Posts Tagged ‘Lindy Jazz’

  1. Mirror, mirror on the wall…

    September 17, 2014 by Joo-Lee

    Last month we held our third ‘Brush Up’ workshop in a mirrored fitness studio at Healthlands Gym – it was time to take a good look at ourselves and reflect upon our dancing!

    Fourteen dancers signed up to smooth out their dance technique and polish their moves with the hope of achieving a shinier finish… okay, okay, enough of the wordplay.

    In July we talked a lot about feedback and encouraged everyone to ask for feedback and also to carry out ‘self-feedback’. When our ‘Brush Up’ group first entered the studio, what we found interesting was that some people were trying to find a hiding place away from the mirrors! In my opinion there are two thinking habits responsible for this:


    Thinking Habit No.1

    “I don’t want to see what I look like.”


    Why not?


    Cue Thinking Habit No. 2

    “I don’t want to make mistakes.”

    Why not? I believe that we need to change these thinking habits. If we don’t look at ourselves whilst we dance how do we know what looks good, what doesn’t look good or what we’d like to change? If we try to avoid mistakes or are afraid of making them how do we learn from them and improve?

    Mirrors are so useful! Instead of imagining what you look like when you dance just take a look in the mirror and see for yourself. I can guarantee you won’t look as bad as you think and it’s a great way to improve your dancing. If your posture looks bad, for example, then a tweak here and there could make all the difference.

    So, take a look to see what areas you need to “Brush Up” and come along to the next workshop at the Globe, Newcastle.



  2. Progressing with Lindy Levels

    September 11, 2014 by Joo-Lee

    From October 2014 we’re introducing dance levels at Lindy Jazz Club, mainly in Lindy Hop. The reason behind this is so that people can feel clearer about where they are with their own dancing and where they would like to progress to.

    All sorts of things affect our progress when we learn anything, especially with dancing. Recently I read a book called “The Inner Game of Music” where the author talks about a formula called: “Performance equals potential minus interference”.

    We all have a huge amount of potential to be great dancers. Sometimes we go to more workshops in order to increase our level of performance when actually one of the things we can look at is our interference or barriers, things that stop us from learning, such as, time; self-belief; fear and health.

    We’re not judging people’s dance ability from a competitive or performance perspective. We don’t want our dancers to ‘prove’ they’re good at dancing; we just want them to develop an awareness of their own ability, which is the reason we’re bringing in this idea of levels.

    Here are Andy’s thoughts on levels.

    “Every workshop we do helps us with some essential skills, taking us another little step along the way. It’s very easy to think that you can go to a workshop and suddenly go from say a Level B to a Level C but we can’t expect to come out of the workshop elevated in our dancing, or at least permanently elevated, no matter how the workshop has changed us in the short term.

    The thing with advancing in Lindy or any other dance form, I believe, is that it takes solid practice. Most of us have busy lives and we don’t have the time to devote to practicing day in day out, so our progress is actually quite slow. With nicely defined class levels people can have a degree of confidence in knowing where they are in terms of progress”

    As the community grows we need to meet the expectations of different types of dancers. In a partner dance class you are dancing in the rotation, so what’s important to us is that every dancer develops their own clear awareness of where they are, so as not to hold themselves or their partner back.

    If you are, for example, a Level C dancer, you may expect everyone in the Intermediate class to be able to swing-out with a Texas Tommy variation and be expecting to learn further variations. If the teacher then has to explain the swing-out from scratch it could take another hour, by which time there is no time for any variation.

    There is no perfect system. Lindy Hop was a street dance people taught to each other and was never designed as a dance form to be taught in classes. This idea is not designed to make people feel that they are being labelled a ‘good dancer’ or otherwise, it’s about being able to identify where we are with our skill level and then aiming to improve that level and reach our potential.

    So, take a look at the ‘Lindy Jazz Levels’ and see if you can identify all the skills that you already have, the skills you wish to review or any new techniques that will take you to the next level.

    Register your interest in the workshops by emailing to be the first to hear about upcoming dates.

  3. 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!