Friday, 10 August 2018

Swing-Dancers Etiquette Guide

So whether you are new to dancing, swing-dancing or have been into it for a while, there are some considerations to behaviour we should all give to make the hobby a safer and more pleasant experience for all.

Other than working towards learning our steps and improving technique there are not a lot of rules that go along with swing-dancing. Mostly it's about common sense and good manners, some thoughts towards safety and basic respect towards dancers and those that teach you.

Here are some simple guidelines that we should all aim to abide by:

It's a social thing - so be sociable! Always be friendly and show respect for other dancers. Join in with the club social atmosphere – you will have more fun and make great friends. Intolerance, racism or aggression towards members and stuff will not be tolerated.

Those under the influence of illegal substances are not welcome in classes or at social events. Anyone appearing to be under the influence of drugs or negative effects of alcohol will not be permitted to take classes.

I can't think of a club or class that doesn't follow these obvious rules.


1. Noise control - Classes can be busy and ‘buzzy’ which can generate a lot of noise. When instructors are speaking, put your partners down, stop talking and turn to face the instructor.

2. Help keep the flow going - When asked to move around to a new partner, do so quickly. Do not wait to finish any conversations you might have been having. This especially applies to when practising to music.

Instructors often try to run to a schedule and there can be a lot for them to try and get you through in a class. Help them help you by keeping the flow going! 

3. Hi there! - When moved around to a new partner and you come to someone you don’t know, smile and introduce yourself. Hey presto - you just made a new friend!

4. A Cardinal Sin! - Asking your partner how you did or how something felt or worked for them is fine. However NEVER correct your partner – This is bad manners and the job of the instructors. If something didn’t work well, ask the instructor when appropriate to do so.

Correcting people when not qualified to do so is a case of the 'road to hell being paved with good intentions'. It can make you come across like a jerk and make the person on the receiving end feel really bad... so bad that they may not come back to class.... Definitely not a good thing. 

5. Teachers are there to help you - Not everyone gets what they are being taught the first time. Even when you ‘get something’ you can still make mistakes. This is normal – it’s called ‘learning dance’. If you are struggling the instructors are more than happy to repeat and demonstrate again to help you. There is no shame in this – we encourage it! Don't be frightened to reach out for help.

6. Coughs and sneezes spread diseases - Classes are often conducted in circles. NEVER cough or sneeze into the circle, if you feel you are about to cough or sneeze turn around and face the outside of the circle.

Try to avoid coughing or sneezing into your hand – if you must, please go and wash your hands afterwards. Do not hold hands with a partner having coughed or sneezed into it.

During the cold season it's a good idea to keep some anti-bac hand gel in your dance bag. 
7. Be safe! - Don’t dance when injured. As much as we love to have you at the class we care about your safety. If you are injured or sick, consult your doctor before dancing. If you have a light injury, illness or are recovering TELL THE INSTRUCTOR.

8. Stepping out - You may have to step out of the class for a number of reasons. If you do, tell the instructor before you step away, especially if you are in pain or feel ill.


1. Keep Fresh & Cool - Dancing is a physical activity not unlike sport. No-one likes to dance with someone with strong body odour, bad breath or who is running in perspiration.

Taking a wash or shower before the class or dance is a good idea.
If you know you are prone to getting sweaty, it may be a good idea to carry a spare top with you in your dance bag for a 'quick-change' when you get soggy.
Deodorant in the dance bag is another good idea.

Avoid eating strong flavoured foods, e.g. curries, food with garlic in etc. before a class or a dance. If your dance partner seems to be leaning back from you, that may well be why :-) Coffee can have a similar effect as can smoking and should also be taken into consideration.

Cleaning teeth before a dance, carrying mints or a fresh breath spray in the dance bag is a great idea.


1. Yes Please! - If you are asked for a dance the correct reply is always ‘Yes’

There are a few exceptions:
You have just sustained an injury, or you do not feel well. Be sure to explain as appropriately as possible why you had to say no.

You just had several dances and would like to rest – In this case ask for a ‘rain-check’, and when you are ready to dance again find the person who asked you and ‘cash-in’ that dance. It is bad manners to dance with someone else when you have just turned someone down…. cash in the dance you were asked for first.

You may feel the music is too fast for you, this being the case see the paragraph above and cash in the dance when the music is a better tempo for you.

2. Safety First - Refrain from dancing ‘expansively’ on a crowded dance-floor – Keep safety in mind.

NEVER do acrobatic moves on the social dance floor unless a ‘Jam Circle’ has been started where people are encouraged to show their best steps.

Keep looking around you when dancing – be aware of those around you and design your moves with safety in mind.
Never walk directly across a dance-floor, use the edges.

Never carry drinks across a dancefloor.

If you see litter, obstacles or trip hazards on a dancefloor remove them as soon as it is safe to do so.

Never wear a hat whilst social dancing 

3. Whoops we bumped - If you ‘bump’ or kick someone on the social dance-floor you should:

1.       Stop dancing
2.       Turn to the person you made contact with
3.       Regardless of who was to blame – say “Sorry” and ask if they are ok.
4.       If they were injured in the contact, help them off the dance-floor – after that      use common sense…. they may just need to rest or may need first aid
5.      If all is well return to dancing 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Benefits of Dancing! Part 1

I already dance and run a dance class and social events, so believe it or not I’m already sold on the idea that dance is a great activity with positive real-life consequences. Luckily for me I was already enthusiastic about certain vintage musical genres and finding a place where I would learn to dance to these was a HUGE bonus and one that got me started in my dance hobby.

Dancing has a way of taking your cares away. It doesn’t matter if it’s Swing-dancing, the Lambada, the Macarena or your own crazy moves. Who hasn’t got lost in an upbeat song by jumping around (or even hitting up the ‘air-guitar’)? But not only does it feel good to the soul, dancing also has some major health perks. Research shows dancing can improve your physical and mental health and boost your overall happiness.

“Dancing can give you more than traditional cardio,” Fabio Comana, an exercise physiologist and education team member for the National Academy of Sports Medicine, in an interview with Huffington Post. Comana describes five components of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, body composition and muscular strength. An activity like running on the treadmill may improve cardiovascular endurance and body composition, but an activity like dancing can actually target those two as well as muscular endurance and flexibility. And that’s on top of improved balance, agility, coordination, power, reactivity and speed, he explains. 

But we’re not talking slow dances here — to count as true cardio, Comana suggests aiming for an exertion level somewhere between a 5 and a 7 on a scale where 1 is resting and 10 is the hardest thing you can do. Don’t let that put you off though. Yes there are the more up-tempo dances out there that can get you in this zone like Swing-dancing (Lindy-hop, Jive, Charleston), Salsa and fitness dance like Zumba, but that isn’t to say all dances have benefits.

It’s fun. It really is! “If exercise is not an enjoyable experience, we’re not going to do it,” Comana said. And the bottom line is that dancing is, plain and simple, fun in the way a monotonous treadmill run probably never will be. Plus, busting a move can trigger the release of feel good hormones like serotonin and endorphins. I can vouch for this.. you can burn a heap load of calories and because you’re enjoying the music and feeling the ‘good feelings’ you don’t even realise it’s exercising at all. 

With some dances, especially while you learn a fair amount of thinking is required – so much so it’s hard to think of anything else while dancing. “People think, ‘I’m not exercising, I’m dancing,’” he continued. “But at the end of the day, you’re moving and you’re burning calories. It’s just as good as a cardio class.” I would add to that in light of Comana’s comments on speed and exertion that this statement is at least true of pretty much all dances. 

People are more likely to stick with a fitness routine if it’s fun, and also want to do it for longer. This will push you to move for a longer period of time than typical exercise, purely because it’s a lot of fun and not the dreaded ‘exercise’. Group fitness is seeing a surge in popularity because of Zumba, but like a lot of aerobic dance trends Swing-dancing (Lindy-hop, Jive etc.), Salsa and Ballroom dancing continue to be the most popular and beneficial types of partner dancing. 

Working out in a class like Zumba can help people push fitness difficulty levels level and increase accountability. Dance classes especially those in partner dances are social in themselves, even before the practice or social dance time comes around. A great way of meeting new people and making new friends. Many dances have a great social scene outside of class. Swing-dance for example has weekend camps popping up all over the world as well as social dances to DJ’d music or live bands in most major towns and cities across the UK on a weekly basis.

Most of us (and especially guys) are not always natural dancers. The good news is that there are lots of classes out there running regularly and also offering beginners courses, taster classes and other offerings to get you involved. It’s a lot easier than you think to get started. 

Dancing is a great cardio workout.
Like any good, low-impact cardio workout, dancing can improve cardiovascular health, increase stamina, strengthen bones and muscles and stave off illnesses. But aside from the perks associated any heart-pounding activity, dancing has a cardio edge with unique benefits that actually can’t be achieved by other low-impact exercises.
It can be a social activity.As much as we all love to dance when there’s nobody watching, there’s something irresistible about dancing with other people, whether it’s with a partner or a class-full of fellow booty shakers.
Anyone can dance.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of dance is that it’s inclusive whereas many forms of exercise are not. You don’t have to be great at dancing to enjoy it and reap the numerous health and social benefits ... I think anyone can just start to dance and enjoy the experience. Even better is it is a relatively cheap hobby. Class prices are far from expensive and early investments may just run to a pair of decent dance shoes suitable to the style you are learning.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Crikey! It's all happening here today.One private lesson delivered and then some major updates to the new website (

Still fiddling around with the design and code, but it's well on the way now.

On to the next mission, a Flyer, a solid venue booking and some more youTube channel content.
stay tuned folks

Today's star find has been this fun Balboa video from some some dancers in Slovenia.


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Out for a little dance therapy this evening!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Well! What a busy week. The Jump, Jive &Swing website is now very much under-way and should be done in the next couple of weeks. The next mission is to wrestle with Blogger and work out how to fly this baby!