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Swing Dancing Classes

What level should I register for?
La Jam Barcelona festival is unique because all swing dance classes have live music.

It means classes will be lead by both amazing swing dance instructors and swing musicians. In this edition the extraordinary Reverent Juke and Carolina Reapers swing bands will be the musicians in charge of music during Lindy Hop and Solo Jazz classes.

Classes will not be focused on moves but on musicality: Breaks and riffs, swing and blues structure, accents and syncopations, rhythm, different jazz music styles… These are some of the topics to be worked in class.

The Intermediate and Intermediate-Advanced levels will enjoy 6 hours of Lindy Hop classes. The Advanced and Top levels will take 4 hours of Lindy Hop and 2 hours of Solo Jazz.

We assume that the Intermediate and Intermediate-Advanced swing dancers may know the main Solo Jazz moves but probably their Solo Jazz improvisation skills are less strong. Solo Jazz classes will be focused on musicality through improvisation, so dancers really need to have both moves and improvisation skills strong. We want everyone to make the most of the classes, and not to feel uncomfortable. That is why the festival took the decision to only offer Solo Jazz to Advanced and Top dancers, while the Intermediate and Intermediate-Advanced dancers will be able to work extensively on Lindy Hop musicality.

And last but not least, you can assist to 2 theme tasters to broaden even more your awareness regarding musicality in swing dance.

Intermediate Level - Lindy Hop

You’ve been swing dancing between 9 months and a 1 year and a half. You have assimilated the essence of Lindy Hop and have basic knowledge of musicality. You know something about macro musicality, your teachers explained you about the AABA / 32 bar song form and you know how to accentuate breaks, but while dancing you tends to focus on moves not on music. You feel stressed when they tell you should be more musical!

You are usually able to reliably find “1” or the first beat of a chunk of eight counts but sometimes you lose it. You want to develop your listening skills such that you can get back “on the beat” as quickly as possible if you get lost.

Intermediate Advanced Level - Lindy Hop

You’ve been dancing between 1 year and a half and 3 years. You social dance weekly and you always mix basic and advanced steps, having in mind musicality and footwork aspects. You play with the rhythm, syncopation and other elements that implicate more advanced musicality. You feel comfortable at any tempo, and you’re able to swing out and make other figures at fast tempos.

Theory of AABA or thirty-two-bar form is not a myth for you anymore and you feel comfortable with building four eights sections. Even though, you usually dance the main melody, but you feel very messy to improvise freely without losing the structure, like the musicians in any of these songs!

You will be challenged to develop your own personal style!

Advanced Level - Lindy Hop & Solo Jazz

You’ve been dancing between 3 and 5 years. You often go to international festivals, and you participate at the competitions advanced levels. You are maybe teaching some beginner or intermediate levels in your local scene. You are also an advanced Solo Jazz dancer.

You think your dance is very musical, and you are risky playing with the rhythm, syncopation and other elements that implicate more advanced musicality. You can adapt your movements and bouncy feeling to the music energy level. You listen to a lot of swing music and recognize the common patterns, but the different ones sometimes escape you.

You watch top dancers play with music on the dance floor and on Youtube, particularly when you are familiar with the song, but you rarely achieve the same result. You don’t want to feel like copying the top dancers but finding your own swing music expression on the social dance.

On this level you will have 4 hours of Lindy Hop and 2 hours of Solo Jazz. 

Top Level - Lindy Hop & Solo Jazz

You’ve been dancing more than 5 years. You are able to create your own structures of steps and choreographies, you are a swing dance instructor in your city or abroad, and you are a well-known lindy hopper in your local scene that influences newer dancers. You are also a Solo Jazz dancer and you can improvise (even if it sometimes scares you)!

You listen to swing music out of classes and social dance and you know about jazz history. You can easily recognise when the DJ is playing a Count Basie or a Duke Ellington song. You teach about AABA / 32 bar song form, this is not a myth for you! You can improvise freely without losing the structure, in fact you control the macro musicality but you still don’t feel comfortable enough with the micro musicality: riffs, pauses, rhythms…

You will expand your skills dancing to the music’s rhythm, melody, and mood. You’ll try to keep your own personal style differentiating between a New Orleans tune or a classic jazz number.

If you want to sign up to this level, please note that you will be pushed to the max! On this level you will have 4 hours of Lindy Hop and 2 hours of Solo Jazz.