New Venue!

18 Oct 2017 - by Graham

Jivebeat Hurst Green is moving!!

As many of you already know, we have been talking for a while now about finding a new venue for Thursdays, and this week - after a weirdly coincidental series of very unlikely events - we found one! So from the 23rd November, Jivebeat Hurst Green will become...

Jivebeat Edenbridge!

Yes, we are excited to announce that from Thursday the 23rd November we will be starting classes in the Eden Centre, Edenbridge. We will be keeping to the same class format, so we will start with a LeRoc class, followed by our Tango Nuevo class, then freestyle through to 11pm with our unique mix of music. We will even keep our "Tuck Shop"!

Edenbridge is less than 15 mins from Hurst Green by car (I timed it - that's not just a Google estimate) so it's easy to get to if you are coming from the Oxted direction, and many of you will find that it's closer.

Classes at Hurst Green will continue until we make the move, but check the diary as there may be last minute schedule or timing changes as we begin to get ready.


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Edenbridge  Move    

Our First Birthday

27 Sep 2017 - by Graham

On Monday the 19th September 2016, Jivebeat was born. At around 8pm I switched on my microphone, took a deep breath, and stepped up in front of a room full of people to give my first ever dance class. To say that I was nervous would be a huge understatement, but it wasn't the speaking to a group that scared me or even the teaching aspect as I had done both of those things many times before. No, the thing that I was most worried about would be how people would react to me as a dance teacher. Most people knew me as the taxi-dancer (beginners' coach) at the Ceroc venues in Bromley and Chislehurst, and if they didn't know me from there they probably remembered me as the slightly nervous new arrival at Ceroc Hayes after I relocated from Hampshire back into Kent a couple of years earlier. What would they make of me standing up in front of them and suddenly being their teacher?

I need not have worried because despite all of the things that could have gone wrong, it worked! Everyone loved the class. We had a great time, and our second launch night (Thursday that same week at Hurst Green) was even more successful. Jivebeat was clearly here to stay.

Fast forward a few months and in response to the things we were being asked about by our members we began to make some changes. We stopped teaching a beginners' LeRoc class followed by an intermediate / advanced one. We added in workshops and tried out a "beginners' course" format to the evenings. We added in more freestyle time to some evenings, and mixed up the music a little. And then a few months later still we changed the format again and accidentally introduced Argentine Tango to the classes which was an unexpectedly popular move, and that's where we are at the moment.

Teaching at Jivebeat has been a learning experience for me and for the rest of the crew, but we have loved every minute of it. We have made new friends, met amazing people, and been inspired every week by the love we get back from everyone we teach. There is nothing else like it, and just being a part of it - let alone having been the one to put it all together - is an amazing privilege. We get so much encouragement from our regulars, and this week we were even given a birthday card to celebrate Jivebeat turning one. That was amazing, and really brought a lump to my throat. You people are very special...

We have probably made a few mistakes along the way during this first year. I wonder at times if had we done things a bit differently whether some of the people who decided that dancing was probably not for them would still be coming along. I wonder if a different format to the classes would have meant that Jivebeat would be bigger than it is now. But none of that really matters, as Jivebeat is exactly what I hoped it would be and far more than I thought we could achieve. We are unique (as far as I know) with our mix of LeRoc and Tango, and we have the best atmosphere and friendliness of anywhere I've ever danced. What more could anyone ask for?

So happy birthday, Jivebeat!!! Here's wishing you many more of the same!


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Argentine Tango  LeRoc  Birthday  

Weekly Newsletter

26 Sep 2017 - by Graham

Jivebeat turned 1 this week, and whilst I'm not going to say too much on here about it (there will be a blog post later in the week) I really do want to say that you made our birthday something very special for us. It has been an absolute privilege to be your dance teacher for this last year, and here's hoping for many many more years to come. Thank you!!

This coming week...

For the next two weeks we will be going back to basics. We have had a large number of people signing up over the summer and so we thought we would dedicate the next two weeks specifically to covering the fundamentals. If you have never danced LeRoc or Tango before then this is an ideal opportunity to find out what it is all about and see why we all love dancing so much. And remember that even if you are a more experienced dancer you will still find something to learn or practise, so come along and join in the fun. 

It's a big Jivebeat welcome to everyone!

Thursday 28th September @ Hurst Green (Oxted)

  • 8.00pm - LeRoc fundamentals - Back to Basics
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango - Introduction and Fundamentals
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle ​

Friday 29th September @ Sevenoaks

  • 8.00pm - LeRoc fundamentals - Back to Basics
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango - Introduction and Fundamentals
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle 

Our recent classes...

Here is a quick reminder of the moves and routines we taught at last week's classes. As usual, we have posted short videos of the LeRoc Classes and the Tango Classes on our YouTube channel so you can watch them as many times as you like. (Note: last week's videos will be available on Tuesday morning as I got a bit delayed at the weekend and haven't edited them yet.) 

Hurst Green - 21st September

  • LeRoc: Basket / Short Neck Break / Lady Spin
  • Tango: Walking and Frame

Sevenoaks - 22nd September

  • LeRoc: Long Neck Break / Comb Lean / Basket Switch
  • Tango: Walking and Frame, with a block and slide, and a boleo. 

Forthcoming Events

Nothing booked at the moment. 

Don't Forget

There are a few things coming up that we are not involved in but that we support...

Brightangothon - Three days of argentine tango with some of the best tango DJs and teachers around is all happening in Brighton from Oct 27th -29th. Click the link to find out more.


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Newsetter  

Weekly Newsletter

17 Sep 2017 - by Graham

Happy birthday to us,
Happy birthday to us,
Happy birthday dear Jivebeat,
Happy birthday to us!!!!!

Yes, Jivebeat is one year old this week! On the 19th September 2016 we opened our doors for the first time, and all the preparations that had been under way since the start of the year became very much a reality.

This week we'll be celebrating our birthday at all our classes, so come along and join the party. There will probably be cake... πŸŽ‚πŸ˜Š

This coming week...

Thursday 21st September @ Hurst Green (Oxted)

  • 8.00pm - LeRoc fundamentals and progressive moves
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle 

​Friday 22nd September @ Sevenoaks

  • 8.00pm - LeRoc fundamentals and progressive moves
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle 

Our recent classes...

Here is a quick reminder of the moves and routines we taught at last week's classes. As usual, we have posted short videos of the LeRoc Classes and the Tango Classes on our YouTube channel so you can watch them as many times as you like.

Hurst Green - 14th September

  • LeRoc: Loophole / Change of Place / Comb Lean
  • Tango: Gyro

Sevenoaks - 15th September

  • LeRoc: Long Neck Break / Comb Lean / Basket Switch
  • Tango: Abbreviated 8-step basic into gyro and ocho with block 

Forthcoming Events

Nothing booked at the moment. 

Don't Forget

There are a few things coming up that we are not involved in but that we support...

World of Dance Weekend - The World of Dance Weekend is this coming Saturday, the 23rd September in Margate. Click on the link (left) to book tickets and read about this excellent event.

Brightangothon - Three days of argentine tango with some of the best tango DJs and teachers around is all happening in Brighton from Oct 27th -29th. Click the link (left) to find out more. Early-bird booking is still available!


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Newsletter  

Weekly Newsletter

12 Sep 2017 - by Graham

Welcome to our regular weekly news bulletin of all things Jivebeat.

This coming week...

Thursday 14th September @ Hurst Green (Oxted)

  • 8.00pm - Modern Jive fundamentals and progressive moves
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle ​

Friday 15th September @ Sevenoaks

  • 8.00pm - Modern Jive fundamentals and progressive moves
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle 

Our recent classes...

Here is a quick reminder of the moves and routines we taught at last week's classes. As usual, we have posted short videos of the LeRoc Classes and the Tango Classes on our YouTube channel so you can watch them as many times as you like.

Hurst Green - 7th September

  • LeRoc: Slingshot / Leader LH Comb / Closed Neck Break / Travelling Change
  • Tango: Abbreviated 8-step basic into ochos

Sevenoaks - 8th September

  • LeRoc: Slingshot / Closed Neck Break / First-move Mambo Walk-around
  • Tango: Abbreviated 8-step basic into ochos and a gancho

Forthcoming Events

Nothing booked at the moment.


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Newsletter  

Strictly is back!

11 Sep 2017 - by Graham

Unless you've been living off the grid for the last couple of months you will know by now that the new season of "Strictly Come Dancing" - "Strictly" - is back on our tellyboxes until Christmas. After the first few weeks of practice and training are over, Saturday nights on the BBC will become the home of dancing, the centre of dance-related conversation, and something that everyone will have an opinion about. It's a national institution - international if you count all the "Dancing With The Stars" franchises and spin-offs that are all over the world - and you are unlikely to be able to escape it for months. There will be controversy, gossip, accusations, surprise, but love it or hate it there's nothing else that gets people talking so much about dance.

As always, the first controversy to meet any series of Strictly is "So who are all these so-called 'celebrities' anyway?" A lot of people seem to think that in order for someone to be called a 'celebrity' they have to be as famous as Brad Pitt or Nicole Kidman, and there's no doubt that some of the contestants on this year's competition are less than well-known to me. I had to look a few of them up, and I'm still referring to them by the colour of their outfits rather than their names so I'd agree that they are somewhat less than household names. But you know what? I don't care.

To me, the joy of watching Strictly is to see people try something that they've never done before and learn to be good at it. People who have never so much as wiggled their hips to a tune learn to foxtrot and rumba, and in the process many of them learn to love dance and make it a part of their lives. No, I don't know who all of them are, but that's not the point. I'd be happy to see contestants drawn from the general public doing the same thing. Their fame isn't what attracts me to the programme; I watch it to see people grow, to discover something about themselves, to learn a new skill and develop a love for it that they would never have expected.

How many of us turned up to our first dance class with no idea of what to expect? How many of us just went along for a laugh or to try it out because a friend told us to, then got hooked and couldn't give it up? We all had our own personal "Strictly journey" at some point in our dancing lives, and that's what makes Strictly special to me. It is the story of people having that experience for themselves.

So let me finish with a catch-phrase of one of the country's most well-loved entertainers, the inimitable Sir Bruce Forsythe...

Keeeeeeep dancing!!!


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Strictly  Celebrity  

Weekly Newsletter

30 Aug 2017 - by Graham

Hello, and welcome to this week's newsletter. First, here's a quick reminder of what we did at this week's classes... 

Hurst Green - 24th August

  • LeRoc: Change of Place / Hatchback Block with Sweep / First Move Cross
  • Tango: Back Ocho into Sacada

Sevenoaks - 25th August

  • LeRoc: Back Hander / Hatchback Block with Sweep / Cleaver
  • Tango: Back Ocho into Sacada

As usual, we have posted short videos of the LeRoc Classes and the Tango Classes on our YouTube channel as a reminder of what we did, so you can watch them as many times as you like.

This Coming Week

Thursday 31st August @ Hurst Green (Oxted)

  • 8.00pm - Modern Jive fundamentals and progressive moves
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle ​

Friday 1st September @ Sevenoaks

  • 8.00pm - Modern Jive fundamentals and progressive moves
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle 

Forthcoming Events

Nothing booked at the moment.

Special announcement!

This is not something we're involved in this year, but we are very pleased to support the first World Of Dance Weekend event that will be held in Margate on the 23rd September. Dance styles from across the world will converge in one place, and you will have the opportunity to sample them all, try out new techniques, and learn from a wide range of artists for the whole day, as well as a number of excellent social dances and freestyles. If you are interested in attending this event then let us know ASAP as they are offering great group discounts if Jivebeat members book together.

From the WODW Website... 

Announcing the first World of Dance Weekend (WOW for short), held at Margate's iconic Fun park attraction, Dreamland, where the world of: Vintage, Latino, Euro-Asia and Afro will gather in two incredible venues, under one amazing roof.

On Saturday 23rd September, Dreamland will be the backdrop of some of the most amazing, and eclectic: workshops, performances, music and parties, offering you a historical, and educational 'social dance' journey.

Workshops:

Talented local and national artists will be on hand to teach an exciting array of social dance workshops for all levels, throughout the day - inc: SALSA, JIVE, BALLROOM, ARGENTINE TANGO, FOLK, AFRICAN RHYTHMS and more....

Social Dance Parties:

Two social dance parties will be on offer during the evening. Vintage & Fiesta Latino. Special guests will include DJ's, Animators, and Performers.


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Newsletter  

Argentine Tango... Traditional or Modern?

23 Aug 2017 - by Graham

Argentine Tango is a dance that is steeped in tradition. From the music played by the great tango orchestras of the 1930s-1950s to the style and conventions of the social dance evenings (or 'milongas'), the argentine tango dance scene remains deeply connected to its roots in south America, and for some dancers this environment is as much a part of the dance as are the embrace and the steps. For these dancers, tango and its music cannot be separated; to dance one is to love the other and tango without the tradition is not really tango at all.

This environment is often the first introduction that people get to the unique and evocative dance of Argentine Tango, and the 'other worldly' atmosphere created by the music and traditional tango culture is what encourages them to stick around. "Golden Age" music is used in the classes, and teachers can trace their roots back to the great tango masters of Buenos Aires, each of whom has a subtly different style though they all follow the same basic principles. Every class feels special.

But musical tastes vary a lot, and for some the traditional tango music and strict tango culture can be a barrier to learning or enjoying this dance. People who love the dance but not the music were turning away from tango in favour of more modern dance environments, and so in recent years there has been an increase in popularity of teaching and dancing tango to non-traditional tango music. Electrotango and pop-tango bands formed to create music that was more up-to-date despite keeping to the basic tango music structure, and then dancers even started turning to music that was not written for tango at all. Blues, jazz, and even rock music are now regularly being played at 'alternative' milongas and this has re-opened tango to a much wider audience.

Traditions in tango however, remain strong, and many of the traditional tango dancers do not acknowledge this new approach to the dance as being 'Argentine Tango' at all. It is a different thing, as different as Modern Jive is to Ballroom, and so it can be difficult for an 'alternative' event to fit into the tango world. Terms like 'nuevo' and 'neotango' are used to distinguish them, but these also mean something specific to traditional dancers so it can be confusing. 'Nuevo Tango', for example, can mean a specific type of orchestral music largely from the 1980s that incorporates new elements, a teaching style whereby more emphasis is placed on the kinesiology of the dance and less to the connection to the traditional music, a style of dance that moves around the floor outside of the traditional line of dance (anti-clockwise around the edge of the room), any tango danced to non-tango music... you see the problem.

Dancers are by nature creative, and are always finding new ways to describe their events and classes to indicate how traditional or avant-garde they are. You see events announced as having "80% traditional, 20% nuevo music" in their advertising, or "No tango music, no tandas, no cortinas, just dancing from beginning to end..." (tandas and cortinas are traditional ways of grouping the music played at a milonga), so you can usually work out what an event will be like before you go. But if not, then just contact the organiser and ask. They will always be happy to talk about the sort of music they play there and what the atmosphere will be like, as that ensures that everyone who comes has a great time.

As with everything else in life, tango dancers are rarely just one thing or the other. Most dancers who prefer nuevo / alternative music also like some of the traditional from time to time, and most traditionalists are happy with the occasional modern track thrown into the mix. My personal preference is to dance tango to everything from jazz and 1940s ballads to modern pop and rock, but that does not stop me sometimes wanting to put on my suit and head down to a traditional milonga, and I continue to learn at traditional-style classes every week. For me the evolution of tango is important, but that only means anything if I stay in touch with its roots.

The tango we dance at Jivebeat is definitely in the nuevo or alternative zone, and no traditionalist would ever refer to the music we play as any sort of 'tango music'! We dance to blues, country, rock, and all sorts of musical styles from all over the world, and every now and again we will include a traditional piece or two just to keep you on your toes! We believe that tango can be danced and enjoyed alongside almost any musical style.

So if nuevo / alternative / neotango is your thing then maybe Jivebeat is your new tango home.


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Argentine Tango  Nuevo  Neotango  

Weekly Newsletter

22 Aug 2017 - by Graham

It's a slightly delayed newsletter this week as we were a bit busy this weekend with the air fair (more about that on the website soon) and had to confirm a couple of details before going to 'press'. But we're ready to go now, so...

Here's a quick reminder of what we did at this week's classes, including links to the videos we shot at the end of the evening...

Hurst Green - 17th August

  • LeRoc: Low Sway / Cleaver / Swizzlestick Swap-Around
  • Tango: Cross Basic

Sevenoaks - 11th August

Sevenoaks was closed this week, so there was no class to revise.

As usual, we have posted short videos of the LeRoc Classes and the Tango Classes on our YouTube channel as a reminder of what we did, so you can watch them as many times as you like.

This Coming Week

Thursday 24th August @ Hurst Green (Oxted)

  • 8.00pm - Modern Jive fundamentals and progressive moves
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle 

Friday 25th August @ Sevenoaks

  • 8.00pm - Modern Jive fundamentals and progressive moves
  • 9.00pm - Argentine Tango
  • 9.45pm to 11.00pm - Freestyle

Forthcoming Events

Aug 28th - Daisy Dog Vintage Fair in Oxted

This will be our fourth appearance at a Daisy Dog this year, and once again we will have our gazebo up in the garden and be demonstrating what we do throughout the day.

If you are around for any of these events then drop in and say hello!


Special announcement!

This is not something we're involved in this year, but we are very pleased to support the first World Of Dance Weekend event that will be held in Margate on the 23rd September. Dance styles from across the world will converge in one place, and you will have the opportunity to sample them all, try out new techniques, and learn from a wide range of artists for the whole day, as well as a number of excellent social dances and freestyles.If you are interested in attending this event then let us know ASAP as they are offering great group discounts if Jivebeat members book together.

From the WODW Website...

Announcing the first World of Dance Weekend (WOW for short), held at Margate's iconic Fun park attraction, Dreamland, where the world of: Vintage, Latino, Euro-Asia and Afro will gather in two incredible venues, under one amazing roof.

On Saturday 23rd September, Dreamland will be the backdrop of some of the most amazing, and eclectic: workshops, performances, music and parties, offering you a historical, and educational 'social dance' journey.

Workshops:

Talented local and national artists will be on hand to teach an exciting array of social dance workshops for all levels, throughout the day - inc: SALSA, JIVE, BALLROOM, ARGENTINE TANGO, FOLK, AFRICAN RHYTHMS and more....

Social Dance Parties:

Two social dance parties will be on offer during the evening. Vintage & Fiesta Latino. Special guests will include DJ's, Animators, and Performers.


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Newsletter  

World of Dance Weekend

15 Aug 2017 - by Graham

This is not something we're involved in this year, but we are very pleased to support the first World Of Dance Weekend event that will be held in Margate on the 23rd September. Dance styles from across the world will converge in one place. You will have the opportunity to sample new dance styles, try out new techniques, and learn from a wide range of artists for the whole day, as well as a number of excellent social dances and freestyles.

If you are interested in attending this event then let us know ASAP as they are offering great group discounts if Jivebeat members book together.

From the WODW Website...

Announcing the first World of Dance Weekend (WOW for short), held at Margate's iconic Fun park attraction, Dreamland, where the world of: Vintage, Latino, Euro-Asia and Afro will gather in two incredible venues, under one amazing roof.

On Saturday 23rd September, Dreamland will be the backdrop of some of the most amazing, and eclectic: workshops, performances, music and parties, offering you a historical, and educational 'social dance' journey.

Workshops:

Talented local and national artists will be on hand to teach an exciting array of social dance workshops for all levels, throughout the day - inc: SALSA, JIVE, BALLROOM, ARGENTINE TANGO, FOLK, AFRICAN RHYTHMS and more....

Social Dance Parties:

Two social dance parties will be on offer during the evening. Vintage & Fiesta Latino. Special guests will include DJ's, Animators, and Performers.


Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Weekend  Vintage  Latin    

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