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.
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
- All Of Me (Dinah Washington) – great for some slow Lindy Hop practice.
- Keep Cool Fool (Ella Fitzgerald) – slow to gentle Lindy Hop practice.
- Easy Does It (Count Basie) – gentle Lindy Hop practice.
- Paper Moon (Ella Fitzgerald) – gentle Lindy Hop / slow Charleston.
- I Like Pie, I Like Cake (Four Chefs) – just some all-around good fun.
- Tuxedo Junction (Glenn Miller) – also great for some gentle Lindy Hop.
- Jumpin’ At The Savoy (Al Cooper) – moderate Lindy Hop / gentle Charleston.
- Splanky (Count Basie) – moderate Lindy Hop / gentle Charleston.
- Moten Swing (Barney Kessel) – upping the Lindy pace just a bit.
- Shimmy Like My Sister Kate (Mugsy Spanier) – great for some Charleston practice.
- 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,
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.
City 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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.