BIG YELLA: Live Blues Festival in Reading!

Saturday 27th May – Sunday 28th May

The Purple Turtle, home of RSJ’s Thursday Blues classes, is hosting a phenomenal weekend of live blues music for the late May Bank Holiday weekend – two whole days of live blues music that ranges from the old school traditional blues to the latest modern blues. Did we mention that it’s FREE!!! There are £0 tickets available for purchase to guarantee entry should the venue hit capacity over the weekend.

To celebrate this wonderful event, Reading Swing Jam will be offering two Blues Dance tasters, at 12noon upstairs at the Turtle on both Saturday and Sunday, £5 per person each. These tasters are just the thing for dipping your toe into the wonderful world of partnered Blues Dancing and we’ll be giving you a crash course in the basics, just the right amount to get you going on the dance floor for the weekend.

Up Next in Solo Jazz: The Charleston Stroll!

For our next routine rotation we’ll be working through Sing Lim’s Charleston Stroll, performed to the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ ‘Put A Lid On It’. This is a great accessible routine with lots of staple Jazz steps, a good one for building up your repertoire if you’re new to Solo Jazz.

Class starts 7:15pm | Upstairs at the Rising Sun Arts Centre

WEEK 1: 7th March Prep Work – Getting a headstart on the tricky bits!
WEEK 2: 14th March The Routine – Working our way through the choreo!
WEEK 3: 21st March Repeat & Polish – The main workout!

NOTE: Wear comfortable shoes that stay on your feet (i.e. with laces or straps) and avoid heels (definitely no high heels/stilletos).  A change of clothes  is recommended especially if you’re staying on for Balboa after our class and especially a drink. A towel or fan may also be useful. 

RSX 2017: Tickets On Sale!


The first weekend of September is set to be an epic weekend of swing music and dancing at Reading Swing Exchange 2017! Featuring live music from the Ding Dong Daddios, Heather Jayne & the Blue Shoes, The Silver Heels and more in some of the most beautiful venues in the city including last year’s favourites St Lawrence’s Church and Hardcastle Hall at the Abbey School!

Venues, music, hosting and volunteering details are being announced as they’re confirmed so visit the RSX website to find out the latest. You can also get direct notifications of news and updates by following RSX on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.


Early Bird Tickets are now on sale but they won’t last long – Last year’s event sold out and we expect this year to be no different!

Where possible please register in lead/follow pairs to help keep the role ratio as even as possible. If you need some help tracking down a booking partner, you’re welcome to post on the RSX Facebook Event. A followers waiting list is will be up and running for solo followers, please see the RSX FAQs page for full details of how that works.

Up Next in Solo Jazz: Al & Leon’s Shim Sham

On the next routine rotation at RSJ Solo Jazz we’re taking a look at an alternative Shim Sham created by Al Minns and Leon James. Sometimes called The Savoy Shim Sham, this routine starts off feeling like deja vu before striking out on a complete tangent. It’s a great one for rhythm and jazz step combinations. Check out Al & Leon performing their Shim Sham.

All welcome! Knowledge of the vanilla Shim Sham will be an advantage but we’ll be teaching it from scratch over three weeks so no experience necessary.

The Routine – Getting a started from the top!
The Routine – Working our way through the choreo!
8 May
Practice & Polish – Revisiting any tricky bits then practice, practice, practice!

7:15pm | Upstairs at the Rising Sun Arts Centre.
Join our Solo Jazz Class facebook group for regular class updates and helpful links.

Up Next at Solo Jazz: Swing Stroll

Monday 10th April we’ll enjoying a more leisurely pace as we work on Ryan Francois’ Swing Stroll. All welcome! No experience necessary! Just wear comfy clothes and shoes that stay on your feet and bring a drink – a fan or towel might be useful tool.
7:15pm | Upstairs at the Rising Sun Arts Centre

We’ll be taking a short break the week after so there’ll be no class on Monday 17th April, we’ll be back on Monday 24th April. Join our Solo Jazz Class facebook group for regular class updates and helpful links

Blues MiniWorkshop with Pete Hetherington

To complement our weekly Blues classes and further enrich our Blues scene we’re hosting a mini-workshops with special guest teachers on 5th Thursdays of the month. Our first one of 2017 is this month and we have the wonderful Pete Hetherington from London visiting us to broaden our musicality skills.

This workshop is for all levels, starts at 7pm and is at our usual class venue, downstairs at the Purple Turtle. Pop over to our workshops page for the full rundown.

Alley Cat Blues – March Venue Change

Due to a double booking at our usual venue, Alley Cat Blues will be moving to The Rising Sun Arts Centre for our March edition on the 17th. Besides the change in location, you can still expect our usual relaxed and friendly atmosphere, delightful company and great tunes!

Venue Address
30 Silver Street
[Walking directions from the station]

For those wanting to pick up some dinner en route, we highly recommend Tutu’s Ethiopian Table at the Global Cafe or the Bakery House, Lebanese restaurant/takeaway, both on London Street.

Up Next at Solo Jazz: The Big Apple!

From Monday 27th February we’re going to be tackling the king of solo jazz routines, The Big Apple!

It started out as a call and response dance but was then immortalised as a stand alone routine when choreographed by Frankie Manning and performed by Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers for the 1939 film Keep Punchin’. It’s now known and danced by lindy hoppers all over the world and is soon to join the Reading swing scene repertoire!

This is a beast of a routine so we ask attendees to arrive early so we can start promptly and make the most of the time we have.

All welcome! No experience necessary! Just wear comfy clothes and shoes that stay on your feet and bring a drink – a fan or towel might be useful tool.

7:15pm | Upstairs at the Rising Sun Arts Centre.
Join our Solo Jazz Class facebook group for regular class updates and helpful links.

*NEW* Alley Cat Blues


RSJ is thrilled to announce our new monthly Blues social, Alley Cat Blues! Join us every third Friday of the month upstairs at Smokin’ Billy’s BBQ Restaurant for an evening of Blues and Fusion music and dancing from 8pm. Our first Alley Cat Blues will be taking place on Friday 17th February. Entry is £5 or 2-for-1 for students.

With cosy sofas and soft lamp light, Alley Cat Blues will be a great way to wind down from the working week and warm up for your weekend. The upstairs Speakeasy where we’ll be hosting Alley Cat Blues is accessed via the restaurant so you can grab a drink from the fully licensed bar on your way up. Hungry? Smokin’ Billy’s serves a mean meal so why not join us for dinner from 7pm too.

This social is an excellent complement to our weekly partnered Blues dance class held downstairs at the Purple Turtle. Interested in learning to Blues dance? Our 4-week beginner courses start each first Thursday of the month at 7:30pm. Check out our classes page for full details.

Slow Dancing with Alex & Brennan


Expand your dancing repertoire by learning how to slow dance!

We’re stoked to be inviting US instructors Brennan DeVoe and Alex Haley to Reading on Saturday 11th February to teach an afternoon of classes dedicated to slow dancing. Over three hours they’ll be working through the fundamental techniques of close embrace and using the floor to move slowly as well as layering on some flashy moves too. There’s something for everyone at the workshop, as beginners get an introduction to slow dancing and more advanced dancers can enjoy a new perspective on fundamental techniques!

Alex and Brennan sent us this workshop sneak peak to tempt you…

Workshop tickets also include entry to our Swing Jam social in the evening at the same venue. Tickets are on sale now. For more info, check out the Workshops page and join the facebook event for event updates.