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Tag Archives: swing dancing

The day The Boy and I learnt to Lindy Hop

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The day The Boy and I learnt to Lindy Hop

Ever since The Boy and I went to the Goodwood Revival in 2010 I’ve been wanting to learn how to dance (The Boy was a little bit more hesitant) Now we’ve been to a few most vintage events and I always end up watching all the amazing dancing not able to really join in as it looks so intimidating!

I’ve been looking into weekly dance lessons and came across an all day session hosted by Swing Patrol . I mentioned it in passing to The Boy (not thinking he would say yes) and before I knew it he’d booked the tickets and we where off to brick lane to learn to Lindy Hop!

To say we where nervous was an understatement. I was going to have to learn to follow – to give up control – not something I am particularly fond of and The Boy was going to have to dance in a room full of strangers without any dutch courage! Before we even got to the bloody venue I had already fallen over (it happens a lot) so I wasn’t too hopeful being able to control my limbs! BUT we turned up and where instantly put at ease (well sort of) by our lovely dance teachers Saul and Simone (watch them at work here) got us to warm up doing silly dance moves and then our hours of dancing started!

The day was broken up in to three sections…

12.30-1.45pm – Introduction to SIX BEAT swing

15min break

2.00-3.15pm – Introduction to EIGHT BEAT Lindy Hop

15min break

3.30-4.45pm – Introduction to CHARLESTON

It was intense, quick and boiling but the best fun we’ve had in ages! Think I didn’t stop giggling from start to finish and even The Boy was starting to get a grips with it! I didn’t think I would like the Charleston as it was at the end of a long day and looked so complicated but it was so much fun. I’m so glad we did it! I would like to say we looked like this by the end…

…but I think it will take a LOT more practice for that!

Saul did mention that we should do some social dancing which sounds terrifying but fun!  Might be our next venture into dancing…?

He did also talk about watching the film Hellzapoppin for inspiration, which I’ve never heard of before but after this clip I will be hunting it down!

Rock A Hula

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Rock A Hula

A couple of weeks ago I got a lovely email from the people over at Vintage Guide to London saying I had won some tickets to Rock A Hula!

Rock a Hula! is an award winning 1950s rock n roll, hula hooping and swing dancing event. It’s resident on the third Friday of every month at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes – London’s best vintage venue complete with cinema, karaoke rooms, 1950s American diner, cocktail bar and the only vintage above lane ball return outside of the US. Rock a Hula at Bloomsbury showcases the best in rock n roll/rockabilly/rhythm n blues bands, against a 1950s beach party backdrop complete with hula hooping, swing dancing lessons, palm trees, a Hawaiian photo booth and tropical cocktails. Star guests Nina’s Hair Parlour – the UK’s first vintage hairdressers – are often on hand for preening. Their resident vintage DJs are El Nino (Lady Luck/Black Cotton Club) and Tim from Hellzapoppin’ Club, and they regularly host guest hula hooping or burlesque cabaret performers.

So the 21st rolled around and myself and some of my girlys got all dolled up and headed over the Bloomsbury bowling lanes for some rockabilly hijinks.

I was a much more chilled out vibe than I was expecting, I think that was down to the bowling lanes, but was a really fun night!

The Dj was a very dapper gentleman called  Tim Hellzapoppin who we found out has his own night called Hellzapoppin which had its 22nd anniversary recently! There was also a live band playing – The Obscuritones are described as…

Close harmony and rockin rhythm. Like the Andrews Sisters singin with the Stray Cats after a night out with the Cramps. Playing the best rockabilly rarities from the fifties . . surfin, spy and garage rock from the sixties . . . and wild originals from the hereafter. With Joey & Gaby – Vocals, Sam Kidman – Twangy Surf Guitar, Andy Bavington – Double Bass, Hugh Byrne – Twangy Rockabilly Guitar, Phil Casey – Frantic Drumming.

Though my favourite act of the night was the AMAZING hula performer/act … Constance Irkles! I am not someone who is blessed with coronation at all so was left truly stunned by how effortless and easy she made dancing while hula hooping

Chuck in free swing lessons and yummy cocktails and you have a top night!

Thank you Vintage Guide to London!