Online Classes – Solo Jazz & Charleston

Our Solo Jazz classes are going online and as an extra bonus we’re offering both a Level 1 and a Level 2 session!

In Level 1 on Mondays at 7pm we’ll be focusing on particular steps and breaking them down from scratch. This class will be pitched to absolute beginners and those wanting to plug in the gaps in their repertoire.

In Level 2 on Wednesdays at 7pm we’ll be taking our existing Solo Jazz knowledge to the next level with variations, step combos, mini-choreographies and improvisation. This class will be pitched to those who already have some Solo Jazz experience and have already learnt routines such as the Shim Sham, Tranky Doo, etc.

To join us for either class you’ll need to download/register for Zoom. Full details about these online classes, including prices and registration etc, are on our class webpage as well as class events on our facebook page and dedicated class facebook group. Look forward to seeing you there!

Coronavirus & Our Community [Updated]

Socials

Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the close-contact nature of our partner dances, we’ve made the decision to cancel our monthly social, Reading Swing Jam, for the time being..

We have taken this decision in order to help limit risk of infection amongst our dancing and local community but also to safe guard vulnerable folks in the wider community and limit our impact on our beloved National Health Service.

We will reassess the situation at the start of each month going forward, so please keep an eye on our website and social media for updates regarding any changes there.

Classes

SOLO JAZZ & Charleston

Solo Jazz will be suspended until further notice. We are looking into the possibility and logistics of virtual sessions so please make sure you check our RSJ Solo Jazz & Charleston class facebook group for notifications and updates if we get these up and running.

LINDY HOP

Our Wednesday Lindy Hop classes have now been suspended until further notice. Please keep an eye on this website and the RUSDS facebook group for updates and possible future restart dates.

Coronavirus & Our Community

Socials

Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the close-contact nature of our partner dances, we’ve made the decision to cancel our monthly social, Reading Swing Jam, on Saturday 14th March.

We have taken this decision in order to help limit risk of infection amongst our dancing and local community but also to safe guard vulnerable folks in the wider community and limit our impact on our beloved National Health Service.

We will reassess the situation for our April social nearer the time, so please keep an eye on our website and social media for updates regarding any changes there.

Classes

SOLO JAZZ & Charleston

Solo Jazz will be continuing as normal for the time being. Once our current routine course finishes after Monday 16th March, classes will be taught individually (as opposed to in courses of multiple classes) much like our usual Summer Jazz A-Z classes with a mixture of repertoire, mini-choreography and improvisation classes. We will continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly, so please make sure you check our RSJ Solo Jazz & Charleston class facebook group for notifications and updates.

LINDY HOP

Our Wednesday Lindy Hop classes will be continuing for the time being as there are only two more classes left in the Spring Term before we break over the Easter holidays. That said we will be monitoring the situation closely for developments and will follow any guidance received from Reading University Swing Dance Society, the University of Reading or Reading University Students’ Union. Please keep an eye on the RUSDS facebook group for class updates.

General Precautions

We sincerely hope that there will be minimal impact to our classes and events but in order for this to be the case we need your help! Please help us limit the risk of infection among our dance community and beyond by following these guidelines:

  • If you are at all ill (particularly if you have a cough or a high temperature) or have been in contact with someone who has been ill please refrain from attending classes and socials and consider self-isolating for the recommended 7 days minimum.
  • If you have been travelling recently (particularly to a high-risk location) please refrain from attending classes and socials and self-isolate for the recommended 7 days minimum.
  • Please wash your hands thoroughly before and after classes with soap and water ideally or hand sanitiser with 60%+ alcohol content if the former is not available.
  • Please keep tissues on hand at all times. At classes/events where possible cough or sneeze into a tissue and not into your hand or elbow as these are common contact points in dance. If you do use your hand or elbow to cover a cough/sneeze please wash your hand/elbow before resuming dancing.
  • Please visit the NHS website for more information about Coronavirus.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this period.

Solo Jazz: Steps & Improvisation – 2 Week Mini-Course

For the next two week’s we’re going to take a little break from choreography to look at some fundamental repertoire to build our technique and then building in some improvisation exercises to develop recall and flow.

All welcome including absolute beginners – No experience necessary! 

WEEK 1 24th February
WEEK 2 2nd March

IMPORTANT: As with all of our solo classes, please bring with you a drink, a towel/fan, deodorant and a change of clothes especially if you’re staying on for the Balboa class after! A notebook is also highly recommended.

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

Next in Solo Jazz: The Tranky Doo

Next up on the routine rotation at RSJ Solo Jazz we’re taking at look at the Tranky Doo. The Tranky Doo is attributed to Pepsi Bethel, who can be seen performing a version of it in Mura Dehn’s documentary The Spirit Moves with Al Minns and Leon James. It’s a fun routine with lots of fundamental jazz steps and contains some super sweet musicality and variations that’s regularly performed at our swing social dances. Check out this contemporary version of the Tranky Stew performed by Remy Kouakou Kouame and Pontus Pearson – a mash up of the Tranky Doo and Mama Lu Park’s Stew (also coming up soon)!

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.

WEEK 1:
27 January
Prep-Work – Getting a started by focusing on a couple of the trickier bits!
WEEK 2:
3 February
The Routine – Working our way through the choreo, part 1!
WEEK 3:
10 February
The Routine – Working our way through the choreo, part 2!
WEEK 4:
17 February
Finish & Polish – Finishing the routine and then practice, practice, practice!

 

Learn to swing dance with us!

We teach weekly swing dance classes on Wednesday evenings with Reading University Swing Dance Society, during term time. Our classes are fun, friendly and inclusive, an excellent way to meet new people and exercise your body and mind. Classes are followed by social dancing, a time to practice what you’ve learnt and get to know the community.

If you’ve ever wanted to give swing dancing a go, we’ve got two events this week that are just for you!

  • Absolutely no dance experience necessary for either event.
  • No need to come with a partner – we change partners frequently, so you’ll get to meet and dance with a variety of people.
  • Students and non-students welcome.

Free Swing Dance Taster

8.30pm, Wednesday 22nd January

Join us to find out what all the fuss is about and dip your toe in the wonderful world of swing dancing. This is a free taster, so why not just come along and give it a go!
Join the facebook event for notifications and updates.

Swing Dance Crash Course

11am, Sunday 26th January

We’re hosting this workshop for ANYONE wanting to join our Wednesday night beginner classes. It’ll be a crash course to get you up to speed and ready to join our Level 1 class part-way through the year. This 3-hour workshop is suitable for absolute beginners who are willing to dive in at the deep end or current students wanting to consolidate their fundamentals.
Join the facebook event for notifications and updates.

PRICE

Workshop is £10 for student/£15 for non-students.
Pay on the door (cash only please).

 

Both events will be taking place at the following venue:
Wessex Hall
Whiteknights Campus
University of Reading 
Whiteknights Road
Reading
RG6 6BQ

Nervous? Not sure? Need a little convincing? Check out these links:

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. All welcome including absolute beginners – No experience necessary! 

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

WEEK 1: 13th January Prep Work – Getting a headstart on the tricky bits!
WEEK 2: 20th January The Routine – Working our way through the choreo!

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. 

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.

WEEK 1:
18 November
The Routine – Getting a started from the top!
WEEK 2:
25 November
The Routine – Working our way through the choreo!
WEEK 3:
2 December
The Routine – Finishing off the choreo!
WEEK 4:
9 December
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 in Solo Jazz: The Shim Sham

shim-sham-facebook-cover-image

Starting Monday 4 November 2019

Possibly *the most* performed stroll in the modern swing dance community, the Shim Sham is a *must-know* solo jazz choreography. The Shim Sham has it’s roots in tap and it’s origins on the 1920’s stage.

Originally attributed to Leonard Reed and Willie Bryant but made famous by Lindy Hop legend Frankie Manning, the Shim Sham is now performed at social dances and events all over the world! Check out Frankie Manning leading the Shim Sham at Lindy Fest 2007.

All welcome – no experience necessary for Week 1! We’ll be working on the Shim Sham over two weeks. Where’s what you can expect each week:

WEEK 1:
4 NOVEMBER
Prep-Work
Getting a handle on the trickier steps and transitions!
WEEK 2:
11 NOVEMBER
Finishing Touches
Finishing off the choreo 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.

Classes are returning!

SOLO JAZZ & CHARLESTON

After our little break for RSX, our Solo Jazz & Charleston classes return to the Rising Sun Arts Centre from Monday 9th September.

Absolute beginners welcome on the 9th as we kick off a new mini-choreo block, starting with the usual core repertoire before moving into the choreography itself. More info about the class on our page and we highly recommend you join the RSJ Solo facebook group for class notifications and announcements.

LINDY HOP WITH RUSDS

Our classes with Reading University Swing Dance Society kick off at the end of the month with two FREE taster classes for absolute beginners on Sunday 29th September and Wednesday 2nd October. As always, no dance experience or dance partner required! If you’ve got friends you’d like to introduce to the wonderful world of swing dancing then these two sessions are for them – please share the lindy love!

Our weekly Level 2 Lindy Hop class also resumes on the 2nd October with our Level 2 Follower Focus sessions returning the following week on the 9th October.

Full details about these classes can be found on our Lindy Hop page and we also recommend joining the RUSDS facebook group for membership/prices, class notifications and announcements.