With all things vintage enjoying a boom worldwide, swing dancing has well and truly swung back into fashion. From vintage festivals and tea dances to weekend socials and hundreds of weekly classes held around the world, multiple forms of the dance that was created in 1930s Harlem by Frankie Manning are growing ever more popular.
Swing Dance explores the vibrant contemporary swing-dancing scene, looking at the different dance styles and the associated culture, community and fashion. Illustrated with vintage and contemporary photography, as well as specially commissioned step-by-step guides, it provides everything you need to know, whether you fancy kicking up your heels in the Charleston or mastering the Lindy Hop ‘swing out’.
The four major dance styles are covered – Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Balboa and Lindy Hop, including the Strolls, which are guaranteed to fill the dance floor. Each chapter begins with an overview of the fascinating evolution of the dance style. ‘Get the Look’ examines the fashions for guys and girls, including hair and make-up, and a clothing, shoes and accessories checklist, while ‘The Music’ suggests the top ten tunes to practise to. Then follows a breakdown of the basic step patterns upon which the dance is built, and a guide to some of the key moves. There are also insider tips from old-timers and today’s leading swing dancers as well as fun, easy-to-follow page-embedded video demonstrations produced exclusively for the book and accessible via scannable QR codes.
SCOTT CUPIT founded Swing Patrol in Australia in 1998 and it is now regarded as the world’s largest swing-dancing school, with weekly classes held in Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmania, Berlin and London. Swing Patrol London, which launched in 2009, now has more than 1,400 students a week through its many venues and weekly social dances.
Scott achieved global media attention in 2009 with his interactive swinging hour on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, which was voted one of the top ten hours of the project by the Evening Standard. Since Swing Patrol’s successful pitch on BBC2’s Dragon’s Den in July 2014, with three of the four dragons making an offer, the company has enjoyed a second wave of media attention, with various major fashion brands interested in collaborations – Keds footwear is now a sponsor.
As well as running Swing Patrol, Scott continues to teach weekly classes and regularly leads workshops in the UK and abroad. After sixteen years, he still thinks he has the best job in the world.