Swingstreet Summer Class: Accents & musicality

Have you ever looked at lindy hoppers and wondered how they get those ‘cool accents’ in their dancing, to follow the music? Well, it’s by practicing it! We all favour a certain ‘action’ when we make accents. What happens when you challenge yourself to new things? Can you follow? Can you adapt? Can you use it in social dancing?

We will listen to songs, and commit to certain musicality moments, then interpret with our bodies (accents, steps, stomps, arms, upper/lower body) to connect what we hear, with what we show.

We will do things solo as well as in lead/follow.
Your brain will be trying to ‘make it work’, so be ready to control your body.

It would be great if you can bring a partner so we have a nice balance in leaders and followers.

When: Wednesday July 18th – 20:00-22:00
Where: Borgerstraat 112, Amsterdam
Teachers: Valery & Gary
Level: Basic social dancing skills (and up)
Class fee: €15 (in cash)

Summer Classes!

The last block of the school year came to an end. We will continue with drop-in summer classes each week!

It means that you can just show up and take a class if you feel like you fit the level description for that particular week.

The classes take place at Borgerstraat 112, Amsterdam 20:00 – 22:00. The class fee is €15,- (cash only).

We will create a clearer schedule soon but are struggling a little bit with the website 😉 Below you can already find the subjects, teachers and level descriptions:

July 18th: Accents & musicality with Valery & Gary
Level: Basic social dancing skills (and up).

July 25th, Absolute beginners class Lindy Hop with Kelly & Pieter
Level: This class is meant for those who are absolutely new to Lindy Hop.

August 1st, Tandem Mania 3.0 with Yara & Praveen
Level: You should be comfortable with the connection in the Tandem Charleston, know at least one basic entry- and exit.

August 8th, Lindy styling for beginners with Kelly & Sander
Level: You have danced for more than two months.

August 8th, Absolute beginners class Lindy Hop with Dolinde & Misha
Level: This class is meant for those who are absolutely new to Lindy Hop.

August 15th, Playing with the Shim Sham + st. Louis Shim Sham with Sander
Level: material for different levels will be offered, but definitely not advanced.

August 22nd, Tap in Lindy with Dolinde & Andrew
Level: Intermediate and up.

August 29th, Power moves from the greats with Yara and Andrew
Level: Intermediate and up. This will be a challenging class.

September 5th, Swing out Training session with Valery, Yara, Misha and Ben
Level: This class is open for all levels. You need to know the basic swing out from open position. You can come with a partner or small group of dancers with a similar level so you can rotate within your group.

Blog post

Sometimes teachers talk about physics in Lindy Hop classes and I never know how serious it is. Is it just a metaphor or there is something real about it. An article in The Guardian claims that dance=physics.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/05/science-magic-lindy-hop

The title is “The science and magic of Lindy Hop”. In particular, it says

“Great partner dancers may not know it but they are masters of space, time and Newton’s laws of motion”
“When Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced cheek-to-cheek in a close turn their two bodies achieved a beautiful line impossible for any individual. Dancing like this is a conversation in physics, where the bodies of both dancers are required to master the forces involved. In close hold, bodies are joined at the hip and hand. The follow exerts an equal and opposite force through arms and body in response to the lead. These equal and opposite forces, in accordance with Newton’s Third Law of Motion, allow the follow to dance in synchrony with the lead: as a mirror image. This symmetry can only be broken if the pairs of forces become unbalanced, causing one or both of the dancers to accelerate away from the other. For example, the lead may provide a subtle signal indicating to the follow to reduce the resistance, accept the transfer of momentum, and move away into a backwards step.
This, and all forces, cause a transfer of momentum (which is the product of mass and velocity). So, when the lead applies a net force, momentum is transferred to the follow. The more of the lead’s mass (body) moves as the force is applied, the greater the transfer of momentum and so the more the follow’s mass will move. Also, the longer it takes to transfer that momentum the smoother the ride. This is the difference between the slow gentle acceleration and deceleration of a careful driver, and the painful jarring of rapid acceleration or an emergency stop. The constant contact and gentle tension between the bodies of dancers means that momentum can be transferred at any time and over any time period.
This is beauty of partner dancing. When dancing alone you are constrained by your abilities and by the physical reality of friction and gravity. These forces are reliable, adaptable and predictable, but unchanging. When dancing with a partner these forces are countered by two different minds and bodies, each with its own interpretations, motivation, timing, strength and style.”

So, what is nice about science, is that you don’t have to believe everything other people say. Three physicists tried to test the hypothesis that good dancers optimize their Lindy Circle better than bad dancers in the article “Optimization and Pose Selection for a Lindy Hop Partnered Spin”.

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sommer_Gentry/publication/261311569_Optimization_and_pose_selection_for_a_lindy_hop_partnered_spin/links/546e769d0cf2b5fc1760777e.pdf

“Swing dancers often talk about using the laws of
physics in performing their physically rigorous jumps, lifts, and
spins. Do expert swing dancers physically optimize their pose
for a partnered spin?”
“We did not find a difference between the fraction of optimality
achieved by beginners and expert dancers. The rotational
acceleration achieved by the dancers was roughly a factor
of ten less than the predicted optimal acceleration.”

So, maybe dance=physics, but so far there is no evidence that this is the case.

Swingstreet goes to SOOP on June 29th

Swing Out Of Pocket (SOOP) is Amsterdam’s oldest weekly social dance.

We dance here to live music almost every Friday evening. A great place to practise everything you have been learning in class or just to have a drink with other Swing dancers!

If you have never been before this is the moment to go! We encourage you to come with your whole group so you get to dance with each other, meet the other students and see what all the fuzz is about 🙂 Your SwingStreet teachers will be there.

21:00 – 01:00
@ de Kompaszaal: KNSM-laan 311, Amsterdam.
Live music by the Compass Ballroom Stompers!
Entrance fee: €5,- (cash at the door)

Free Shim Sham class and social for Swingstreet students!

This Friday Sander will teach you the Shim Sham! A short and fun solo-routine known by Swing dancers all over the world.

The class (19:00-19:45) will be open for all Swingstreet students who don’t know the shim sham yet or would like to recap it.

The rest of the evening the Batjanzaal (Swingstreet east) will be open for practise. Meet the students in the other beginner levels or plan a practise with your own group 🙂

When: Friday June 15th 19:00 – 21:00
Location: Batjanstraat 68, 1094 RC Amsterdam