For current dates/times of our classes, see the What’s on page.
BEGINNERS LINDY HOP:
This block course is a fun introduction to some of the fundamental steps in swing. It is suitable for absolute beginners, or as a refresher for people who have already learnt some swing dancing. You do not need to have danced before, nor do you have to bring a partner: we pair up and change partners regularly throughout the class.
You’ll learn the 30s Charleston, and the 8- and 6- count basic steps. We focus on teaching lead and follow skills as we go so that you can get out on the dance floor as soon as possible.
Wear flat shoes, comfortable clothing (find out more about shoes and clothes below), bring some water, and be prepared for a fun evening with great music!
These lessons are for dancers who have a confident grasp of the basic steps taught in the beginners’ course. We build on the fundamental steps (swing out, lindy circle, etc), and we also introduce new moves, work on frame, lead/follow technique, styling, musicality, and more, to really enhance your social dancing skills.
The intermediate classes are not as structured as the block course: it is a ‘rolling’ class, so you can join whenever you feel ready to take things up a notch. Also, if you’d like us to cover something in particular, or if you’ve spotted a snazzy step you’d like to learn, just let us know – drop us an email, or ask in class.
WHAT TO WEAR:
While the ‘swing era’ is known for its distinctive sartorial style, there’s no need to get specially dressed up for classes (though we don’t mind if you do!).
There’s no need to rush out and buy special dance shoes for Lindy hop (though they are nice, and you may wish to invest after you’ve been to a few lessons). Flat shoes, or at least a low-heeled, are best for classes for both men and women, especially ones with a reasonable amount of cushioning under the ball of the foot. Shoes also need to stay on your foot while you dance, so do check that yours don’t fly off when you kick, or dance up and down your hallway (ballet-slipper type shoes, and backless slides or sandals are often problematic in this area). You may prefer something with covered toes too (need we explain why?!).
The sole of the shoe is the other crucial factor. While running shoes or trainers are often the most comfortable in terms of cushioning, staying on, protecting toes, etc., their sticky rubber soles can cause knee and ankle problems when dancing (as your legs tries to turn but the sole of your foot doesn’t). Make sure that you can comfortably spin at least 180 degrees in your shoes: when you’re testing kick-resistance, it’s a good idea to check for spin-ability too.
When it’s raining (which has been known to happen in Aber), you may prefer to change shoes when you get to class. Water inevitably makes a shoe sole more ‘sticky’, so it might be safer for your knees to swap footwear when you arrive.
There are a number of possibilities if you do want to have a dedicated pair of dancing shoes:
- Order something online (see the links we have here).
- Buy a pair of shoes with a leather sole (and don?t wear them outside, ever!)
- Take an existing (or new) pair of comfortable shoes to a cobbler and ask him/her to attach a suede sole. (This costs around £12 at the cobbler up the road from Charlies Stores, or there are some DIY instructions here for the brave). Again, you can’t wear suede soles outside.
The best general tip is to wear layered clothes: even during a cold Aberystwyth winter, we can get rather warm during lessons and it’s better to be able to remove an extra jumper than swelter for an hour.
Men: there are varying theories about which type of shirt is most comfortable to dance in but the thing to be aware of is how much you may perspire when you get hot. An old, thin, sweat-soaked t-shirt does not an attractive dance partner make! Be aware that man-made fabrics usually make you hotter, and short sleeves are probably better than long. In terms of trousers, anything is fine – just make sure you’re comfortable and can move freely. You can read an extended discussion about the benefits and curses of different types of attire here.
Women: too much extraneous fabric on the upper body can be awkward, as your lead needs to be able to put his arm around your waist or upper back, sometimes at speed, and a baggy top won’t make life easy. On the other hand, it’s also not such a great idea to wear something super skimpy and backless either, for (hopefully) obvious reasons! You’ll also need to be aware of the point made above, namely that you’ll get hot while you’re dancing, so bear this in mind when choosing a top. It doesn’t matter so much what you wear on your lower body, as long as you’re comfortable and your movement isn’t restricted (pencil skirts are not advised!).
Deoderant is a very good idea. A related point: tic tacs, toothpaste, and chewing gum ALL smell better than stale coffee, garlic or onion on your breath!