Keeeeeeeeep dancing!

University is a great way to try new things and discover your passion for something previously unknown; whether it is an academic topic, a sport, or a society.

At the end of my first year, I went to the University of York Swing Dance Society’s first ever lesson, simply because it was free! Since then, I have become hooked on Swing Dance, or Lindy Hop, and all that it offers.

  1. The music is fantastic. I love old-style jazz and swing music so from that perspective, it is perfect.
  2. There is a great social element. The whole aim behind swing dancing is learning how to lead and follow moves within a partnership so you can then social dance. Being able to do this means you can walk up to any person in the room and ask them for a dance! It makes it so easy to meet new people. We also rotate partners during lessons, so you get to meet everyone in the room; it’s a bit like speed-friending!
  3. There are other swing dance societies in other cities and at other universities, who frequently hold weekend dance camps and events (like Jorvik Swing which I mentioned in my first post). Dancing is a great reason to get out and visit other places with your friends, be it nationally or internationally. And of course, you make a ton of friends when you get there too!
  4. It is good for you! Swing dance is very energetic and is a great form of exercise.
  5. It’s a crazy amount of fun.
Yorkies on tour! Watch out Edinburgh, we’re mad.

Last weekend, I travelled up to Scotland for Edinburgh University Swing Dance Society’s weekend event, ‘University of Swing’.

The weekend consisted of four workshops, as well as a hour-long taster in something new. The workshops were taught by a range of teachers, some coming from Leeds, some from London and some from Stockholm!
It was also fantastic to see friends I’ve made at previous events, and to have a dance and a catch up.

Me and some of the other Yorkies before our competition prelims.

As well as taking part in these classes, I also entered my first ever competitions! The first competition I did is called a Jack and Jill (JnJ). Couples are randomly paired, and are often switched around between rounds, so it really tests how well you’re able to lead and follow moves! I managed to reach the final in this category which I was insanely pleased with.
The other category I entered was the Strictly Lindy. In this category, you sign up with a partner and dance with them for the whole competition. For this category, I signed up with my friend George who is part of the society at Nottingham University.

Click here to see a video of us dancing in the preliminary rounds (I’m representing York in my blue society t-shirt). Amazingly, we made it to the final and placed third overall which is phenomenal for my first ever competition!
I came away from the weekend feeling tired and inspired, and proud of what I’d achieved.

Waiting to dance in the JnJ competition.

This weekend, York are running their very own weekend event called ‘Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Hop’, named after the shortest street in York with the longest name. It’s the first event like this that we’ve ever run, so there are a lot of nerves flying round in preparation for the weekend. But, I’m also very excited to see old friends and have a dance, and I think the event will go swimmingly.

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A 3rd and final year maths student at the University of York with an unhealthy obsession with swing dance. Also a keen baker, a tea drinker, headscarf enthusiast and someone with a ridiculously loud laugh.