There’s something happening all over London that you might not be aware of. Every week, all over London, 1000 people head to basements, and bars, and spaces across the city and learn an awesome new skill. Except it’s actually a pretty classic vintage skill. We’re talking about Swing Dancing. Swing Patrol have made it their mission to get Londoners dancing. And the fact that they’ve broken records and won awards along the way? Just icing on the cake. We sat down with them to find out more.
How did you get into what you do?
Swing Patrol all began when our director Scott landed from Australia 7 years ago. He first fell in love with swing dancing when he saw it at Disneyland and it all bloomed from there. In the early days, Scott and the two teachers he brought with him would dance outside tube stations in the snow to try to advertise the classes. 10 people in a class was a huge success! These days we have lots of different venues that teach over 1000 people each week but it still has that same community feel it always had.
How would you describe your teaching style?
Relaxed, friendly and passionate. We just want to share our love of what we think is one of the most joyful dances in the world so we welcome anyone that wants to give it a go.
Why would you recommend your activity?
There are so many brilliant things about swing dancing, it’s difficult to list them all – the friendly teachers, the great music, the chance to meet lots of new people, the exercise, the fact that it’s so easy to start… it goes on!
Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?
Swing Patrol holds the World Record for the World’s Largest Charleston. In October 2015 we had 975 dancers Charleston-ing at Spitalfields market. It was EPIC. In July, the previous record holders will be trying to take it back so we’ll be keeping a close eye on them! Check out our video!
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?
Our teachers will regularly be found out social dancing which is the whole point of learning to dance. There are loads of dance events across London and beyond every weekend where there are DJs playing vintage tunes for people to swing out to. It’s a great night out where you can try out all the moves you pick up in class!
What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?
Spitalfields Market – we run free swing sessions under the sails there throughout summer, followed by a bit of shopping in the market or dinner in one of the local restaurants. There’s an amazing cheese shop called Androuet where you can get fondue. Yum!
We can’t wait to get down to another one of Swing Patrol’s sessions. Details of their upcoming classes can be found here. We’ll see you there!