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Archive for April 2013

Tuesday, 30th April, 2013

600 Minutes of Swing 2013

Dance shoes.. Packed.. Ipad.. Packed.. Clothes.. Packed.. Make-up (Charlotte’s).. Packed and off to the airport we go, ready for 600 minutes of swing, at St Andrews University, in Scotland. Given that it was a young student society, running their very first event, we had no prior expectations.

Friday night kicked off with a local 5 piece band and social dancing, with dancers from all over England, Scotland and some from other countries, making it an international event in year one. After a brief social teachers’ jam, with Charlotte, Cat & Alex, we took the opportunity to dance with all the early arrivals.

On Saturday morning, we were greeted by a mass of keen students in class ready to soak up, techniques, moves, swing dance history, Jamaican Patwa (Yeahman..!) and whatever we had to offer. It all went uphill from there, as we could see the difference and progression in the majority of the students from start to finish, with loads of crazy fun and laughter along the way.. Oh.. and the most amazing jokes.. lol..

The 600 Minutes of Swing class (Credit: Henry Legg)

We ended the day with a democratic vote for us to teach a taster class in Blues or Dips & Tricks. Due to both being very popular, we ended up with a tie, so the consensus was to teach ‘BOTH’ in one class, which could only happen in St Andrews.. Lol.. After a quick bite to eat, we arrived at the evening venue, which was nicely decorated, everyone dressed up and featured a big band on stage, playing classic swing, including ‘Jumping at the Woodside’ , along with DJ Sanne, from Copenhagen. The atmosphere was great, dance shows, fire shows, strolls, Lindy Hop Jam Circles, yet it was very friendly as everyone danced with each other.

However, I was not prepared for what was coming next.. I was asked to DJ at their very first Blues After Party. When I arrived, the venue was decorated with lots of comfy sofas, beds, soft lighting and the most amazing blues band, The Blues Water.. The sound was so authentic.. The venue was packed with students, grooving and moving, oozing and bluesing till 7:00am, where apparently certain students, didn’t bother going to bed..

Joseph and Charlotte bluesing the night away… (Credit: Henry Legg)

As we had previously told everyone, Sunday morning was repentance day and to get ready for punishment in class. We expected our first morning class to be prettty empty.. But Oh no.. The class was busy, even with those students with no sleep, ready for a fast Lindy Class. It was crazy, as absolutely everyone, ended the class with a Jam, dancing to Hellzapoppin !

When I thought things couldn’t get any better, the day ended with a chilled Tea Dance, at the Student Union, with 2 bands.

With nice venues, close together, beautiful cobbled street town and historic buildings, great classes, 5 bands, great organization and dancers from various countries, 600 minutes of Swing exceeded everyone’s expectations, particularly as it was their first event. Everyone had a great time and we’d like to thank the organisors for inviting us to be involved in their very first event, which has a promising future.


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Friday, 26th April, 2013

Angels, Billy Bros, Blues & Cider

Wow… what an amazing week it’s been in JiveSwing!

Thursday saw the arrival of 9 Italian musicians on our doorstep at 1am ready for our show at Canary Wharf that evening. After no sleep we all trekked into London to prepare for the evening and wow, what an evening it was! The band were on fire and everyone had a great time. I am SUPER proud of my wonderful Angels for pulling out all the stops and giving such a fantastic show that night and under so much pressure as well, performing alongside Sharon Davis, Dax Hock and Sarah Brek. It’s been a roller coaster in the weeks leading up but it was worth it!

JiveSwing’s performance troupe, Charlie’s Angels, performing at Canary Wharf, April 2013

So after 3 days of no sleep and looking after the Italian stallions the All Dayer was upon us. You guys were so great, I loved working on the ladies styling and its been soo nice to see you busting out on the dance floor this week :-) We were also privileged to have Jason Foster and Jem to come teach you to add to the mix.

We were all pretty much on our last legs by the time it came to the evening but when the Billy Bros started playing everyone seemed filled with so much energy the floor was on fire! It was so nice to see all the classes come together to swing out plus our visitors from near and far. The night ended with a Blues party which is something that will be implemented on a regular basis at socials as it was really popular.

The Billy Bros Jumpin’ Orchestra performing at the JiveSwing All-Dayer 2013 (Credit: Steve Merchant)

After going to bed at 3.30am I was up and out a few hours later to bid farewell to the Billy Bros and get to Pinner for some sunny St George’s Day celebrations. Dancing in the the street on a lindy hangover fueled by cider, ice cream and laughs… it was a pretty awesome day ending in a lovely meal and taking inappropriate photos in Prezzo!! Massive thanks to those that came along and the lovely Kara for organising… we even managed to get featured in the local paper.

So I’m now on the plane to teach in Scotland for the weekend after a great night in Welwyn last night on the Intermediate/advanced course… looking forward to seeing you all next week.

Ciao for now Charlotte xx

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