Any Lindy Hopper can do a swingout, but how many Lindy Hoppers can do a swingout that meshes with, flows with, and becomes a part of the music and its rhythms in the way that Frankie could, or the way that today’s best swing dancers can?
It is often hear it said that Lindy Hop needs swing music – that the two go hand in hand, but why is this?
Swing music and Lindy evolved together, but what does this mean? Why does it matter? And how does it affect our dancing?
I feel some of the answers can be had by taking a good look at swing music – its history, the musicians who created it, how swing orchestras work, the elusive, mysterious and sometimes downright baffling secrets behind what swing is… by developing our understanding of this, we can take steps to improve our musicality and dancing, to enjoy our dancing more, and to really enjoy swing music on a much deeper and more rewarding level.
As dancers, as DJs, consciously or otherwise, we all find ourselves on some kind of musical journey, where our skills and tastes continually refine and develop. My DJing has put me on a personal quest to try to develop my own understanding of swing, initially to help choose better music for Lindy Hop, but later on through an increasing fascination with the music, its history, and its great artists.
Swing Music Seminars
To this end, in 2011, I began to work on seminars intended to take people on tour through through my own personal musical journey, some of the discoveries I’ve made, and some of the conclusions I’ve come to. In the process, I aim to improve people’s musical knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment, and help them take their own next steps towards an improved feeling for the music and the dance.
Swing DJing Seminars
I also give workshops on swing DJing, covering a wide range of topics including essential (and useful) equipment, software, finding music, constructing sets, reading the floor, working with the energy and natural flow of a dancefloor, working with bands and playing band breaks and others.
Where and When?
I’ve given these workshops at a number of events in the UK and abroad, including DJam, Swing Summit, Hullzapoppin’ and others.
Upcoming dates are:
- July 6th, 2016 – Durham in the UK.
- August 12th – Tenhola in Finland – it’s a great honour that I have been invited to this wonderful event for the third year to DJ and give talks.
- January 20th – DJam in Durham.