Looking for dance classes and events in your area? I have had so many enquiries in my store about where my lovely ladies can dress to impress with their beautiful vintage inspired clothes and sweet dance moves that I decided to write about it! I talk about mostly beginners classes in this article but check out the website links provided if you already know your Lindy Hop from your Charleston and want to improve! Check out the website links for more information and for bookings.
SWING CLASSES AND EVENTS
There are a number of Swing Dance associations and groups serving Belfast and NI, with regular events and loads of beginners classes available! I have listed a few for inspiration below.
Swing Belfast are the hot go-to gals for classes and events, with something on nearly every night of the week! You can find them at www.swingbelfast.com or on Facebook (@swingbelfast). Classes are £6 (£5 for students) with no need to pre-book. You can dip in and out as you please and attend on any evenings. So you can give it a go with no obligations! And you don't need a partner - there will be lots of friendly faces there to pair up with!
Mondays classes are hosted at BrewBot (451 Ormeau Road, Belfast) from 7.30pm - 8.30pm (Beginners) and there are intermediate/advanced classes running from 8-10pm.
Tuesdays classes are hosted in Saintfield AYC (6 Main Street, Saintfield, BT24 7AA) from 7pm - 8:30pm. These classes focus on the 6-beat Lindy Hop (East Coast Swing) and Charleston dancing
Wednesdays classes are held in Lilian Bland Pavilion, Glengormley (BT36 6HP) from 7 - 8.30pm. These classes focus on the 6-beat Lindy Hop (East Coast Swing) and Charleston dancing.
Thursdays classes are held in QUB Student Union from 7.30pm for Lindy Hop beginners and between 8 - 9.30pm for more intermediate/advanced dancers!
To show off your new skills 'The Mess Around' is Swing Belfast's monthly social dance evening running from 9pm to 1am, at the Windsor Lawn Tennis Club, Belfast. It runs on the first Saturday of every month, you can pay on the door (£6) and sweet treats are provided!
Swing Belfast also host a number of big swing events and festivals throughout the year - most recently was the Festival Ball - a 1920's themed dance in the Marine Court Hotel, Bangor. Their festive and Christmas events are currently being organised by the lovely Sharon so follow their Facebook page for updates!
West Coast Swing NI
With roots in Lindy hop and Jive, West Coast Swing has roots in Lindy Hop and Jive - it is a smooth and elastic style of swing that is danced to many genres of music at different tempos. The leading instructor of the scene (Andrew Shellard ) is a international professional on the WCS circuit, traveling around the world, with Belfast as his home base! You can find West Coast Swing NI at www.westcoastswingni.com or on Facebook (@westcoastswingNI)
Beginners classes are on Wednesday nights and are hosted at Windsor Tennis Club, Belfast (BT9 6EJ). Beginners start at 7.30pm, with more intermediate and advanced levels at 8.40pm.
Upcoming events include 'Swingtanic' or 'Project Swing' a one hour free introduction to swing workshop, from 8pm - 9pm at Windsor Tennis Club, Belfast running on 23rd September! Check out their Facebook page events for more information! This will be part of a monthly series of social events they will hold.
Dance Until You Drop
Another go to place to find out about upcoming Lindy Hop, Swing, Jive, Rockabilly and Rock 'n' Roll dancing events in NI - find them on Facebook (@DanceUntilYouDrop). Their nights usually start with a fun dance lesson to suit all abilities, then you can dance the night away to a variety of music from the 20's to the 50's era! Their page is soon to be updated with festive and Christmas events so stay tuned!
The Bellehoppers teach weekly classes at the Crescent Arts Centre, their classes run on Tuesdays, starting from Tuesday 12th September, find them at www.bellehoppers.com or on Facebook (@BelleHoppers).
From 6-7pm is Beginner Solo Charleston and Jazz and from 7.15 to 8.15pm you can also do Beginner Swing!
The Bellehoppers are also available to hire as a performance group to add a bit of extra glamour to your event or occasion! Their organised events include a swing dance event called '8 to the bar', held on various dates throughout the year (stay tuned on their Facebook page for an announcement of their next event).
They will be at the US 75 Club on Belfast Culture Night (September 22nd) at the NI War Memorial (21 Talbot, Street, Belfast). Featuring jazz and swing music and performers, the Bellehoppers will be on hand to demonstrate the dances, re-living the war time entertainment for American Forces based in Northern Ireland during the Second World War.
JIVE CLASSES AND EVENTS:
The Belfast Latin Quarter group (http://latinquarter.uk.com/index.php) or find them on Facebook (@latinquarter.dance) run a number of mixed jive and swing classes throughout the week at various locations. Classes cost £5 and you can skip in and skip out as you wish!
Mondays class is held at 7pm in the Lisburn Racquets Club, 26 Belfast Road, Lisburn (BT27 4AS).
Wednesdays class is held at 7.30pm in Shorts Recreational Club, Aircraft Park, Hollywood Road, Belfast, BT4 1SJ
Thursdays class is held at 7pm in Shandon Park Golf Club, 73 Shandon Park, Belfast, BT5 6NY.
Their next social event is on 16th September at the Shandon Park Golf Club, 73 Shandon Park, Belfast, BT5 6NY and promises a night of mixed dancing including ballroom, Latin, Salsa, Tango, Jive, Cha Cha and Swing! Check out the evnt on their Facebook page, £6 entry on the night!
BURLESQUE CLASSES AND EVENTS:
Belfast Burlesque Festival 2017
The next big burlesque event in Belfast is happening from 19th - 21st September - the Belfast Burlesque Festival! Rose & Brimstone are proud to be event sponsors! 'Jewels of the Emerald Isle' high kicks off the event programme on the 19th, a newcomer competition is on the 20th and the big 'TEASE-O-Rama' Festival Edition evening concludes the evenst on the 21st. Find them at www.belfastburlesquefest.com or on Facebook (@belfastburlesquefestival) for more details and updates!
For burlesque classes check out the Crescent Arts Center, University Road, Belfast (www.crescentarts.org). New courses in Burlesque are starting on 12th and 13th September and on the 24th October (running for 6 weeks) and are taught by Belfast's super glamorous Soup Du Jour - an experienced performer with ten years of experience, who regularly appears at cabaret Supper Club Belfast and other events organised by Tease-O-Rama!
The Burlesque Belles are based in Newry and currently host a Tuesday night Burlesque Blitz class at 9pm in their premises off Francis Street. You can find them at www.burlesquebelles.co.uk or on Facebook (@BurlesqueBelles.PoleFitness).
They have hosted a number of events in the area, follow their Facebook page for updates about upcoming events and parties! They also cater for hen/birthday parties, private and corporate events.
I hope this has provided you with a how-to guide on getting started with dancing in Northern Ireland!