The Lindy Hop
The Lindy Hop originated in the dance halls of Harlem, New York in the late 1920s, and gained mainstream popularity throughout the 1930s and 40s. It developed alongside the new swinging beats of the live music scene, and is a partnered dance that fuses jazz, tap, breakaway and Charleston. It can be wild and spontaneous, or groovy and stylish. Performances wow audiences with the high energy it exudes, while internationally it is enjoyed as a social dance with an emphasis on musical interpretation and improvisation. The Lindy Hop saw a period of revival in the late 1980s and is still going through an exciting stage where new audiences are constantly being developed. It is a very exciting time to be part of this worldwide sensation.
The Lindy Hop, as you'll see it at Cardiff classes and events, will largely be with two feet on the ground, and air steps are generally kept for special workshops. Lindy Hop Cardiff predominantly focuses on teaching dance as a social interaction, rather than a performance art. Social dancing is the most joyful way to use the skills you've learned in classes and new dancers are warmly welcomed and encouraged by the Cardiff swing dance community.
Lindy Hop Cardiff
Lindy Hop Cardiff was launched in 2012 out of the passion and obsession of Anna Rogers. Having learnt the joys of the Lindy Hop in Sheffield, and then Bristol and London, she was keen to establish a scene comparable to these in the Welsh capital. At that time there were no regular classes or social dances to build on, and the Lindy Hop was largely an unknown dance style in the city. With the support of Swing Dance Bristol's David Zilkha, and dancers from this neighbouring scene, Anna was able to introduce Cardiff to the Lindy Hop and create a new appetite for swing in her city.
By bringing Bristol's Ollie Parham on board as a regular lead teacher, Lindy Hop Cardiff was able to provide courses to a consistent quality and developed a great community of dancers. Ollie's skill and dedication was key in the launch of the new scene here, and you can follow his continuing work in Cardiff and beyond here.
Now that the Lindy Hop has truly landed in Cardiff, Anna is seeking to develop further opportunities for the city; to establish a consistent supply of classes on a local level, to bring in special guest teachers, to host quality dance events, and build Cardiff's reputation on the international dance map.
Anna Rogers is the founder and director of Lindy Hop Cardiff, and launched a fresh dance scene in her home city.
"I've been around swing music as long as I can remember, starting with bouncing on my Dad's knee while he played Fats Waller at the piano. It's been great using my musical background and studies to develop my own approach to teaching the Lindy Hop, as I'm passionate about musicality as a means of personal expression. I knew the Lindy Hop was the perfect dance for me the first time I saw a performance where they incorporated slapstick humour within the dance, and I love using my sense of humour within the dance as well as my classes to put people at ease and show the joy this dance brings. The biggest compliment I ever get is when people say how happy I look when I'm dancing and I adore sharing this with other people. I also have a massive respect for this dance and its heritage and try to incorporate that in to my tuition. I feel incredibly fortunate to have discovered this rich and dynamic dance, and feel it is a precious art form that we must honour at its roots and pass it on to the next generation with as much authenticity and love as possible. I'm thrilled with the success of the scene in Cardiff so far and looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Cardiff and the Lindy Hop."
Anna dances as either lead or follow, and enjoys dancing with dancers at any level. This gives her a balanced insight in to the dance as a whole, and is able to give personalised tuition for either side. Anna is passionate about encouraging new dancers, and in building self-confidence in her students which she hopes will carry through to their lives outside of her classes.
Values & Goals
The goal of Lindy Hop Cardiff is to provide high quality events and classes, to give the people of Cardiff a scene to be proud of, and to elevate the city as a key destination for swing dancers from all over. The community that has developed around this business reflects these values wonderfully, as we now have a diverse and welcoming scene.
For Anna, the Lindy Hop is the embodiment of pure joy, musical expression, communication, and humour, She believes that it teaches individuals not only dance steps, but to an extent, better values for life; positive ways to connect with other people, challenging social inhibitions and increasing body confidence. At Lindy Hop Cardiff, dancers are encouraged to learn whichever role they please, and roles are non-gender-assigned. Anna believes it is important for individuals to learn how to dance comfortably within their own body shape, to identify and play to their own strengths, and this is personal to each dancer regardless of gender.
It is said that the Savoy Ballroom honoured a non-discrimination code, it was the only place where all colours and classes could dance together. Lindy Hop Cardiff seeks to emulate this by creating inclusive, safe spaces for all. Many learners worry they have 'two left feet' or 'no rhythm', but all that matters here is that you come with an open mind and an open heart.