Edinbop is a non profit dancing organisation which hosts the weekly social dancing nights of Shoe Swing Wednesdays and The Tuesday Night Spoonful in Edinburgh. Edinbop also runs regular swing dancing classes in different styles including lindy hop, balboa and blues. There is always something going on so make sure you stay tuned to the latest news for upcoming events or why not subscribe to our newsletter
Looking for dancing and vintage vibes this weekend?
The Gatsby Experience event is being held in Edinburgh’s’ Grassmarket Centre on Saturday 27th September in aid of the Grassmarket Community Project.
The two-hour vintage dance class is only £5 – alternative, buy the whole Gastby Experience for just £20 and get the following:
- FREE Vintage dance lesson from 2pm to 4pm, taught by Fly Right Dance Company
- FREE glass of bubbles upon entry at 7pm
- DISCOUNTS from Grassmarket shops (upon presentation of ticket confirmation) – Godiva Boutique, Armstrongs, Hi-Jinks, HAHAHA, Just G
- 1920s-style cocktail bar
- 7-piece Jazz band with vocals: The New Phoenix Jazz Band
- 1920s style DJ spinning old 78s on a snakeskin-lined gramophone
All takings on the night will go back into helping the Grassmarket Community Project continue to undertake their work with vulnerable adults in Edinburgh.
We hope you’ve had a smashing Fringe Festival but for those who’ve been shuffling their feet, desperate to get on to the dancefloor, the time has come! Edinbop is back with a whole new session of classes THIS WEEK.
The Tuesday Night Spoonful brings you blues with Sebastian and the girl so cool, even Iceland couldn’t contain her – Sigga – from 7pm, Tuesday 02 Sept @ The Newsroom (Leith Street). Check out our Facebook group to stay up to date with all things bluesy: https://www.facebook.com/groups/249230535232132/
Wednesday 03 Sept brings you double the goodness with Balboa AND Lindy @ the Counting House from 7pm:
Balboa is back. Every Wednesday from 7pm at the Counting House. September Special: Jason and Toni. It doesn’t get any better.
Shoe Swing returns with special guests, Lee & Seema. Seema says: “Lee and I are looking forward to teaching all you Edinboppers through September. Come along to a great friendly place in Edinburgh to learn your swing skills”
Autumn is coming! What better way to keep warm than with some happy Balboa shuffling?
When: Sat 13 Sept; 11am-3pm
Where: Wash Bar on the Mound (11-13 North Bank Street, EH1 2LP
The Bal Brunch offers four hours of lovely dancing to fantastic Swing and Big Band music, with nice people to chat to and good drinks and food available for purchase. Come for half an hour or for four!
This will also be a great opportunity to warm-up for the Edinburgh Lindy Exchange.
If you need some dance inspiration, take a look at the some of the latest Balboa videos from this year’s International Lindy Hop Championships. http://youtu.be/
Although we have no classes at the Brunch, everyone is welcome to come along and have a look. If you would like to learn dancing Balboa, come to Edinbop’s classes at the Counting House every Wednesday evening. http://www.edinbop.co.uk/classes/balboa-dances/
Our regular classes might have paused for the Fringe Festival (we’ll be back on Tuesday 2 / Wednesday 3 September), but that doesn’t mean the dancing has to stop!
Escape to the Iso Bar, every Wednesday for a chilled night of getting away from the festival madness, drinks and dancing. Featuring an all-level solo jazz class at 8pm (bargain prices at £5/£3, with 50% of proceeds going to EWRASAC) followed by social dancing from 9pm-10:30pm!
And next weekend, Saturday 9 August, there’s Paul and Christi’s Lindy Boot Camp, an awesome one-day workshop and evening social dance at the Calton Centre.
You can also join us for a flash-mob swing dance at 4pm-4:30pm in Grassmarket, Sunday 10 August!
Or, if you fancy getting away from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh City, take a visit to our neighbour swing dance scene in Glasgow!
For those of you who know the basics of Collegiate Shag and want to learn more, check out this workshop on Saturday 23 August.
There’s also the legendary Cake Hop on Saturday 30 August, and then a FREE social dance the next day, Sunday 31 August!
There’s so much to see and do during the Fringe Festival, so keep an eye on the Edinbop Facebook page for last minute dancing-related Fringe outings!
Join Paul & Christi for a full day of Lindy Classes during the Fringe Festival!
Venue: Carlton Centre; Saturday 09 Aug
11am-1pm Aerial Attack (air steps & tricks)
2pm-5pm Ground Assault (int adv / adv lindy)
Plus an evening dance with a military theme!
£18 for all-day pass / £30 per couple – Partner needed for air steps.
Classes / dance also priced separately.
To book, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and join on facebook to stay up-to-date
Our last classes for this term are 22nd July for Blues, 23rd July for Lindy (<- cabaret night!) BUT we’re back at the usual times and venues after a month break for the Fringe Festival on the 2nd/3rd September.
We’re only 7 days away from the last shoeswing before the August break and what better way to go out than a cabaret!
The Summer Cabaret is set to be great fun and an excellent way to get into the festival spirit, so bring your friends and family along for a good time. There are still some places left if you’ve got hidden talents and would like to dazzle, don’t be shy ;). Just email email@example.com
See you there!
We’re less than two weeks out from cabaret now and it’s set to be a really great night! What better way to get into the festival spirit than some fun acts and lovely dancing.
There is still space available if you have a hidden talent and would like to perform, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all those who came along to our classes in May. It was fun month of teaching where we covered a wide variety of topics. It was great to see some new faces in our beginner class as well.
Thanks also for Julie who filled if for the last week when Leigh was injured (let’s not mention what lead, lead her into that coffee table :))
Week Two: 13th May 2015
Beginners: Open blues dancing.
We explored dancing in open. How we can use visual lead and follow to play with music and our partner. We did some exercises with gentle lead and follow using a single hand hold – walking round the room and then turning it into dancing.
We then took some more formal blues basics and applied them to open position. Moving forward and backwards and adding rotation.
To finish over we learned a free turn and a mess around (just for the fun of it!)
Some of the tunes we used in the class:
Improvers: Conversational Dancing
In this class we explored how we communicate with our partner beyond traditional lead and follow. We started in open and experimented with ways in which the follow can change the movement. E.g. slow it down. As leads we explored how to give the follower space to add in the dance and to listen to when this is happening.
We then explored what moves are better places for the follower to add in the dance. Working on places were we could follow but add more using the “YES and..” principle. With the leads we also explored how to make moves more open to allow follower to add easier.
Now that we found some good spaces to add, we explored what types of things the follower could easily add and we provided some demos.
Some of the tunes we used in the class:
- Meschiya Lake and The Little Big Horns – Organ Grinder
- Little Walter – Blues With a Feeling
- Richard Berry – Sweet Sugar You
- Freddy Cole – Blues Before Sunrise
Week Three: 21st May 2015
Beginners: Funky Blues
We started with a vanilla basic pulse on our own to get used to the music. In solo we practiced adding “booty” swing to this basic and experimented with make it bigger and smaller. Then we teamed to try with a partner practicing how we can use your own movement to communicate with our partner. The class then explored how to feel the difference with a normal basic.
We then added some rotation to move again working on doing with our body what we want to lead. We then used this as a basis for the basket. We practiced this move and explored ways of changing the speed and duration of the move.
We finished off with Leigh’s favourite move.. a smaller version of the swing away with the weight on one side… jiggle, jiggle, jiggle!
Improvers: Fast Blues in Closed
This was a fun class which pushed us to look tackling faster blues music. We started out by dancing solo to some faster blues music to get warmed up. We then explored what moves and what choices work when the music is faster. We noticed that ballrooming moves and big turns etc didn’t work as well and smaller contained moves in open worked well. We also explored half time moves and what of these worked with the music.
We worked on some footwork rhythms and variations we can apply to faster music well while keeping a clear pulse.
We then experimented with transforming some of our well known moves for faster music. Namely: fishtails and apple jacks.
Finally we talked about breaking up the fast music with some contrasting moves. e.g swivel hips, slow shimmy.
Some of the tunes we used in the class:
- Howlin’ Wolf – Wang Dang Doodle – Single Version
- Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightnin’
- Pee Wee Crayton – Blues At Daybreak
Week Four: 28th May 2015
Beginners: Blues in closed Embrace
In this class we explored the basics of moving about the follow in closed embrace. We also did an introduction to cross steps (also known as ochos) a useful move to have in your toolbox.
Improvers: Dips and Tricks
By request we looked at some dips and tricks.
First one we looked at is dip on the back of the lead after a tuck turn. Hear we had to work to make sure our follow was well aligned with the lead. Once we had it we worked on making it a nice smooth transition throughout.
We then looked at a trick for the follows. Where after a turn into open the follower can anchor themselves and use counter balance to unwind into a turn.
Next up we worked on a leg flick trick by the follows. Lead by the leads coming out of a blues circle using the circular momentum we have created.
Taking a slight detour we reviewed our cross steps (ochos). We especially touched on the contra body movement in the follows to allow the cross steps to have a more curvy appearance.
We finished up by applying the same leg flick to the end of our ochos using the turn at the end of the ochos as our prep for the leg flick.
It was a fun way to round out the month!
We’ve had a few questions lately on what types of shoes work best for swing dancing, so here’s a few recommendations!
If you’re a new dancer coming to your first lessons, any smooth-soled, flat shoes will be perfect. Make sure they won’t slip off your feet on the dancefloor – ones that lace up are ideal.
If you’ve been dancing for a while, you might be looking at investing in some specific dancing shoes. Some dancers prefer suede soles and others like leather soles – this helps us glide on wooden floors in dance halls, means we can pivot, and saves our knees from a lot of potential pain!
For Lindy Hop, we recommend wearing flat soles to allow for the athletic movements and high pace. For Balboa followers, you may find wearing heels will help to give you the perfect position to shuffle away all night!
Some people buy ordinary shoes and then get the soles sueded – there is a locksmiths on South Clerk Street (almost opposite Sainsburys) that Edinburgh dancers often go to.
Alternatively, you may want to buy shoes already designed for dancing, such as Aris Allens or Bleyer. There are a few websites where you can buy swing dance shoes listed below, but always make sure you do some research into the fit before ordering them: