The Swing Feeling team runs swing dancing classes and social events in the South of Greater Manchester. They encourage people through the doors of partner venues to experience upbeat, joyful, energetic atmosphere and an activity that contributes to their wellbeing. Swing dancing entertains participants and onlookers alike.
But what is the swing feeling?
Y’know – we’re not really sure.
Is it clapping on two? The “cha” of the high hat? The “groove”? Is it the lackadaisical to lightning fast, the elasticity of partner dancing? Is it butterflies in your belly?
Explaining it is hard.
Black Americans first discovered the swing feeling during the Harlem Renaissance – a vibrant period of creativity and cultural celebration encouraged by new found freedoms achieved by their Great Migration from the South to the North. Then they shared it.
It is a gift that cries out to be shared. You can’t grow it, make it, package it or patent it. You can just feel it with other people and music. If you can’t share it, you’ll never feel it.
We demonstrate our gratitude for the gift by sharing the swing feeling at every opportunity, in whatever company, to whatever music, to whoever is open to experiencing it.
That breaks down barriers. It encourages interactions between people who’d never normally meet. It’s fun, fulfilling, educational, healthy and transformative.
Like love: swing is a feeling.
You can go through all the right moves, all the right steps, adopt the right style, wear all the right clothes, study all the right history, but it really don’t mean a thing if you don’t feel that swing – and share it with someone.
When you feel it, it’s a buzz unlike any other. You feel a connection between you, a dance partner and the music. If you’re very lucky, you’ll meet a dance partner who will always catch the same swing as you.
Once you catch that perfect swing feeling, it’s exhilarating. Other times it won’t quite work. Don’t worry – you just wait for the next move, the next song, the next dance partner, the next class, the next event. It’ll come back.
Swing dancing changed Brian’s life.
He discovered joy, a constructive social life, new friends all over the world, and an enjoyable source of mental and physical wellbeing. Dancing encouraged him to stop smoking, lose five stone (30 kg) of fat, and travel more.
Brian’s appreciation of good jazz music started as a sick child watching old movies on daytime TV. He sees jazz as the birth of popular music and so will swing out to nearly any “CHUUUUNNE!!!”.
As well as promoting Swing Feeling and the venues we work with, Brian operates a variety of business ventures in media and public relations, law, events and property.
He’s a total pizza snob.
Positive, fun and sociable, it was inevitable that swing dancing would be Holly’s thing. Back in Sheffield in 2014, chin-deep in final year stress at university, Holly took her first swing dancing class as a break from the books.
She had never laughed so hard.
Upon moving to London to edit and publish fiction, she immediately sought out a local swing scene to keep up her dancing and make some new friends.
She’s gone on to attend swing festivals in the UK and abroad. She loves social dancing, but when there’s a jam circle, she grabs her regular dance partner to jump in and throw some aerials.
She says, “It’s just such a rush! So freeing! You get up, do your thing on the dance floor and have a good laugh with really supportive people who also love to dance like nobody’s watching – even when everyone’s watching.”
Check out these photos at swing events.