February News

A round up of news from Manchester Lindy and chums:

MCRLX solo tickets have been on sale for 12 days, and 1/3 of the total number available for the whole event have already been sold! Follow and Switch tickets are currently £45 in person or £50 online. Lead and Couple tickets go on Sale at Manchester Lindy on February 24th, and online on the 28th at 11am.

Early bird prices end 1st April. At this rate we’ll sell out before that happens!

You can win an MCRLX 2015 ticket of YOUR CHOICE (Lead/Follow/Switch) at this Saturday’s Teapots and Twirls February Frolic in Leeds, where it (and a whole load of other awesome prizes) will be raffled in aid of SARSVL.

Tickets for Teapots and Twirls are just £6 (£5 LUU Swing Soc) in advance, or £7 (£6 LUU Swing Soc) on the door.

Tonight, Manchester Universities Swing Dance Soc will swinging out with TWO LEVELS of class for the very first time, more information here.

On Sunday, Taina will be teaching The Tranky Doo, one of the classic Jazz choreographies once performed by Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. Come along and learn how to Eagle Side.

After that there is a Level 2 partnered Lindy Hop lesson .

Tranky Doo Workshop: £10; Lindy Hop Workshop £8; Both £16
Students: £6 /£5/ £9 (only with valid student card, pls present on day)

Taina will also be rounding up the entire Big Apple on the 1st March. This is a chance to really nail this classic routine, hammering together all the parts you’ve learned at Manchester Lindy over the last weeks.

(week 4 of The Big Apple in Jazz class this Tuesday at Manchester Lindy’s Swing Social – we hope!)

If that’s whetted your appetite for more Jazz, don’t forget in May, Manchester Lindy will be hosting a four hour workshop with Trisha Sewell.

In person tickets £30 – available now. Online tickets £33 from 26th of February, details will be posted here on the ML website, and on the Facebook event.

AND The Lindy Circular is BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!  Thanks to Leanne for graciously accepting the title of Blogger-in-Residence.

AND Manchester Lindy dancer Daisy will be playing on Friday 27th February at the Longfield Suite, Prestwich, with her band the Swing Commanders…

AND The Hotsy Totsys are rehearsing for their public debut at MCRLX! Don’t forget to like their Facebook Fan Page.

I think that’s it, phew!

You’ll Never Feel Happy Until You Try

How comfortable do you think you are with trying new things?

(a blog about Xpress Your Swing dance camp, and the joys of Hip-Hop, by Leanne Frank)

Seriously, think about it. In a world filled from its crown to toe top-full of financial instability and climactic uncertainty, it is easy (and understandable) to cling to the devil you know, better than the devil you don’t. But if you are reading this, you already buck that trend, simply by taking part in a pastime that is outside of the usual Friday-night pub antics that take place in every other part of the country. But… seeing as you’ve made it this far, why not go a little further?
That brings me to the topic of this post: Hip-Hop. Now, before some of you start rolling your eyes with disdain, envisioning scantily-clad women twerking in front of some overpriced, gas-guzzling monstrosity, please hear me out. Whilst in its modern incarnation, Hip-Hop is very much a ‘Marmite’ genre, there are tangible links between Hip-Hop and the great Jazz musicians of the past. Those links, if acknowledged, can add infinite flavouring to your dance and help you see Swing music for what it really is: part of a timeline for the development of African-American (and beyond) culture, a timeline that is the focus of a dance camp that takes place from the 30th April to 3rd of May 2015 – Xpress Your Swing!
Like most people, when I think of Swing music and dancing, I think of elegance, glamour, artistry and craftsmanship which lets me wander the hallways of my jazzy ivory tower, obliviously dictating what Swing music ‘should’ be and not what it really was, and is. Alas, it wasn’t all soldiers and sweethearts; sex, drugs and illegal activities were as much a part of life back then as they are today. With art imitating life, that was obviously reflected in the music of the time. If you don’t believe me, do some digging into the lyrics of Julia Lee (you’ll never look at spinach the same way again) or the life of Jelly Roll Morton to get a real feel for the sinister side of Swing. Whilst the lyrical content may not be as overt as Jay-Z (a Harlem alumni himself) making inappropriate comments about Tina Turner with his missus at the Grammys, the sweet sound of Swing can sometimes leave a sour taste, as can life.
But back to what we came here for: the dancing. As previously mentioned, a wonderful camp has popped up in Montpellier which has chosen to celebrate this musical timeline through a mixture of Lindy, Tap, Solo Jazz and – you guessed it – modern Hip-Hop classes. The camp motto ‘you’ll never be happy until you try,’ has never been more appropriate as the entire weekend is designed for you to dabble, to tinker and to flirt with other styles of dance in the hopes that you will see that they are all parts of the same musical puzzle. For those of you who read the ‘Flying Solo’ post from a couple of weeks ago (and hopefully working on all your new steps from Taina’s classes), you will understand the benefits of trying out new things and breaking out of Lindy. You may find that you are better suited to Balboa or Tap but both of those things feed in to your Lindy Hop, if you’re willing to try.
I attended this camp in February 2013 and I was amazed at the similarities between Hip-Hop and Swing. It pushed me, it tested me and in all honesty, there were some moments of ‘I-won’t-be-doing-that-again,’ as I left a studio. But I tried everything. I learned that the tradition of new moves being created, disseminated and exhibited on dance floors across the country (if not world) never really went away; the names just changed. Anyone who has ever mastered a ‘skate’ will be able to ‘crank that’ like Soulja Boi, anyone who has ever bust out a ‘shimmy’ mid-dance will be amazed at how quickly they pick up ‘the wop’ in a dance class. The possibilities and opportunities are endless.
Sadly, I wasn’t in attendance at XYS 2014, but there are at least four ML patrons who were and I’m sure they’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about the camp, the classes and the atmosphere. I have said this before and I’ll say it again, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is the most terrifying and rewarding thing you can do for your dancing. Dip your toe in the water, try a new class and let it add flavour to your social dancing. Alternately, you might hate it and decide never to do it, ever again. Ever.
Whichever you decide: you tried, and for that reason, you should be happy.

Leanne Frank

Will Smith and Jimmy Fallon – Evolution of Hip Hop Dance

Xpress Your Swing 2013 – Montpellier from RecStep on Vimeo.

XYS Promo Feb 2013

Red Magazine

Absolutely blinkin’ ages ago Manchester Lindy appeared in Red Magazine.

I finally remembered to put it on our website…


The Lindy Hoppers

It’s 6.30pm on a Tuesday evening and the dulcet tones of Ella Fitzgerald are tempting a room full of dancers to move their feet. University students straight from freshers’ week; thirtysomething office workers escaping their desks; 70-year-olds who’ve dusted off their dancing shoes – these 80 people, on the surface, have little in common. But the one thing that brings them together? Lindy Hop, apparently.

Homegrown in Harlem, Lindy Hop is an American-style dance from the 1920s. It’s described as ‘jive, but more bouncy’, but you’ll probably recognise it as ‘the dance from that Gap advert.

Today, a burgeoning Lindy community tumbles into the art-deco Freemasons’ Hall in Manchester. What started out in 2008 as 12 people dancing in a room above a pub has become the Manchester Lindy – a mass of dancers clad in tweed, tea dresses and enthusiasm. Their mission? To swivel, spin and mingle.

Every Tuesday night, the sounds of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong mix with giggles, cheers and conversation, like a raucous version of the Netherfield ball. There’s even a licensed bar on the sidelines (call it Dutch courage).

For one of the group’s founders, Lisa Goddard, who runs a cake and dessert business, it’s ‘more of a social activity than a dance’. She first discovered it after finding salsa ‘very snooty’. At Lindy, you meet and talk to people while you dance. ‘It’s a cross between a class and a nightclub,’ she says.

Big cities like Manchester can feel hard to penetrate, so it’s hardly surprising that Lindy has become so much more than a dance class. Unlike with ballroom dancing, a plus-one isn’t a prerequisite and you dance with a number of different partners, so you’re constantly meeting people. ‘Lots of close friendships – and relationships – have grown,’ explains Lisa.

‘I’m even godmother to one member’s child. It really is a little community.’

Whether it’s the connections made while dancing hand-in-hand or the endorphin- boosting moves, it’s clear that an electric atmosphere unites the Lindy Hoppers.

Beck Rowaichi, an office manager, was bowled over by the emotional benefits of Lindy Hop. Before, she’d found dance groups ‘intimidatingly formal’, but Lindy’s warm, inclusive vibe left her feeling exhilarated. ‘Whether you’re good at talking or not, you’ll find a friend here,’ she says.

On Tuesday nights in a hall filled with laughter and the chitter-chatter of new friendships (as well as old ones), the Lindy Hoppers are whisked away to a bygone era. On the dance floor, stresses and to-do lists are irrelevant; jobs are forgotten; ages are of no consequence. This is musical therapy – with a twist.

For more details, see manchesterlindy.com

This article was published in Red Magazine in December 2013.

Thankfully, the writer, Natasha Lunn, did.

Manchester Lindy on BBC Breakfast with Scottie!

Manchester Lindy were pleased to join Scott Cupit on BBC Breakfast. Scott talked Swing dance, Lindy Hop and Frankie Manning while we had a little dance outside on the Quays.

We’ve gained lots of new members and met many new friends, so thank so much for asking us, Scottie!

If you weren’t up early enough, you can catch up up with what you missed on YouTube, following the links below.

Manchester Lindy’s dancing on the BBC breakfast show has also snuck onto Swing Nation in their Scott Cupit interview. You’ll see the brief clip around 19:40.

Thanks to Mark for spotting us!

(and who is that starring in the I Charleston Jersey clip? Why, only Daniel, one of the founding Manchester Lindy Committee Members! Glad you are still dancing!)

You can watch many more Swing Nation episodes by following this link to the Yehoodi Swings Youtube Channel:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzjqX9NieCmo2_YpwnKPpMQ

Hasse and Marie visit MANCHESTER!

Once again we at Manchester Lindy are getting our giddy knickers in a bunch – super-duper-Swedish Swing dancers Hasse Mattsson and Marie Nahnfeldt Mattsson are coming to town!

Limited Saturday places available!

(Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/320090408162683/?ref=ts&fref=ts)

Each session will include FOUR HOURS of teaching for the bargain price of £45. This includes entry to the Saturday night social.

As usual the Sunday will be slightly more advanced than the Saturday; if you are not sure which to book for come and speak to Andy C or Sid on a Tuesday or enquire on your booking email.

To book your place email your NAME, your MOBILE NUMBER, WHICH DAY / LEVEL YOU ARE BOOKING FOR to hasseandmarieinmanchester@hotmail.com

Andy C will email you back with confirmation of a place and payment details.

Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

A bit about Hasse and Marie

(from www.hasseandmarie.com):

“Hasse and Marie are internationally recognized for their high energy and spirit as Lindy Hop dancers and instructors. Their classes emphasize the use of musicality, technique and partner connection. Energy and focus on fun are constant elements to every class.

This couple have a lot of teaching experience, from beginners to competition couples, and they appear on the teaching line up for many established camps around the globe, including Herräng (Sweden), Camp Hollywood (USA) and Rock That Swing Festival (Germany) just to mention a few”.

Hasse and Marie dancing (first couple up, teachers Jam LSSF 2013):


(this video also features some of our previous guest teachers Isobella, Thomas and Alice!)

Hasse and Marie Interview for SwingTV (talking about Boogie Woogie, Bugg and Lindy Hop and why they are such encouraging, positive teachers):


Traveling? Workshops will end by 5pm, leaving plenty of time to get home.

Manchester Lindy will be also be hosting a Saturday night social dance from approx 19:30-MIDNIGHT.

Saturday workshop and social dance will be held at Manchester Masonic Hall, 36 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BT

Sunday workshop will be held at St Kentigerns Social Club, Fallowfield, M14 7DW

The workshops will start 11am on Saturday and Sunday and will finish by 5pm.

Social Dance
(Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/794841167241828/?fref=ts)
Come and dance with us at the beautiful Masonic Hall with great dance floor, as part of our Hasse and Marie weekend.

£5 on the door. Free to those attending the workshop.