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1950s Rock & Roll Jive FAQs

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We cater for over 18s, but there is no upper age limit.

Are there any age restrictions?

All the moves we teach are developed with safety in mind, but the basic rule is that, Girls, if you aren’t ready for a move, aren’t comfortable with a move, or miss a lead - don’t do it.  Similarly, Guys, if your partner resists a move in any way, don’t force her to continue.  Ensure you have a loose hold that can be broken at any time.  And never be afraid to stop and start again.

What about safety?

Rock & Roll American Jive can be quite energetic!  During a complete evening of dancing, it’s important that you drink plenty of fluids.  We don’t sell drinks in class, so please bring your own refreshments. You may also like to bring a small sports towel with you!

Should I bring a drink with me?

One of the most difficult things to begin with is asking a relative stranger for a dance!  To make things as easy as possible for everyone, we only have one class rule about this - please don't refuse a dance with any other member during classes.  One dance is 2 songs, and most of us can endure (or even enjoy!) dancing with anyone for a few minutes at a time.

If you have come with a partner, you may want to dance mostly with your partner outside the instruction periods. That’s perfectly okay, but it really helps your dancing if you dance with other people too.

What about asking someone to dance?

There are lots of different styles of Jive around, so even if you've learnt another style, we do ask you to join in the first class for a few weeks until you are comfortable with the basics of this style - mainly for the benefit of other learners who only know this style.  But there's often a chance to stay on for the second lesson as well - come and ask us if you feel you could cope with doing class 1 and class 2 at the same time.

I've learnt other forms of Jive - which class should I start with?

Even after your first lesson, you'll usually be able to dance enough steps to make it a recognisable dance, but it takes a few weeks of practice to get it comfortable.  Although people learn at different speeds, it generally takes about 4-6 weeks to feel that you know what you're doing - so don’t give up!

Our Beginners Courses are designed to give you a good grounding in the basic moves with the confidence to dance a variety of figures after completing the course.

How soon will I be able to dance?

What will we learn?

As well as learning the fundamentals of partnered Rock & Roll American Jive, during classes you may learn some other variations.  These can include Progressive Rock & Roll which is danced in a circle to a set basic pattern with everyone dancing in time and moving on to the next person in the circle each time.    And, as you become more proficient, there is another form of Rock & Roll American Jive where one leader dances with two girls at the same time - which looks pretty impressive, but is actually much easier than it looks!

We don’t encourage people to just come and watch the classes unless they are regular class members waiting for another class to start, or staying on after Class 1.  Everyone in the hall is asked to join in the instruction periods, but may want to sit out through general practice.  If you join one of our Beginners courses, everyone will be in the same boat, and probably feeling just as nervous as you are.

Can I just come and watch?

You don't need special shoes for classes, but they must have fairly slippery soles (for both the guys and the ladies), and they shouldn't be able to come off while you're dancing.  Mules, trainers and shoes with heavy treads or non-slip soles are definitely not suitable, and could result in twisted ankles or other injuries.

Girls often ask if they should wear heels - this is a matter of personal choice.  Some find a heel gives support to the foot, while others are more comfortable in 'flatties'.  People often bring several pairs of shoes and change them during the evening to find which ones work best for them.

What about shoes?

No special clothes are necessary - just casual and comfortable - but make sure your clothing isn't too warm or too tight as you'll be moving around quite a bit, especially as you start to learn more complicated moves.  Layers are good!

What should I wear?

You don’t need to bring a partner with you for Classic classes, although you’re welcome to if you wish, but Ladies please don’t ask to dance together in our Classic classes - if you’d like to learn with a female friend, our Ladies Only classes are for you and you do need to come along in pairs.  In both Classic and Ladies Only classes, during instruction and afterwards in practice time, you'll be mixed round to get used to dancing with different people. You get to know the other class members, and everyone benefits from dancing with people who are a bit more experienced.

Do I need to bring a partner?

Each week of the course, we'll start by going over the last week's move, then adding another figure. Each move is 'standalone' and can be added into your repertoire from the basic movement at any point in the dance - Rock & Roll American Jive is not a choreographed routine, and each leader will have their own unique way of putting moves together. This also means that it doesn't matter if you have to miss a week, as you won't miss part of a routine, and you can still catch up during the following week's revision. If you have to miss 2 weeks, then it just means you won't know one of the standalone figures and it won't affect the other moves that you learn.

I can't make every week of the course - will I be able to catch up?

We know you can't always make every week of a 6-week run due to other commitments, so when you have paid for a course, we'll make sure you get your full 6 weeks lessons. We usually leave a couple of weeks of general Beginners classes between courses where you can catch up on any lessons you've missed, and if everyone has managed to do their full 6 weeks, we'll just show you another couple of moves. Your vouchers are valid till they're used up, so you can also use any spare vouchers in Class 2 once your Beginners course is finished.

I can't make every week of the course even though I've paid for the 6 weeks - do I get a refund?

I have 2 left feet - I'll never be able to learn will I?

We believe that anyone can learn to dance given the right instruction and lots of encouragement!  Give it a try - you never know …  (Anyway, we specialise in 2 left feet!)