Awesome swing dance links News

World Lindy Hop Day 2019

With World Lindy Hop Day (WLHD) fast approaching, we are celebrating the incredible life, passion, and energy of original Lindy Hopper, Frankie Manning. Edinbop will be hosting a free social dance, with DJ sets specifically themed around the music originally played in the Savoy Ballroom.

Edinbop dancers celebrating WLHD 21018

WLHD falls on Frankie’s birthday, 26th May, and is celebrated by Lindy Hoppers worldwide to remember one of the founders of the dance we love. One thing Frankie is always remembered for was his attitude towards dancing and towards everyone he danced with. The Frankie Manning Foundation has put together a wonderful graphic promoting the values Frankie brought to Lindy Hop:


We highly recommend that our dancers dig into Lindy Hop history and read up on Frankie’s life.

Here’s a short list to start you off:

The Frankie Manning Foundation – a charity dedicated to carrying on the work of Frankie Manning to spread the joy of Lindy Hop throughout the world.

Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop – Frankie Manning’s autobiography.

Why Frankie. – a post from the swing dance blog Swungover*.

Hellzapoppin’ – perhaps the best-known clip of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, from the 1941 film Hellzapoppin’. This version was recently uploaded in 1080p HD by Atillo Menéndez. Frankie can be seen wearing a mechanics outfit, dancing with Ann Johnson.

Head to London and become a record breaker!

If you aren’t coming to our Lindy Hop Beginners Weekend Workshop on Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 October, why not head down to London and take part in the World’s Largest Charleston Dance Record Attempt?!

On Sunday 11 October, between 12pm-2pm, the London swing dance scene are hoping to beat the current record of 503 people, so they need all the help they can get!

To break the record, everyone has to know and dance the same routine – the choreographed dance is demonstrated here by the lovely Ben and Robyn:

As well as record breaking, there will be plenty of social dancing for the price of a £2 donation per person to raise money for Guy’s and St Thomas’ Cancer Charity.

Make sure you register in advance to help them count all the record breakers!

Shoes for Swing Dancing

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:


BIG MUSIC DAY – Get in the mood with some classic swing tunes.

To get you in the mood for the BIG MUSIC DAY coming Saturday 12th April, here are some excellent swing tunes for you to listen too.

Also, if you aren’t too familiar with what you are listening to on a Wednesday night this is a great wee intro.


Benny Goodman – Christopher Columbus
Fats Waller – All That Meat and No Potatoes
Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb and His Orchestra – Lindy Hopper’s Delight
Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie – Shiny Stockings – A Frankie Manning Favourite!


Ever seen everyone get on the floor and dance the shim sham or jitterbug stroll but not know the music?

Shim Sham – Jimmie Lunceford – T’ain’t What You Do
Tranky Doo – Tommy Dorsey – Dispy Doodle
Jitterbug Stroll – Woody Herman – At the Woodchopper’s Ball
The Big Apple – Solomon Douglas – The Big Apple Contest

Don’t forget to book your advance tickets for the Battle of the Bands in order to save £3 on a ticket!
8pm – late @ Edinburgh Academy (Dining Hall), 42 Henderson Row, EH3 5BL

Dance workshops and socials. Too much fun?

Awesome workshops & events nearby

September 2013: Helen Cheney’s Solo Charleston & Jazz Course, Edinburgh
September 2013: Balboa Gathering, Newcastle
October 2013: Stompin at Summerhall, Edinburgh
October 2013: Balboa Brunch, Edinburgh (Sat 26th)
October 2013:  European Swing Dance Championships, London
November 2013: Viking Swing, Edinburgh
November 2013: Winter Swing Weekend, Edinburgh
November 2013: Blues Baby Blues, London
January 2014: DJam, Durham
Feb 2014: Edinburgh Balboa Weekend
May 2014: Livin’ the Blues, Scotland!
May 2014: Edinburgh Balboa Exchange

And a little further away…

October 2013: Berlin Blues Explosion
October 2013: LindyShock, Budapest
November 2013: Dragon Swing, Kraków, Poland
December 2013: The AWESOME Snowball in Sweden
January 2013: Lindy Hops the Atlantic, Copenhagen
February 2014: Winter Jump, Oslo
February 2014: Leapin’ Lindy, Bern
April 2014: Prague Blues Exchange 

Jazz & Blues Festival

HOORAY for the Jazz & Blues Festival! Dancing and cracking music galore from 19th – 28th July.
Join the Jazz chat and find out what other folk are going to see and dance to here.

MANY thanks to Francoise for getting the jazz party/page started.

And, there are amazing oportunities to be involved with the Edinburgh Jazz Festival Carnival. Get in touch with our own Anna Plant for more details and check out the facebook page to see what’s going on.

Home & Away – dancing events near & not so near

July 2013: Big Bluesy Spoonful with Annette & Carter, Edinburgh
August 2013: Solo Jazz with Fatima Teffahi, Edinburgh
September 2013: Balboa Gathering, Newcastle
November 2013: Viking Swing, Edinburgh
November 2013: Winter Swing Weekend, Edinburgh
January 2014: DJam, Durham

August 2013: Hamburg Lindy Exchange
October 2013: Berlin Blues Explosion
October 2013: LindyShock, Budapest
November 2013: Dragon Swing, Kraków, Poland
December 2013: The AWESOME Snowball in Sweden





Edinburgh Jazz Festival

We’re in for a real treat this summer. From 19th – 28th July the city will be filled with jazz, blues and of course, much dancing!

There are some terrific bands playing this year and there’s already talk on the Edinbop facebook page with folks planning to dance their way through the festival. We wholeheartedly recommend seeing this lot for starters:
(Dance space may be limited in some venues)

Shirt Tail Stompers: