Getting started with swing

Here’s all the info you need to start learning to swing dance with us

1. why jazzmad?

2. what is swing dance?

3. learning options: courses & drop-in classes
 

4. what our customers say

5. first timer FAQs

why jazzmad?

JazzMAD was founded by Sharon Davis, a world renowned and award-winning swing dancer. Sharon has been dancing since 2001 and studied with some of the original creators and legends of the dance.

We teach friendly and inspiring swing dance classes focussing on the original swing dance of the 1930s, the Lindy Hop. We seek to honour both the history of swing, as well its ever-changing landscape as a living, evolving dance.

 

We aim to offer London’s highest quality swing dance lessons. We never compromise on our dance spaces – all our classes are held in professional quality dance studios and beautiful halls. Our world-class, internationally recognised teachers offer high level, focused learning. We aim to be London’s best swing & jazz dance academy!

We aim to create a learning environment that is warm and welcoming. We hope to dispel the myths surrounding who can be a dancer, because it truly is for everyone.

I will risk overdoing it, but I really must complement you on your style of teaching and the material you gave us newbies. It suited me down to the ground, and I feel it has given me the tools to start exploring and learning on my own. Thank you!
Lotta Andreasson

what is swing dance?

Swing dancing is the popular partner dance from the 1930s and 1940s, that is experiencing a huge revival all around the world today. It’s called swing dancing because it’s done to swing music – big band jazz from the late 1920s through to the 1950s. The dance is energetic, joyful and fun – it’s the happiest dance on earth!  We teach the Lindy Hop – the original swing dance that was born in Harlem, New York in the 1930s. Your JazzMAD teachers will teach you all about the history of the dance, but read our blog post here if you’d like to know more!

 

learning options

Beginners are in safe hands at JazzMAD! We’ve taught thousands of people to swing and jazz dance from scratch. Our teachers are experts at providing a safe, welcoming & fun environment to start your swing journey! You have two options:

Beginners Courses:  our intensive 12-week beginners course is the best way to start swing dancing. All of our courses are taught by experienced teachers and you will learn in a supportive and social environment. You will learn all the fundmental footwork, classic dance moves, partner connection, plus learn about the history of the dance & music. 

Drop-in Beginners Classes & Tasters: Alternatively, you can get started with a drop-in class or taster. This is a great option if you need flexibility or want to try a few classes before you commit to a course. Drop-in classes are less technical, focused more on learning-by-doing and getting you on the dancefloor having fun as quickly as possible.

I took the 12-week beginners’ course and was lucky enough to be taught by Sharon, Nancy and Cat, all of whom have different styles and strengths. This made for a diverse and really interesting course, and each instructor was clearly thoroughly prepped for our class. Highly recommended!

Daisy Coole

frequently asked questions

Q: What should I wear and bring to my first class?

A: Just wear comfortable clothes that allow for unrestricted movement. Jeans and a t-shirt (or anything similar) is perfect.  Swing dancers usually wear flat, closed shoes like Oxfords or tennis shoes. No high heels or any shoes that will scratch or mark the dancefloor. Advice on swing shoes will be given in the first class. Bring a bottle of water.

Q: Can I drop-in to the Swing Beginners course?

No, the course is a progressive 12-week program. You must sign up for the whole course. But if you can’t commit to the course, you can attend our Beginners drop-in classes or tasters instead. With drop-in classes you can start anytime, take the classes in any order, and come along whenever you can make it.

Q: Can I come to the first class of the course to decide if I want to take the whole course?

Sorry no, there is limited capacity so you will need to book the full course to attend. So if you’re not sure the course is right for you, try our taster or drop-in classes first and book the course when you are feeling ready.

Q: Can I pay for the course in instalments?

Yes, if you are unable to pay the course fee in full, then email info@jazzmad.co.uk to arrange a payment plan of three instalments instead.

Q: What if I have to miss a week of the course?

Don’t worry! If you miss a class, you will still get the practice videos from that week, which you can use to catchup. The teacher will also help you catch up in the next class if you need help.

Q: I can’t make the first class of the course! Is it ok to start from week 2?

Yes, no problem! Register for the course online, and just show up to Week 2. We will get you up to speed, as in Week 2 we revise everything we did in Week 1 before moving on

Q: Why should I take the 12-week course, instead of your drop-in Beginner classes?

Drop-in classes are wonderful because they are cheap, flexible and fun. But by their nature you will not learn as much nor as quickly as you will in our 12-week course. The course is a progressive, structured and intensive program. You’ll meet the same students in class every week, which is a great way to make friends, but also means we can make the material progressive and move faster. In the course we also send you a weekly email with supporting videos and other resources, plus you get a course handbook with lots of helpful information, and there’s a mid-course presentation on swing dance history too. So the course has a lot of extra value packed into it!

Photographs by Eric Bobrie