Workshop

Let's re-discover the essentials!

Sometimes you don't need more steps and a variety of styles. Sometimes getting deep into certain aspects of the dance is what you look for to improve as a dancer. Let's go back to the roots! Come and enjoy the swing culture and values in a cute and little sized festival along with the world-known teachers of teachers Åsa and Daniel Heedman, and our beloved teachers from Barcelona, Pep and Emi.

This workshop is made for teachers and advanced dancers (*), and the classes will be focused on:

  • Swing history & roots
  • Frankie Manning legacy and values and how it impacts on our dance
  • Music concepts, musicality and improvisation. Let's play!
  • Teaching skills / pedagogy

Advanced dancers (*): You have been dancing for at least 2/3 years and apart from being good at swing dancing technique, you are able to listen to the music and dance to it. You feel comfortable with fast and slow tempos.

Why is it important to focus on the roots and values?

Swing dancing is loved around the world because of the joy one feels when listening to the music and dancing it. Feeling this joy depends, to a large extent, on the dance partner and the dialog generated when dancing. Communication, expression, self-expression, respect, generosity, inclusivity and taking care of the other one, listening actively and being able to play are some of the values implicit in the dancing that we want to highlight and strengthen carefully during this weekend, and hopefully, beyond.

When talking about values, we must refer to the original ambassador of the Savoy Ballroom spirit: Frankie Manning. He carried on these values and spread them around the globe. We want to honor his legacy and contribute to keep it alive by talking about him and sharing his message to all of the workshop participants. That is why we will organize a very special talk about history and about him, with the participation of the amazing Martí Segalàs, Åsa and Daniel Heedman. Don't miss it! (At Friday party. More details soon).

Why do we think that working on improvisation and musicality can make a step forward as dancers and teachers?

Because expression and being genuine is what makes a difference, what makes a dancer unique.

Knowing how to listen to the music and understanding basic concepts such syncopation, reef, breaks, chorus, etc. can be very useful as a dancer and as a teacher since they allow us to read between notes and rhythms and let us imagine and create according to what we feel.

Why a workshop also dedicated to teachers?

Nowadays there are a lot of people teaching around the globe and it is great. As swing dance lovers, we all want to spread this dance and reach new people, so they will enjoy as much as we do.

We think, though, that in many places, due to a dancing explosion, there has been a huge need of teachers, which sometimes means that good dancers rapidly become teachers without pedagogical and historical background. Now is a good moment to focus on the quality of this teaching. We truly believe that by enlarging and deepening our pedagogical skills and our cultural background we will become the best version of ourselves as teachers.

So that, the main goals of the Take the "A" Train are:

1- to bring Masters that have been working hard on their background and have a unique reputation regarding their pedagogical knowledge and approach, so they can be a great inspiration for other teachers and advanced dancers.

2- to generate a teachers meeting point in order to facilitate discussions and promote ideas/resources' exchange. Some teachers might be good at structuring the session's content, some others at choosing the appropriated music, some others at motivating students, some others at providing information about history and musicians... There are so much talent out there but few chances to share it among other colleagues.

How do we plan to organize the groups?

This workshop is for Teachers and Swing Passionates.

We asked the teachers (Åsa & Daniel and Pep & Emi) if they preferred to set different groups, one for teachers and another one for non-teachers and their answer was: "we can work with them together without any problem mainly because to become a better dancer and to become a better teacher, most of the times, it is needed the same".

Although, they also said that if there were two different levels, they could emphasize certain aspects more focused on the teaching skills, so they could work either way.

In case we have Teachers + non teachers together, depending on how big the level spread is we are going to have more or less of partner rotation and sometimes work with no rotation. We will make sure that each participant will be challenged and get appropriated material. In addition to that, one of the tasters is called "Teaching skills" specially addressed to teachers.