I see a bit of a trend developing here, but another ambition of mine has been to learn to swing dance. I’m not really sure where my interest in swing came from but I suspect it stems from the time my brother lent me a copy of Zoot Suit Riot by the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. Having played the trumpet (badly, really badly) in my youth I had an inkling of this sort of thing, but whereas the teachers of my youth stuck to staid old Glenn Miller numbers, the ‘Daddies seemed to light a rocket under it all, bursting forth with vitality and irreverence.
I managed to hunt down some clips of swing dancing (pre-YouTube here folks) and was instantly hooked. Sadly the Isle of Wight isn’t a hotbed for less mainstream artistic pursuits so there was nowhere really to strut my stuff. I remember however going to the Cabinet War Rooms for a dinner party as guests of the Made in Britain association. The whole event was 40’s themed and they had some swing dancers as entertainment. Whooping with joy wouldn’t really have been the done thing, but rest assured that internally I was giddy with excitement.
Anyway, I am now safely resided in London where there appears to be ample opportunity to partake in a bit of jiving, so I am hauling myself off to a beginners class this Wednesday at a Jitterbug club near Marble Arch. Cannot wait. Hopefully the event shall go down a storm and before you can say Boogie Woogie I’ll be jumping and jiving like these amazing folks from America.