastic about the experience, “you could see elements of the dance we were teaching and people really enjoyed it”

    If you’re new to dancing Mrs. C says, “Come and give it a go. Everybody’s friendly! You can have fun and we don’t take it too seriously at all. It’s about getting yourself moving on the dance floor”. Truer words have never been spoken.

    Next time you’re at Lindy Jazz grab Mr. or Mrs. C for a dance, I can guarantee you’ll feel relaxed and have tons of fun!