Count down to the (unreasonably early) Xmas party begins!

In the words on the great Noddy Holder “it’s CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIISTTTTTTTTTMMMMMMMMMMAAASSSSSSS’.

Except it isn’t. Not really, but due to a jam packed calendar of Lindy Hop events up north, we’re doing our version a week earlier than usual. 

Flash sale now on! Tickets only £5 via Dancefly.com until midnight Wednesday 23rd November.
PLEASE BRING A DONATION FOR STRETFORD FOODBANK!

Donate food

We’re incredibly excited to announce that this year’s Manchester Lindy Xmas party will feature Birmingham’s swingiest musical outfit, Martyn Nelson and the Rhythm Remedies! We’re returning to our favourite dance floor for an evening of ‘bring your own booze’ fuelled festive shenanigans.
Advance tickets only – £10 via Dancerfly.com
Plus! Charity cake sale in aid of NUV-HOP – http://nuvhop.weebly.com please bring along some baking to donate, and /or some cash to buy something tasty – this year’s charity has been nominated by Evie H – we’ll be donating all proceeds from the bake sale to Manchester Medical School students who will use it to fund their voluntary work, providing medical services to people in Uganda. 
Come and Swing Out with Martyn Nelson and the Rhythm Remedies on 27th November and help raise funds for our two nominated good causes.

We guarantee that you will want to get up and do your dancing thing, no matter how many mince pies you have consumed

Yes, yes. It’s a Sunday. Yes, we know some of you have to get up for work the next day, that’s why we are ending the main party at the civilised time of 9pm. 

And yes, we know some of you *don’t* have to get up for work on a Monday and definitely don’t *want* to go home at 9pm, so we’ve booked a second venue, The Robin Hood, a mere stumble across a car park away, for a bit of an after party. Entrance to the after party is included in the ticket price  but we ask you to register your intent to attend in advance. Entrance to the after party is limited so spaces will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. This is currently full but we will do our best to reassign places should they become available.

Party 1: St Matthews Church Hall,  Stretford (nearest tram stop, Stretford, Altrincham line) 5pm -9pm
Party 2: The Robin Hood, Stretford (nearest tram stop, Stretford, Altrincham line) 9pm onwards. 

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/622540734591475

Online sales here: https://dancerfly.com/manchester-lindy/manchester-lindy-xmas-party-martyn-nelson/order/shop/

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Manchester Lindy Awards 2015 – the results!

To accompany Dan’s sWingin’ It Xmas party post, here are the award winners, and the nominations too!

Massive thanks to everyone who attended the party, or indeed, attended any of our events in 2015. It’s been our busiest year ever, and as we’re always busy, that’s saying something!

‘Most Wonderful Wunderkind’ (dancing less than 2 years)
(for dancing or community endeavours)

Winner: Liam Craddock

Runner Up: Dan Potter

Other nominees (in no particular order): Luke, Jane, Alistair, Agne, Rebecca

Most incredible Intermediate’ (dancing between 2 and 4 years)
(for dancing or community endeavours)

Winner: Kunnaya Wimooktanon

Runner up: Sarah Sharpe

Other nominees (in no particular order): Daisy, Catherine, Victoria, Natasha, Ruth, Beck, Jeremy

‘The Elder (Scroll) Statesperson’ (dancing more than 4 years)
(for dancing or community endeavours)

Winner: Paula Hardy Kangelos

Runner up: Barbara Rockwell

Other nominees (in no particular order):Ben, Nataly, Leanne, Taina, Andy W, Murph

‘The Snowflake Award’
(for the most unique dancer)

Winner: Jeremy Pye

Runner up: Kevin Leach

Other nominees (in no particular order): Chris, Jared, Nataly, Jacqui, Amy, Natasha, Sabie, Sophie, Ben

‘Snazziest Sartorialist’
(for the person who always wears the fanciest of pants)

Winner: Daisy Thurkettle

Runner up: Natasha Evans

Other nominees (in no particular order): Ben, Sonia, Dave, Isobel, Leanne, Ruth, Paula

‘Hotelier of the Year’
(the hostess or host with the mostest or most -aka the person with the fullest abode after Lindy events)

Winner: Velody

Runner up: Kunnaya

Other nominees (in no particular order): Paula, Vee, Lottie, Sonia, Liam

‘Mr.Miyagi Memorial Award’
(the experienced dancer that takes the best care of newbies)

Winner: Amy

Runner up: Ben

Other nominees (in no particular order): Paula, Andy W, Andy C, Beck, Kunnaya, Chris, Katy, Leanne, Liam, Natasha

‘The Overall Awesome, a bit like Sir Frankie of Manning Award’

(we didn’t vote on this one, but instead totted up the votes across all the categories and the person with the most takes the prize!)

Winner: Paula

Runner up: Liam

(photos from the party – by the wonder Ruth Hornby Photography – can be viewed here and here)

And on the last Tuesday before Xmas, we had a casual J&J contest!

This started out with an amazing 38 entrants, whittled down to 3 couples by our 6 judges, with the eventual winners being decided by a publicly generated invisible applause-o-meter.

After a tie break situation the eventual winners were:

Isobel Heyworth & John Perry

and the runners up:

Beck Rowaichi  & Julian Harris and Toby Danger & Agnė Chu

Massive thanks to our 6 judges, Mark, Jenny, Meg, Amy, Andy C and Liam.

Same time in 2016? 😀

sWinging It – Week 16

sWinging It

Learnin’ to Lindy where everyone’s friendly

 

Week 16 (Magic Week)

Since the last week of the cycle had already been, this week was a bonus week. A sort of Christmas celebration plus extras. There was a beginners lesson on social dancing which was fun and I think especially useful for people who may have joined late and/or hadn’t had much social dancing experience. It was also lower pressure since it was a beginners class only social dance (although I did notice some level 2/3 people had snuck in 🙂 ).

Solo Jazz was not on this week which meant even more social dancing. Because a lot of people had already gone home or had other plans, the dance floor was not as pressured. Whilst this meant we didn’t get as much practice on the floorcraft front, I was secretly pleased because it does make dancing much easier.

I really enjoyed this evening! Watching the J&J was great fun and very inspiring. I was asked to represent the beginners as a judge but bottled it (I couldn’t bring myself to judge people given how little experience I have). This was a bonus because I really got to watch the dancers and clap along (on the afterbeat – I’m learning!). I had loads of fun looking at how they were picking up on different pieces in the music and watching how well some of the dances flowed. There was also a game of Lindy Musical statues (again good fun) and some Snowballs.

(Editors note: Scroll to the bottom of this post for the results of the J&J!)

So there were a lot of fun things going on and a fairly relaxed dance floor due to the increased space. All ingredients to make a great evening.

But the evening was even better than that. I would say the evening was definitely the best one I’d had in all my 16 weeks so far.

It wasn’t the activities. It wasn’t the dance floor. It was the people.

Most of the people there were regulars. I’d either been through the 12 week cycle with them, been taught by them, danced with them or been to the pub after/before with them. Considering how short a time I have been here there are now a surprising amount of people I would be happy to call a friend. I don’t know the ins and outs of all their lives but would definitely sit and listen sympathetically and gladly give them a hug afterwards. I’ve already been on the receiving end of their good nature and support.

When I turned up 4 months ago I expected to find a fun activity to see me through my first contract. I’ve ended up with a community I really feel a strong part of. I’ve ended up meeting people I really want to spend more time getting to know. I want to stay in Manchester. Lindy has changed my life.

Chances are pretty good I’m talking about you, the people reading this blog.

All the people that work hard to provide a great place to learn and grow.

The person with the amazing tattoos who was great about me blogging here in the first place and continues to be hugely supportive.

The person that danced with a rubbish beginner again and again (still does) and also happens to have awesome taste in music (and long, not short hair, it turns out).

The person that always seems to be the first to post about my blogs and is incredibly encouraging and funny.

The person that travels a really long way to teach or help every week and still stays out late after to chat (he’s also really nice).

The person who champions pre lindy pizza and always seems pleased to see you (when he isn’t insulting you on FaceBook).

The person who first invited me out to the pub afterwards and is always great fun when she comes along.

The person who always has some advice for me in rotation and happens to give an amazing hug dance.

The person who seems to insult everyone but is really a teddy bear underneath (he probably won’t like that description).

And so many more of you.

I was discussing with some other people what made this night so good and came up with the phrase ‘magic people’.

You are the magic people.

Thank you.

Dan

It’s been 16 weeks now. To know anything more about Dan I think you just need to go talk to him. He would be more than happy to see you.

sWinging It – Week 15

sWinging It

Learnin’ to Lindy where everyone’s friendly

 

Week 15 (Lesson Week 12 – last in the cycle!)

Before I jump into the last week of my first cycle (OK I started week 10 of the one before but I don’t think they count), a quick aside on the Christmas Party.

I had a great time! Pretty much everyone was dressed up (myself included) and up for a good time. Dancing to a live band for the first time was fun and challenging. I need to work on my fast Lindy. I did a lot of Charleston and was very pleased I’d learnt some 20’s Charleston at one of the MSDS* lessons. I was also very thankful for the few blues lessons I’d had on some of the tracks so I guess I could do with learning some slow Lindy too.

Other than dancing with loads of people and catching up with loads of people (and eating loads of cake!) my obvious highlight has to be coming runner up in the Lindy Hopper < 2 years category! I’m not sure if this was because of my dancing (really?) or my blog (they did say service to the community) so I’m going to pretend it’s both ;-). All of us got to start a snowball afterwards and snowballs are cool so that was fun!

(Editors note: Full results are over here!)

Congratulations to everyone who won or came runner up in all the categories and thanks to everyone who put my name down!

Week 12 was about musicality. Andy C and Sophie talked about a common structure for some songs. AABA – Each letter has 4 x 8 counts and different letters have a different feel and so call for a change in the dancing style. For example we did 4 lots of ‘normal lindy’ to each A and a set of 4 Charleston moves to the B. We also did some solo jazz at the end of a phrase (a set of 4). This was very enjoyable but I suspect will take some time to make work in the social – I’d need to start recognising a song as AABA in order to change the style and also find some way to communicate to my follow we were going to do something different at the end of the phrase (which also requires recognising and planning for the end of a phrase). Well at least I’m one step closer because I’m actively listening to the music again!

Solo Jazz was another great routine by Amy. I found this one tricky towards the end as I just can’t get the timing right going into the last break and I didn’t grab the name of the track to practice with (which really helps with knowing if you are out on the timing at that point). Facebook has fixed that (thanks Amy!) so I now know when I am nailing it and can practice comfortably at home. The only downside to Solo Jazz this week was my complete failure in bringing a spare top which meant I spent a good part of the start of the social dancing drying off in the window (eew).

I did a lot of dancing during the social and had great fun. Without going into details I’ve got a lot going on at the moment so I needed lots of dancing and the floor was happy to provide. 3 minutes of a song with nothing but the music and your partner to concentrate on is a wonderful antidote to life. Or as one person put it recently, ‘Lindy makes everything better. Science Fact.’ I 100% agree.

Afterwards a group of beginners went to the pub to celebrate the end of 12 weeks along with who I now think of as the regulars (myself included). It was a great way to celebrate the end of 12 weeks. I got a lemon beer in the Gas Lamp. It was amazing! My wallet didn’t appreciate it quite so much.

Next week is the last week before the Christmas break. No lessons just fun including a J&J ( Jack and Jill**). This is where leads and follows are randomly paired and perform a social dance (or more than one) in a competition. Not sure I’m ready to take part in this yet but will enjoy watching it!

Dan

*Manchester Swing Dance Society. I’ve mentioned them before – they are a great group of people (most of which tend to come to Manchester Lindy at least occasionally).

** Jack and Jill presumes gender in the roles of lead and follow so some people refer to it as J&J. Given I’m not a fan of gender stereotyping in any form I will go with J&J or any other gender neutral term.

If Dan was a lindy move which would he be?

Lindy Circle. Every time he thinks he is going somewhere he ends up back at the start! This is a reference to his dancing but could spookily be a metaphor for life. Anyway he is working up to a promenade (with pecks of course!)