Sunday, 11 December 2011

Term dates Christmas 2011 & new venue for Lindy classes

Well, here we are again - Jingle Bells and all that - so here are the new term dates for classes and notice of our change of venue for Lindy classes . . . 
1)    Christmas break starts 12 December
1)    Christmas party - 14 December (NB: merged classes - check times below)
2)    Christmas break & new term dates
3)    Basics and Intermediate 1 course dates
4)    We're moving ... see details below !!!
1)  Christmas break + new term dates
Our last class before the Christmas Break will be on Mon 12 December and classes start again on Mon 9 January 2012.  We'll be starting from scratch with the basics on 9 Jan so if you know anyone who wants to join us, let them know!  Details on our website.
1)  Christmas Party
Join us on Weds 14 December for a fun night of frolics and foolery!   We'll be teaching the classic jazz routine, The Shim Sham in two parts - Part 1 at 7.30pm and Part 2 at 8.30 pm.  Each class is suitable for all levels, so get there early if you don't want to miss out.  This will be followed by extended social dancing, drinks and nibbles for all.  What more could a dancer want?   And, if the Christmas mood takes ahold, feel free to dress in something sparkly!
2)  Christmas break & new term dates
Our last class before the Christmas Break will be on Wed 14 December.  Classes start again on Wed 11 January 2012
3)  Basics and Int 1 course dates 
The next two Basics and Intermediate 1 courses will start on Wed 11 Jan 2012 and Wed 22 Feb 2012.  Please see the web site for details of class times and further information.
4)  New venue for Lindy classes - from Jan 2012!
After 15+ years in Barton we've decided to move to a great new venue at St Michael's Church Hall, Summertown from Wed 11 Jan 2012 so look out for further details in a couple of week's time.  (We'll update the website asap but keep checking the Latest News section for details as they come out.)
Thanks to all of you for your support this year - we couldn't do this without you.  And if we don't see you before, have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year.  
Pam, Les, Nicky, Richard & Tamsin
Oxford Swing Dance Society

Monday, 19 September 2011

Course dates & classes

The new term started on Mon 12 Sept with some excellent new Beginners/ Improvers - well done guys!  But don't forget, you can join us at any time during the term (including beginners/improvers) or, if you're new to partner dancing and feel a bit hesitant, private sessions are also available to get you started on the dance floor (see Classes page).

The new term and Basics & Intermediate 1 courses started on Weds 7 Sept but, as with Balboa, you can join in at any time during the term.  Alternatively, if you're a complete beginner and would prefer to start at the beginning of a course, the next start date is Weds 26 October - or book a private session.

See you on the dance floor!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Article in Headington Monthly Magazine - August 2011

Swing Dance in Oxford by Keith Frayn
Keith Frayn has lived in Headington for 25 years and has been dancing Lindy Hop for the last 3. He and his wife Theresa are also now learning Balboa, another type of swing dance taught by the Oxford Swing Dance Society.

I had not heard of Lindy Hop until a few years ago when I noticed on the programme for the Headington Festival a performance by the Oxford Swing Dance Society (OSDS).  Curious, I went along to see people dancing outside the Co-op, quite obviously enjoying themselves and having a great time.  I picked up a leaflet but then, typically, did nothing for a year, when I saw them again, this time in Bury Knowle Park.  They were dancing to ‘swing music’, the big-band sound associated with the war years, music to set your feet tapping if nothing else.  So I went (with my wife, Theresa) along to an OSDS evening at Barton Community Centre – and was quickly hooked!  Admittedly it took a few weeks of coaching (very patiently done by the small group who run OSDS) but it was evident from the beginning that, for anyone who likes that sort of music, this is a fun way of moving to the rhythm.  The teaching begins quite simply with turns and Charleston-based kicks, and then moves onto the classic Lindy moves of ‘swing-out’, Lindy turn and Lindy circle.  It really doesn’t take long to get to the stage when you can put together a series of moves and have a whale of a time.

Lindy Hop is danced by people of all ages.  There are a number of young people, students and similar age-groups, but there are also people like Theresa and me in our 60s, and older.  You don’t need a partner.  In the classes, the men (‘leads’) stand in a circle round the room, and every few minutes as we practise steps, the ladies (‘followers’) move to the next lead.  So the men get to know all the ladies, and the ladies get to know all the men, but the men have to make more of an effort to talk to the other men!  The classes are organised at different levels, with a beginners’ class at the beginning of the evening: the beginners then get a follow-up lesson while the next level (‘intermediate 1’) have theirs.  Then the Intermediate 1s have their follow-up while the advanced class (which is perversely called ‘Intermediate 2’, although it always seems pretty advanced to me) follows on.  Between each class there is an opportunity for social dancing.  The evening is not only great fun, it’s also an extremely good work-out, and I regularly get home and put my sweaty clothes straight in the wash!

Incidentally, why Lindy Hop?  Swing dancing arose in New York, especially, from the Charleston and similar dances.  It was about the time that Charles Lindbergh made the first solo flight, or ‘hop’, across the Atlantic in 1927.  When "Shorty" George Snowden, a well-known exponent of this dance, was asked by a reporter what he was dancing, he is said to have replied without thinking ‘Lindy Hop’.  Lindy Hop disappeared for many years as jive and modern dances took over, but in the past couple of decades has made a remarkable resurgence.

If you enjoy music with a beat and would like to have fun and get a work-out at the same time, come along and have a go. Everyone is friendly and everyone enjoys themselves!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Newsletter & term dates - Sept 2011

Hi all,

Well, it's that time of year again!  Hope you all managed to take advantage of the sunshine and avoided the rain.   We've got some great classes coming up, including our 2nd year of Balboa classes, so dust off those shoes and come and join us ...  

1)  New Oxford Swing Dance website / Facebook page
2)  Lindy classes start this Wednesday 7 September !
3)  Basics & Int 1 course dates - 7 Sept & 26 Oct
4)  Balboa Mondays classes start - Mon 12 Sept
5)  New prices from 7 September 2011


1)   New website 
  & Facebook page

We've spent the summer updating our website so have a look - we'd appreciate any feedback.  It's now REALLY easy to find up-to-date information on classes and special events so check out the Latest News page.    
And don't forget you can also find us on Facebook ...

2)  Lindy Classes start Weds 7 Sept

Term starts on Weds 7 Sept at Barton Neighbourhood Centre, OX3 9LS - so if you've always wanted to get a hang of this dancing lark, now's the time to join us.  Full details on our NEW website but in brief . . .

Entrance NOW £6
for all or part of the evening (£5 concessions). 
Books of tickets available - 10 for the price of 9 (ask for details). 
Levels/Class times . . . 
Basics : 7.30 - 8.10 pm and 8.25 - 9.10 pm (with break for social dancing)
Intermediate Level 1 : 8.25 - 9.10 pm and 9.20 - 10.00 pm (with break for social dancing)
Intermediate Level 2 : 9.20 - 10.00 pm
Social dancing : 10.00 - 10.30 pm

3)  Lindy Basics and Intermediate 1 courses

The next two Lindy Basics and Intermediate 1 courses will start on Wed 7 Sept and Weds 26 Oct.

4)  Balboa Mondays classes start Mon 12 Sept

from the absolute beginning - plus an improvers/intermediate class for those who've been dabbling for a while but never managed to get past the basic footwork.
Levels/Class times ...
Beginners 7.30 - 8.30pm  (the class will start at 7.30 sharp!)
Improvers/Intermediates 8.40 - 9.30 pm
Social/practice time 'til 10.20pm  
Cost - £6 per evening / £5 concessions including tea, coffee & biscuits available throughout the evening.

5)   New entrance prices from 7 Sept

Unfortunately, due to the rising cost of hiring venues, we're having to increase our entrance price for both the Lindy and Balboa classes to £6 per evening (£5 concessions). 

Lindy classes
- don't forget, you can buy a book of tickets which will give you 10 tickets for the price of 9 and if it's your first time at a Lindy class you'll get a voucher which will entitle you to free entry next time you come.

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday/Monday . . .
Pam, Les, Nicky, Richard & Tamsin
Oxford Swing

Saturday, 27 August 2011

New term dates

Wednesday 7 September
Lindy classes start 
Beginners and Intermediate 1 courses start

Monday 12 September
Balboa classes start
Complete beginners welcome - 7.30pm