Daytime Jazz Classes

New Daytime Jazz Classes

Swing Express are excited to announce the launch of their new ‘Daytime Jazz’ classes. Perfect for those that have some free time during the day, have work commitments that deprive them of the ability to make an evening class, or are just looking for something a little different.

The classes will focus on authentic jazz and Charleston dancing from the 1920s-1940s, including some of the more popular vintage routines. We work on the fun and stylish solo dance moves and our classes are suiitable for everyone from all styles, you don’t need any knowledge of swing dancing to come along and you can join whenever you want.


The classes commence Wednesday 6th April in Stirchley Baths (on Bournville Lane) at 1pm. The cost of the class is just £5.


All ages and levels of fitness welcome to our daytime jazz classes. Come have some fun with us!!


Coventry Swing Dance Workshops

New Coventry Swing Dance Workshop

Aerials and Routine Swing Dance Workshop in Coventry
Sunday 28th February is our next scheduled aerials workshop day. The workshop will take place in Biggin Hall Hotel (in the upstairs function room) from 1pm. The workshop is suitable for beginners – you just need to have a little co-ordination and dexterity, and the only proviso is that you bring your own partner (and that partner can be anybody you trust – they don’t have to be dancers).

 

Following the aerials class, we will be running a workshop teaching a simple partnered routine. This routine will focus primarily on Charleston and six-count moves, so is suitable for fairly new dancers (though not complete beginners, we’ll expect you to be at least able to do a Charleston and a triple-step) and will also provide enough challenging material to keep the more experienced dancers happy. This workshop will kick-off at 3pm and will run approximately two and a half – three hours, so bring plenty of water, and if you’re doing the whole day maybe pack a light lunch as well.

 

The Coventry swing dance workshops will be £10 per class or £17 for both – A steal for 5 hours of classes!
New Bournville Beginners Swing Dance Classes

New Swing Dance Classes in Bournville

A new dancing option for those of you near Bournville

Swing Express is very excited to announce our brand new Thursday night venue, The Bournville Social Club, with a new beginners class kicking off on the 25th February. It’s a great time to get started – we’ll be starting your swing dancing journey from scratch – and it will be the first time swing dancing has been hosted in this rather neat little venue with a great floor for dancing.

 

The Bournville Social Club is at 91-97 Mary Vale Rd, well within smelling distance of Cadbury World, and the classes will commence at 7.30pm.

 

We are really looking forward to getting a brand new bunch of swing dancers started on their journey, so spread the word, and tell your friends. This venue is going to be great!

 

If you would like more information on how to get to our newest venue then check out our handy map!

10 Swing Dance Songs For Lindy and Charleston Practice

I remember my first swing dancing class – it was at the Trak in Toorak (Melbourne) with Swing Patrol. We learned the Charleston, and my love affair with swing dancing began.

As with many new dancers, I wanted to practice at home what I’d learned, so I began to scour record shops for appropriate swing music to practice (this was many years before on-line downloads and some time before there were on-line aides to help source such things). I came away with my little piece of gold – a Glenn Miller CD.

At home, bedroom door locked to protect my dignity, I settled on ‘Little Brown Jug’ as my song of choice to help perfect my Charleston. Well, let me tell you, it was fast. My feet stuck firmly to the floor in bewildered confusion and my legs refused to move. How could people dance to this speed? I kept working at it, sometimes without the music, then trying it again with the music. It slowly came to me. The Charleston was the first dance I learned, and is still the first dance I love.

In honour of those early days of trying and failing, then trying and failing just a little less, I would like to present to you these 10 swing tracks for beginner dancers to practice to.  We have created a spotify playlist so that you can listen to them too!

10 Swing Dance Songs For Lindy and Charleston Practice

  1. All Of Me (Dinah Washington) – great for some slow Lindy Hop practice.Swing Dancing | Swing Express
  2. Keep Cool Fool (Ella Fitzgerald) – slow to gentle Lindy Hop practice.
  3. Easy Does It (Count Basie) – gentle Lindy Hop practice.
  4. Paper Moon (Ella Fitzgerald) – gentle Lindy Hop / slow Charleston.
  5. I Like Pie, I Like Cake (Four Chefs) – just some all-around good fun.
  6. Tuxedo Junction (Glenn Miller) – also great for some gentle Lindy Hop.
  7. Jumpin’ At The Savoy (Al Cooper) – moderate Lindy Hop / gentle Charleston.
  8. Splanky (Count Basie) – moderate Lindy Hop / gentle Charleston.
  9. Moten Swing (Barney Kessel) – upping the Lindy pace just a bit.
  10. Shimmy Like My Sister Kate (Mugsy Spanier) – great for some Charleston practice.
  11. And of course – Little Brown Jug (Glenn Miller) – ‘cos really, it got me going……

Do you have a favourite song?  Help others find new songs by commenting below!

See you all on the dance floor soon,

Paul Neary

 

 

Announcing New Venues and Weekly Social Dancing

Hold onto your hats folks, we’ve some great new swing dancing opportunities ready to go. New venues in Birmingham City Centre and Solihull and a change for our dancers in Coventry.

 

Quarter Time Jazz | Swing ExpressCity Centre Classes & Social Dancing

Starting next Tuesday night in the Jewellery Quarter we are very excited to announce ‘Quarter Time Jazz‘, a swing dance class and social dance night in Fredericks Bar. The class will run from 7.30pm, with social dancing to follow, and if that doesn’t whet your appetite, then try this – our launch night (May 26th) is FREE, so you can come along and give it a try, and all it will cost you is a night at home in front of the telly. Frederick’s management have been very obliging in this endeavour, so come on out and show them that interest in Jazz and Swing in Birmingham is alive and kicking!

New Classes – Solihull

For those looking for some Lindy classes in Solihull, we are very pleased to announce our new beginners classes commencing next Thursday 28th at the Solihull Ice Rink at 8.15pm. We have come to understand that there is a lot of work going in to building the swing dancing scene in Solihull, and we look forward to jumping in and getting our hands dirty. These classes will focus on Lindy Hop and Charleston and we welcome dancers of all levels.

New Classes – Coventry

For our Coventry dancers we have a great little treat for you. Based on your feedback we are shifting our Coventry classes to Monday nights starting next week, and on top of that we are very pleased to announce an extra hour to our current beginners class, with a  Level 2 class starting at 8.30pm. This class will be used to introduce you to a mixture of fundamental steps (we will be starting the first few weeks focusing on developing your Lindy Hop) and some other aspects of the dance such as strolls, variations and helpful choreographies. Following this class we will still allow time for social dancing so you can put your new found skills to the test.

Sutton Coldfield

At this time there is no change to our Sutton Coldfield classes, but rest assured we are looking forward to introducing some more advanced classes very soon.

Harborne

To our Harborne dancers, unfortunately this means we will be no longer running Monday nights in Harborne, but based on last nights reaction to ‘Quarter Time Jazz’ we do hope you’ll join us in the Jewellery Quarter on Tuesday nights.

See you all on the dance floor soon,

Paul Neary

 

Do you want to learn how to swing dance?  Find our full timetable HERE or contact us for more information!

 

Swing Dancing | Swing Express

Top 5 Reasons to start Swing Dancing

Swing Dancing | Swing ExpressMany people resist the idea of attending a dance class. I have heard the same reasons time and again – ‘I have two left feet’, ‘it wouldn’t be my thing’ and my favourite, ‘the fellas would give me hell if they knew I was going dancing’.  It can be easy to find excuses not to try something new but here are our top 5 reasons why you should give swing dancing a try!

Swing Dancing is for everyone

Believe me, I get it. We all had to start somewhere. I was in my late twenties when I started dancing. I was into football and cricket. I liked hanging out with my mates. Plus finding the time after work? It seemed there were more reasons not to go than there were to actually make the effort, but I went anyway, and I’m glad I did.

Dancing is fun

Dancing is a great time, and especially in a classroom situation, it feels safe. You don’t have to feel self-conscious about what you’re doing because, basically, there’s someone to show you exactly what you should be doing. You can relax. You can have a laugh. And if you make a mistake it’s no big deal – others are making exactly the same mistakes. The group attains a feeling of commeraderie as you work together to master something that was unknown to you all just a short time before.

Dancing will introduce you to new friends

You will meet so many new people, from very diverse backgrounds. Dancing brings people together in a way few other activities can. Through dancing you have immediate access to social groups, quite literally, all over the world. Wherever you go, if you can dance (even just a bit), you can drop into a local dance night and immediately make new friends. Dancing is a great equaliser – we are all there for the same reasons. Love of dance. Love of music. To have a great time. Friendship becomes the pillar on which a dance scene is built.

Had a stressful day?

Dancing is, surprisingly, relaxing. I know of many people who have come out for a class or a night of social dancing after a particularly horrendous day at work (or home) and come away feeling so much better. It sweeps away your troubles. It gives your mind and your emotions a respite from daily stresses. I have seen people use dance as a therapy to recover from trauma, to get over a bad break up, to overcome shyness and to recover from ailments that would have normally left them in the doldrums. It’s a tonic for frayed nerves. It makes you happy.

There are no rules

And what about our reasons for NOT coming. You have two left feet? It’s our job to fix that. You just kick back and enjoy the process. We’ll make one of those left feet a righty soon enough. The fellas will give you hell? Maybe, but they’ll hush up pretty quick once they see all those wonderful people you’re dancing with, and they’ll wish they could do what you do. And as for it not being your thing? Well, did you not just read the above.
Give it a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Paul Neary

Swing Express teaches dance classes around Birmingham and the West Midlands – Find a class to suit you on our schedule!
Swing Express Class Schedule

New swing dance classes in Birmingham

Swing Express brings the exciting world of vintage era dancing to Birmingham and the West Midlands.  We are excited to start teaching our new swing dance classes at the end of April. Our classes are fun, friendly and a great way to make new friends.

Wow. Birmingham!Swing Express Dance Classes  in Birmingham and the West Midlands

When we visited for the first time we really didn’t know what to expect. Maybe it’s because we’re so used to the barren, romantic landscapes of the west of Ireland, or because of our time spent hiding out in our beautiful little town of Galway.

But Birmingham, you wowed us, and we can’t wait to join you. The Bullring, well duh! Yeah, it’s pretty mind-blowing. But you also have an ENTIRE WORLD dedicated to chocolate. You have cool little cafes down Moseley way and in the Jewellery Quarter. You have canals. Really delightful canals. And you have the NEC (Sarah can’t wait to go to Crufts.).

We love teaching Lindy Hop. The Charleston is my personal fave, but we love it all. Beginner classes are so much fun. They constantly remind me of why I love teaching, and also of how I felt when I first started dancing many, many years ago. Just the sheer joy, the delight on people’s faces, and the laughter. Laughter when mistakes are made and the craziness that ensues. The camaraderie as together we master this wonderful vintage-era dance style.

Class Locations

Our classes start on Monday, April 27th in Harborne, at St Mary’s Church function room on Vivian Rd. We continue Tuesday, April 28th in Coventry (we love you too Coventry, your lovely little town centre reminds us of home) at the Biggin Hotel Hall at 214 Binley Rd, and Wednesday April 29th in Sutton Coldfield at St James Church Centre at 61 Meere Rd.

We will bring to you our passion for swing. Our love of Lindy Hop. We will teach you, and you will discover a whole new world you never knew existed.

Wow. Birmingham – We can’t wait to to dance with you.

– Paul Neary

 

Can’t find a class close to you? You can contact us if you know of a venue you would like Swing Express to come to!  We are adding classes all the time.