The Isle of Man’s dedicated and enthusiastic Swing Dance group, Swing in the Isle, were very much in evidence, at The British in Douglas, for their third successful dance workshop and party “Swing in Spring!”. The event saw the welcome return of Scott Cupit and Arrianne O’Shea, from Swing Patrol in London, who were, once again, wonderful teachers and dance leaders, having taught our inaugural workshop “This is Swing!” in August 2018. Over 40 dancers took part over the weekend and the level of application shown by all was truly inspiring.
Swing in the Isle now has over 200 dancers on the Island and this event was an opportunity to advance the dance skills of the group as it approaches its first anniversary. Unlike previous workshops, which were primarily aimed at increasing the number of Swing dancers in the island, the emphasis this time was to up-skill existing dancers with additional steps and key technical enhancements to make them better partners and dance leaders/followers. In addition, an important element of the weekend was a Teacher Workshop day where current and aspiring Island dancers could learn some of the fundamentals of teaching Swing dance from one of Europe’s foremost teachers of Swing dance.
Day one, Friday, was given over to the Teacher Workshop with Scott covering important basics such as how to break down the teaching of dance steps, class structure and music choice as well as more administrative points such as retention and marketing of classes. The aim of the day was to enable the existing class format, currently operating is Ramsey and Douglas, to be enhanced and expanded to cover more of the Island population by increasing the number of teachers and helpers available. The Teacher day attendees were then assisted over the remainder of the weekend to consolidate their new-found knowledge by watching the experts in action.
Day Two combined some basics of Swing dance in the morning, to allow beginners to benefit from Scott and Arrianne’s teaching, with the afternoon providing a more intermediate level of skills that both beginners and “improvers” could benefit from. Saturday evening was, of course, time for the Swing Party – A “Prom” Dance for the group – where workshop attendees get to try out their new moves and take part in an important element of Swing Dance, its social aspect, with partners across genders, cultures, ages and abilities combining to celebrate the beauty of dance.
The Party crowd was then given a specially choreographed Swing Dance Demonstration from Scott and Arrianne (see video link below) that had the crowd “swinging in the aisles” and itching to emulate them on the dance floor.
The final day, Sunday, was time for some serious dance work with the more advanced members of the group being taken through a combination of technical skills and sophisticated dance steps designed to move them to the next level in Swing dance. There were some pretty tired “dance-bunnies” by the end of the day!
Best dressed man.
Eight months in to our Swing dance journey, the Island can be very proud at how this wonderful style has now established itself in the Island’s arts culture. Lots more work; fun and friendship will be the key continuing its progress.
Scott & Arrianne demonstrate their moves!
This write up was kindly provided by Swing in the Isle. If you'd like to send us your event write up, we'd love to hear from you! Simply send it to our Engagement Officer on Grainney.Sheard@gov.im along with some high quality images.