RSJ Gift Guide for Dancers

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With the start of December approaching, we thought it might be useful to compile some gift suggestions for the dancer in your life. Here’s our top gifts for dancers…

Books

There are lots of useful books on history, music and dancing, here’s just a few of our top picks.

Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop
by Frankie Manning and Cynthia R. Millman

Swingin’ at the Savoy: The Memoir of a Jazz Dancer
by Norma Miller (Author), Evette Jensen (Editor)

Practice Swing: The Swungover* Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Guide To Improving Your Dancing
by Robert White

Swing Dance
by Scott Cupit

Blues Legacies And Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday 
by Angela Y. Davis

Blues People
by LeRoi Jones

Shoes

International swing and burlesque sensation Sharon Davis shares her dance shoe recommendations in a blog post for her dance school Jazz Mad, Jazz Music & Dance Academy in London. Check it out, it’s full of helpful ideas for a range of styles and budgets, including many of our favourites too.

Shoe accessories like shoe deodorisers and shoe bags also make great gift ideas.

Clothes & Accessories

Any dancer would be thrilled to receive a gift from vintage and retro style retailers such as Collectif Clothing, Revival Retro, Lindy Bop and Bitter Root Vintage.

Shop locally in Reading at Frock & Roll Vintage, Louise Rose Couture and Adrienne Henry Millinery. Funda in the Broad Street Mall often has affordable vintage inspired dresses.

You can also look at active wear as gifts for dancers, perfect for attending classes, workshops and weekenders. Danceweaver Creations, made by Blues Dancer Jeannie Lin, are beautiful hand woven leggings that are great for classes and social dances alike.

Then there’s accessories! Hair embellishments like flowers or decorative bobby pins are often popular as are silk scarves. Hats, handkerchiefs, bow ties, neck ties, arm bands and braces are also common dancer accessories. Original vintage or vintage inspired, any of the above would make great gifts for any dancer.

You can also check out our merch store on Red Bubble for RSJ tops and hoodies and much more – a great way for Reading dancers to show off their pride in their home scene.

Music

Go old skool and take a mooch through the record store for some vintage sounds. Places like the Oxfam music store in Reading often have some hidden gems and you can regularly pick up bargain lots on eBay. If you’re not sure what to get, compilations and Best-ofs are usually safe bets. If you need further inspiration, check out our various playlists on Spotify!

Want to play it safe? Alternatively, you can buy MP3 vouchers for Google Music perhaps or even shout someone their year’s subscription to Spotify and let them choose their musical journeys.

Minirigs are lightweight and sturdy, they make brilliant gifts for dancers and music lovers on go.

RSJ Gift Vouchers

Give the gift of dancing! Our gift vouchers are redeemable against Reading Swing Jam entry, Solo Jazz Classes, Thursday Blues Classes and Workshops. Email us at readingswingjam@gmail.com if you’re interested in finding out more.

Subscriptions

There are a number of online class subscriptions available out there from some of the best teachers in the world! There’s Michael Jagger and Evita Arce’s online school for swing dancing and you can learn the Secrets of 20s Charleston with Ksenia Parkhatskaya! Swing Patrol, Jo Hoffberg & Kevin St Laurent , Micky Fortanasce & Kelly Arsenault and Todd Yannacone also have online classes available.

You can pick up a variety of classes in all levels from iDance.net in Lindy Hop, Balboa and Blues and more taught by some of the biggest names in the business.

Fans, Notebooks, Tech & Other Accessories

One of the most useful accessories for dancers is the fan and they make awesome gifts! Made of a number of materials including paper, fabric and wood, you can get them in just about every colour and style with something to match everyone’s budget.

Swing dancers are a geeky lot and a there’s nothing quite like a good sturdy notebook for collating notes from workshops and keeping track of routines. Other ideas include eco-friendly reusable drink bottles and travel mugs, super handy for staying hydrated during workshops and events.

Vintage-styled dance-related stickers are great for decorating things like laptops and notebooks and you can even find swing related art online too.

As you can see, the possibilities are just about endless. Happy shopping!