Questions about Lindy Hop or coming to our classes? Here are some of the most common questions which new Lindy Hoppers have, but if your question isn't on the list just get in touch and we'll be happy to help!
Q: Do I need to bring a Partner?
A: No! It is normal in Lindy Hop classes to rotate partners, and lots of people come to our classes on their own. If you're on your own, come and say hello - Lindy Hoppers are a friendly bunch!
Q: Rotating partners sounds a bit daunting and I'm coming with a friend/partner. Do I have to?
A: We won't FORCE you to rotate partners if you absolutely don't want to, but we do encourage everyone to rotate. Dancing with as many different people as possible helps you learn the dance quicker, and is the perfect way to meet your classmates and make friends. We're a friendly bunch, so we'd ask everyone to give rotation a good go.
Q: But I have two left feet and no coordination - surely this means I won't be able to Lindy Hop?
A: To this, we simply say that you would be amazed at how bad some of the most experienced members of Lancaster Lindy Circle were when we first started! Lots of people overcome a perception that they can't dance to become truly awesome dancers so you've nothing to lose by coming and giving it a try.
Q: When Can I start?
A: All of our Fundamentals classes are drop in - you can start whenever you like!
Q: How do class levels work?
A: We ask all beginner Lindy Hoppers to take all of our Fundamentals classes before they start attending our Improvers classes. There are 16 fundamentals classes covering all the basic rhythms, moves and movements of Lindy Hop. You can do them in any order. We have to be quite strict with the requirements for joining our Improvers classes, so if you are brand new to Lindy hop we may ask you to watch Improvers until you have covered all the required material. This is the case whether you are experienced in other dance styles or not - Lindy hop is a different beast to a lot of other dances. If you have done some Lindy hop in another scene, come and chat to us and we can tell you where you would be best to start.
Q: What should I wear to class?
A: Whatever you feel comfortable in! While we do enjoy an excuse to get dressed up when we go out social dancing, we are very relaxed in classes, so just come in something you feel good in and which doesn't restrict your movement.
Q: What about shoes?
A: Shoes can rapidly become the addiction of choice for the dedicated Lindy Hopper, but to start with all you will need is some shoes which are comfortable and relatively supportive, not too grippy on the soles, and which won't fall off your feet! We recommend avoiding trainers (too grippy), anything with too high a heel (sore ankles), or ballet pumps (too easy to flap off your feet!) Lace up pumps are ideal, as are brogues with a smooth sole. Non dance brands which are good for dancing in are Keds, Toms, or even £5 converse rip-offs from Tesco (all of which are worn by our most advanced dancers!)
Q: How hard is it to learn to Lindy Hop?
A: Lindy Hop isn't hard, although the initial learning curve can seem a little steep to start with. We promise that it won't be too long before you have a moment where things just seem to "click". There isn't a Lindy Hopper in the world who has stopped learning, which is one of the wonderful things about this dance - there are always new things to learn. So just remember that we're all on a journey together and there are always people around who can help if you aren't sure of something.
Q: Should I "Lead" or "Follow"?
A: Lindy Hop is a partner dance, meaning that one partner has to be the "Lead" and one has to be the "Follow". In the 1930s men were Leads and women were Follows. But we're all a lot more open minded these days and now Lindy Hoppers can learn whichever role they want. In our classes we have plenty of female Leads and male Follows - quite often advanced dancers will go on to learn both roles, so you'll see lots of men dancing with men and women dancing with women.
GENERAL LINDY HOP
Q: What is "social dancing"?
A: This is what Lindy Hoppers call it when we go out to an event and just dance with each other! There are lots of places to use your new found dance skills, and to practice what you have learned in classes. Keep an eye on our Facebook group or Twitter feed and we'll make sure you know when we're off out dancing so you can join in.
Q: Where can I go for Social Dancing and Practice Time?
A: We're thrilled you asked! We have social and practice time at the end of each class on a Thursday so you can nail what you have learned. And you should come along to our Jam Circle Sunday Socials, which are held once a month at the Gregson Centre in Lancaster from 7pm on a Sunday evening. There is also Swingaroo and lots of other stuff which our Lindyhopping friends in other nearby towns and cities get up to. We usually announce dancing opportunities in class, and they frequently appear in the Facebook group for swing dancing in Lancaster. Or just ask one of us for details!
Q: What is it with all the fans I keep seeing?
A: Lindy Hop is quite an aerobic activity, and we all get a bit hot. Most Lindy Hoppers have a fan to keep themselves cool when we're not dancing. They aren't just for the ladies either, many a gentleman Lindy Hopper can be found sporting a "man fan" to keep cool (ten points for anyone who spots the "Iron Man Fan" belonging to one of our members...)
Q: What should I take with me when I go dancing?
A: Most Lindy Hoppers aren't often seen without a well stocked "dance bag" - if you're off out social dancing we recommend a spare pair of shoes you know you can dance in, a fan, some water and some deodorant (just in case). Also a good idea is a spare top to change into - Lindy Hop can be quite the workout when you get going and as you'll be dancing with others it is good manners to be as "dry" as possible...
Q: I'm quite nervous of asking other people to dance. What should I do?
A: This is MUCH more common than you might think, even among people who have been dancing for a long time. On the social dance floor, there are no teachers, no beginners and no superstars. We're all just Lindyhoppers, and everyone can dance with everyone else and have a lovely time. Women don't have to wait to be asked to dance, and Men don't have to do the asking - we're all very equal opportunities. So if you would like to dance with someone, give them a big smile and ask nicely - they were a beginner once and they'll remember what it was like. It is also a skill which gets easier with practice, so the earlier you get into the swing of it, the easier it will become. If you're really nervous, tell them you are a beginner, but remember that there is no need to apologise for this - we all started somewhere.
Q: I've been to a few lessons and I'm completely addicted. What next?
A: This is where things get really exciting... As well as going to local lessons, there are lots of Lindy Hop events which go on all over the country, and quite a few of our members can be found travelling to workshops, festivals and "Lindy Exchanges" at weekends. Workshops and Festivals involve classes, sometimes focusing on particular aspects of Lindy Hop so you can really hone and perfect your skills while learning some fancy new moves. Festivals combine teaching during the day with social dancing at night, usually to live bands and often in lovely locations around the UK and abroad. Lindy Exchanges are held in cities all over the world and involve dancers getting together to social dance as much as their feet will let them over a weekend. If you'd like to try one of these events but don't know where to start, ask the experienced members of Lancaster Lindy Circle and we'll give you some ideas and tell you where we're going so you can come too.
Q: How can I expect other Lindy Hoppers to behave?
A: We, along with many other Lindy Hop societies in the North of England, have developed a Code of Conduct ("STEPS"), which we ask all our members to adhere to in classes and when social dancing anywhere. Dancing is a wonderful social activity, but it does need everyone to treat each other with respect and care. Please take a read of our Code of Conduct before you come to class, or as soon as possible afterwards.