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Frankie & Norma dancing the Peabody

Frankie Manning & Norma Miller dancing the Peabody, at Herrang 1997
Video of the Week #012

Named after New York policeman Lieutenant William Peabody, this brisk dance developed in the ragtime era of the 1910s and 1920s. With long gliding strides and a few syncopation's, you travel around the floor (similar to the foxtrot). When the floor gets crowded or you are just feeling playful, this is a fun dance to bust out!

This clip shows the legendary Frankie Manning, dancing with the amazing Norma Miller and doing the Peabody, the way it was danced back at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem NY. This was filmed at the famous Herrang Swing Dance Camp, in 1997. Frankie was then just 83 years young and Norma was a sprightly 78!!

The song is "Crazy Bout My Baby" by Fats Waller.

Stephen & Chandrae at RTSF 2013

Stephen Sayer & Chandrae Roettig  at the Rock That Swing Festival, 2013
Video of the Week #011

You will find loads of video clips on Youtube of Swing dance showcases (choreographed routines). This is a clip of the wonderful Stephen & Chandrae, performing at RTSF (Rock That Swing Festival) back in 2013. We just love the sheer energy in this routine.

The song is "Dark Eyes" by Jonathan Stout & His Campus 5.

Lullaby of Birdland

Lullaby of Birdland by Ella Fitzgerald, 1954
Song of the Week #010

Originally recorded in 1952, with music by George Shearing and lyrics by George David Weiss, this song refers to Charlie "Bird" Parker and the Birdland jazz club that was named after him. The song has become a Jazz standard.

A lovely smooth medium tempo jazz track, this is great for dancing too when you want to take it easy and just enjoy the moment.

Recorded by many artists (including Amy Winehouse), this version was recorded by the inimitable Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996) in 1954.

Lindy Hop At The Olympics

Lindy Hop At The 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
Video of the Week #010

Back in 2012, some of us had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic games, held in London! Not only did we get to participate in one of the greatest sporting events in the world but, WE ALSO GOT TO DANCE THE LINDY HOP!! Our section was dancing with the NHS as doctors and nurses, alongside actual NHS staff from all over the UK!

It goes to show that dance transcends all barriers, needs no language translation and is enjoyed the world over!

Brand New Classes in Richmond

We are really excited to be starting a brand new set of classes in Richmond in Surrey, from June 12th 2017.

SWING DANCE CLASSES AT No.1 DUKE STREET ON MONDAYS
A lovely venue just off the main shopping area, this independent neighbourhood bar and restaurant has a cool vibe and offers great food and drinks. We will be holding our dance classes upstairs.

BLUES DANCE CLASSES AT THE CRICKETERS ON WEDNESDAYS
One of the oldest pubs in Richmond and situated right on The Green, this lovely space is perfect for our Blues dance classes. Come for a class and then stay for some lovely grub!

Click <<here>> for more details of all our classes.

Skye & Frida at ALHC 2005

Skye Humphries & Frida Segerdahl  at the American Lindy Hop Championships, 2005
Video of the Week #009

You will find loads of video clips on Youtube of Swing dance competitions. This is a clip of the wonderful Skye & Frida  competing at the ALHC back in 2005. We just love the playfulness and musicality in this routine.

And check out the moves at around 1:51 into the clip. We told you that doing lots of triples to one side and also just doing hip shimmies are ACTUAL moves! It all depends of when you do them in the music ;-).

The song is "Look A There" by Slim & Slam.

Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey

Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey by Ella Fitzgerald, 1962
Song of the Week #009

Originally titled as "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home?" this popular song published in 1902 is commonly referred to as just simply "Bill Bailey". Its words and music were written by Hughie Cannon (1877–1912), an American songwriter and pianist. It is still a standard with dixieland and traditional jazz bands.

This version was recorded by Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996),  an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

Swing Dancing in Kid Dynamite

Swing Dancing in the movie Kid Dynamite, 1943
Video of the Week #008

Swing dancing has been captured in many movies over the years. In this light-hearted clip you have the famous Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan, along with other dancers, at a dance competition. You can see many different styles being danced here, with the additional 'quirky' moves also being thrown in!!

Wade In The Water

Wade In The Water by Eva Cassidy, 1997
Song of the Week #008

It' not only swing & jazz music that is great for swing dancing. This song relates to the Old and New Testaments and reflects the Israelites' escape out of Egypt. The original version of this song goes back as far as the 1920's. It has been recorded by many artists over the years and this version is especially great for slow swing and blues dancing.

Eva Cassidy was an American vocalist and guitarist known for her interpretations of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, country, rock, and pop classics. She passed away in 1996 and this version was released a year later.

Skye & Naomi at Uptown Swing

Skye Humphries & Naomi Uyama perform at Uptown Swing
Video of the Week #007

A couple of world renowned Swing dance teachers, performing at a social event for Boston based dance company, Uptown Swing. Also performing are the great Gordon Webster and his band.

We love this video clip because it has lot of lovely little bits all the way throughout the dance, without trying to be flash or fast or energetic ... just full of joy!

The song is "Crazy Bout My Baby" by Fats Waller.

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