Build community through social dancing and an appreciation of swing Jazz music.
To establish a social Swing dance scene in St. John's, Newfoundland within the next five years. Together, we'll build a safe and respectful place where anyone can dance, learn, grow, have fun, but most importantly, be a part of the group.
The appeal of the Lindy Hop partnered dancing extends beyond the nostalgia of yesteryear. The dance has outlived the glitz of the Jazz age, survived the great depression, rang true through a world at war, all the while riding the waves of dramatic social shifts, and decades of radical political change. Swing dancing has the ability to outlive us all, and so does its powerful message of tolerance; bridging communities through a common musical language that everyone understands. To ensure St. John’s swing community continues to thrive beyond its current leadership and membership requires that we build it upon a solid foundation made up of the following dimensions:
We’re all looking for our place in life; whether it’s at work, at play, or in our community. Central to achieving our mission, is the need to have a dedicated dance studio. With a suitable sprung wooden floor to dance upon, room to teach, and lounges to speak, we can provide a home to swing dancers who are looking for their place. Lindy Hop on the Rock is investing in space and open to collaborating with the arts community.
Board by board we’ll build it together, or we’ll buy it, or we’ll rent it, wherever we dance in the city, we’ll take with us an enthusiasm and spirit to adapt, - to change our surroundings and make them better, make them our home; a safe place where our swing dancers will want to gather for years to come.
Inclusionary, accessible, open to anyone and everyone; Lindy Hop on the Rock posits itself to not only be a member of the DanceNL community in St. John’s but open its doors to anyone and everyone. As the club grows we strive to be the very thing that brought together a handful of humble beginners together in the first place. We’re not a clique, we not elite, we’re nice people with whom to dance and meet. We welcome people into the club, and provide an environment that respects and values the contribution of its members whether they are teachers, students, volunteers, board members.
The history of swing dancing in Harlem, the first integrated ballroom, echoes in our dance halls - in our inner ear - and reminds us why we’re all here. Creating a wholesome culture is the responsibility of all members, whether it’s asking a beginner to dance for the first time or the one hundredth and eleventh time. It’s about being present or maybe giving someone a present, a smile, a compliment – anything and everything to make them feel like they’re a part of the group.
Swing Jazz Music
The famous lyric “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing,” rings true with us. Swing jazz music not only shaped dancers in the 30’s and 40’s but it continues to inspire swing dancers to be creative. Building a swing scene is just as much about the music as it is the dancing. To that end a permanent swing dance scene requires knowledge of what’s come before us and to promote an appreciation for Swing Jazz music.
Educating swing dancers about the chart toppers from yesterday is paramount. We dance a historical dance, meaning our set lists, and our occasional live jazz musicians primarily play swing tunes. And we’ll teach em’ how – educating dancers and deejays about the big bands that played a big role in shaping our beloved Lindy Hop dance.
Quality Dance Instruction
Lindy Hop may have started as street dance in Harlem, New York; however, we recognize the value of taking it into the structured setting of a dance school. Through our dance classes, we give students the opportunity to explore and learn a historical dance - which has largely remained the same for the last 30 years. We help each student develop confidence in their dancing skills.
Lindy Hop on the Rock instructor all differ in that they each bring different backgrounds and dance experience to the classes they teach. What they all share in common is a commitment to the high quality swing instruction. While there are many ways to achieve the same learning objective, at a minimum, Lindy Hop on the Rock promises that each and every class will teach the fundamentals of swing dancing including but not limited to:
A permanent swing scene is one that’s humble and hungry – open to learning new things. We’re equally invested in our instructors’ development as we are with access to new class material for our students. Lindy Hop on the Rock exists on “the Rock” – true – but that doesn’t mean our swing scene needs to be isolated from knowledge. We’re committed to investing in making dance knowledge accessible to everyone, offering competitive class tuition rates, and bringing in national talent and affordable workshops – the best way to share the knowledge with everyone.
A Thriving Community
Respectful of each members’ contributions. Everyone has something of value to contribute. Anyone can be involved; we don’t and can’t measure an individual members’ contribution. But know that we must do our best to show appreciation. Building a long lasting swing dance community means respecting our current members and putting them above all else. We strive to be kind and caring, but are resolute in never putting the wants of the individual over the needs of the many. We promote social dancing as a fun activity, something we’d like to see more of in the city or even a positive alternative to vice. Our commitment to supporting the community includes making members feel like a part of the group and giving them the chance to contribute whether it’s decorating at a social, teaching a beginner class, or taking on the duties of a board member. A thriving scene needs to inspire creativity, freedom and fun.