Exciting times

23 Jan 2017 - by Graham

It was about this time last year in 2016 that all this began, but at the time I had no idea what was about to kick off. 

Back in 2015, I had made enquiries about medal tests - grading exams - in Modern Jive with my previous dance club, but had been told that there was a long waiting list and to try again in January. This surprised me as no-one I knew had even heard of the tests, but in January I chased them up and re-applied for the exams as planned. This time, however, it soon became obvious that no such tests or exams were ever going to become available, and I started looking for alternatives.

Sometime in March I found the LeRoc Federation, and they suggested training as a teacher and doing that qualification instead. After a bit of hesitation (what would I ever do with a teaching qualification!?) I took the exam on the 12th May, and a month later found out that I had passed with a good score. Jivebeat, which had started to form as an idea during April and May, became a reality.

The summer was spent writing the curriculum, designing the website and membership system, preparing the equipment I would need to run it, practicing my teaching technique, getting the business side in place, and doing all the things that you never see but that are necessary for a dance class to be able to run. There was a lot of work and sometimes I found myself wondering if I was taking on too much, but the people around me gave me so much encouragement that I pressed on and got everything ready just in time.

In September, we launched with two venues, and although it soon became apparent that Bletchingley was not going to work, the other venue at Hurst Green very soon began to do well. A real community of dancers was starting to grow there, and I knew that this would be something I would be doing for a long time to come.

Now, at the start of 2017, we are entering the next phase, our first proper expansion as we open in Sevenoaks and look at another venue up towards Bexley (announcement soon!). These are exciting times for us, with Jivebeat effectively becoming a chain and expanding the opportunities both for us and for everyone who dances with us.

We have lots of great ideas for the future and can't wait to share them with you as we grow. 

Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: History  LeRoc  

New Year at Jivebeat

05 Jan 2017 - by Graham

Happy New Year!!! There's a lot going on at Jivebeat right now, with Hurst Green restarting on the 5th January, Sevenoaks confirmed to launch on the 3rd February, and one other venue in the pipeline that we are waiting to confirm. We are also looking at organising freestyle events throughout the year (if we can find a suitable location), running our first Beginners' Workshops to give you a kick-start, and making all sorts of changes to the website - including this new blog! Busy times indeed, but fun times.

We have been running Jivebeat since mid-September last year, and we think we have most of the initial teething-troubles ironed out by now, but if there is anything you think we have missed or have a good idea for a class or venue that you have been wondering about then let us know. A Jivebeat evening is your evening, so we're always interested to hear what you have to say.

Happy dancing!

Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Newsletter  History  

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