Upcoming Events

Tuesday, Jun 27th
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Tuesday, Jul 4th
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Wednesday, Jul 5th
7:00 pm New monthly session of Lindy Hop Classes starts at Cats Corner! (More info)

Reviews & Testimonials

Nathan was our wedding DJ and dance instructor for our very recent wedding in November and we still can't get over how fun the wedding and our first dance routine were!! Sachiko & Nate
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I hired Nathan (DJ NateDiggity) for my Move to the Groove party at Cafe Cocomo and he exceeded all my expectations. He was the perfect DJ for the party! Jeremy Sutton
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Nathan is awesome... I highly recommend taking his group classes, or hiring him for private lessons if you wish to swing dance at your wedding. Claudine & Danny
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Blondie Cuts A Rug

Rebecca Shannon - SF Swing & Lindy Hop dance teacher

This month, I’d like to point out a nice little online swing dance resource — Blondie Cuts A Rug — a blog written by San Francisco swing dancer Rebecca Shannon. An art teacher by day and fabulous lindy hopper by night, Rebecca regularly teaches swing dance classes at SF City College along with David Blood. I was fortunate to borrow her to help teach classes at Cat’s Corner this past January.

Rebecca’s posts include useful tips, advice and information that I think will especially benefit new swing dancers — from basic dance floor etiquette, to ways to improve and stay motivated as dancer, to discovering one’s own unique voice and style on the dance floor. Here are a few good reads:

A few of Rebecca’s posts also touch on bits of swing and jazz history, and if you like those, then you should consider “friending” her on Facebook (Rebecca Shannon), where her historical portraits of vintage dance and music greats will find their way into your Facebook stream.

10 Swingin’ Winter Holiday Tunes

The winter holiday season has just about passed, but it’s never too late for presents! Here’s a collection of swingin’ holiday tunes in genres ranging from classic big band swing to rockin’ rhythm & blues that will get you dancing and warm, the rest of this winter and next!

  1. Christmas Blues – Washboard Pete
  2. I want to spend Christmas with Elvis – Debbie Dabney
  3. Stay a Little Longer, Santa – Shemekia Copeland
  4. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow – Ella Fitzgerald
  5. Little St. Nick – the Beach Boys
  6. Jingle Bells – Glenn Miller
  7. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus – Lionel Hampton
  8. Duke’s Jingle – Duke Ellington
  9. I’ve got my love to keep me warm – Dean Martin
  10. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

 


Wishing you all a fantastic 2013 filled with music and dancing!

Cat is Back!

Catrine Ljunggren - International Lindy Hop Dance Teacher

Cat is Back!

Catrine “Cat” Ljunggren is visiting the SF Bay Area this weekend (November 9-11th), and I couldn’t be more excited!

Catrine is the very “Cat” who founded Cat’s Corner at its original location at El Valenciano (a bar in SF), and several years later invited me to teach and run the dance party with her when it moved to Savanna Jazz Club in 2006. We taught together for four and half years, and it was an amazing experience.

We’re teaching and hosting the dance party at Epic Swing in San Mateo on Saturday, and Cat is available for private lessons on Friday (4-8pm) and Saturday (11-2pm).

Catrine and Nathan along with student performers at her 2010 SF farewell party:

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Catrine, an international dance performer and teacher who specializes in Lindy Hop, Charleston, Tap & Jazz, is one of the original Rhythm Hot Shots, the world renowned dance group from Sweden that trained extensively with Lindy Hop legends Al Minns & Frankie Manning. Indeed, she taught as Frankie’s dance partner at numerous international dance camps. As part of the Rhythm Hot Shots, she played an important part in the formation and popularization of the Herrang Dance Camp (also in Sweden), which is today regarded as one of the modern meccas of swing dancing.

 

Catrine and Elliott demonstrate the Bug (aka Superman)!I caught some of my earliest glimpses of Catrine dancing late nights at the original Cat’s Corner with her main dance partner Elliott Donnelly.  I also watched them competing and representing San Francisco at the 2003 Harlem Jazz Dance Festival. I was struck by their powerful lines, athletic and acrobatic dancing, and the passionately playful energy that had them just about bouncing off the walls. I loved taking workshops with Catrine and Elliott at the annual Oakland Swing Dance Festival that had us students literally sweating buckets, falling over each other onto the floor, and laughing the whole time. Learning the fundamentals of Lindy Hop with Catrine and Frankie at the yearly Frankie Manning Workshop in Oakland was always a special treat too.

 

Catrine and Elliott (couple on the left) dance the insanely fast Harlem Congo at the Oakland Swing Dance Festival 2004:

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Stylistically, what Catrine brings to Lindy Hop is a consummate spirit of performance and showmanship, and a fierce dedication to preserving the historical roots of the dance. She’s mentioned to me that two of her biggest inspirations (after Al & Frankie) were the old film clips, especially A Day at the Races and the old Harvest Moon Ball footage. Watch Cat dancing, and you’ll see for yourself.  More than simply recreating dance routines and copying moves, Catrine and the Rhythm Hot Shots have sought to capture the feeling, emotion and essence of joy and improvisation that’s at the heart of dancing Lindy Hop.

 

Catrine and Chester Whitmore hoofin’ it at Brazil Swing Out Extravaganza 2011:

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Catrine and I will be teaching dance workshops and hosting the dance party at Epic Swing Night on Saturday, November 10th. We’re making it a special “Herrang Dance Camp” edition party, as we compress 7 full days of dance camp activities into one spectacular evening! We hope you’ll join us!

Catrine is also available for private lessons in San Francisco on Friday, November 9th (4-8pm) and Saturday, November 10th (11am-2pm). Email Nathan to schedule and set up your lesson!

Lindy in the Park Routine Workshop – Sunday, March 18, 3-5pm

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Learn the Lindy the Park Routine – the simple, fun and energetic partner line dance that is popularly danced on Sunday afternoons at Lindy in the Park! Routine creators Hep Jen, Ken Watanabe & Nathan Dias along with Lindy in the Park Deejay Naomi Walenta will break down the routine step-by-step. The Lindy in the Park routine is a great way to:

  • experience the thrill of performing Lindy Hop with a partner and large group
  • work on dancing to faster tempos
  • practice a variety of fun, common intermediate level moves
  • learn two basic lifts: the frog jump and Russian kick

We will rotate partners in class, so no partner needed.

Intermediate Level and up. You must be able to swingout confidently to at least a medium speed tempo.

Date: Sunday, March 18

Time: 3-5pm (please arrive a few minutes early to check-in)

Location: Lindy in the Park, JFK Drive walkway between 8th & 10th Avenue, Golden Gate Park

Cost: $20/student. Cash only. No pre-registration needed.

A Double Take on Triple Steps

One tell tale sign of a beginner versus an intermediate dancer is the way they each do their triple steps. Pushing off the floor,  really stretching out the timing of the first step, and then also doing cool slides with it is something that doesn’t necessarily come easy. So this month, I want to focus on exercises and styling that you can use to improve your triple steps. I found these amazing videos featuring the reknowned Dax Hock as he provides a very useful triple step exercise that all of us can practice at home- it’s quite a work out!!! If I were a Lindy doctor, I’d say to practice this exercise at home, once a day for two weeks. You’ll soon get the triple steps into your body memory and people will be amazed at your improvement.

1. Triple Steps with Dax Hock

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2.   Here’s the same exercise broken down into slower portions and counted out by Joe Demers:

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3. Going for the gold!!! An added challenge.

After doing the triple step exercises, challenge yourself with some “slippery footwork.” Watch this video of Peter Strom and see what he does with his triple steps! He really emphasizes the slide in his steps so that “he’s just triple-stepping while moving backwards, but each step is accompanied by sliding the other foot away into the air.  So for a left-right-left triple, the visual effect is that the right foot is sweeping out each time he steps on his left foot, almost looking like a double-kick in each direction.” (http://blackbeltlindy.john-refactored.com/). Particularly pay attention to 0:16 and after in the video. This is something you can add to your dance for that extra flourish! Good luck!

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All-Day Intermediate Lindy Hop Workshop!

Saturday, April 24, 2010, 10am-5pm @ Avenue Dance Studio

Full details coming soon!!!

  • 4 classes, 1:15 minutes each, w/ lunch break
  • 10am Solo Jazz, Charleston & Improvisation with Adam Boehmer
  • 11:30am Lindy Charlestong w/ Adam Boehmer & Audrey Kanemoto
  • 12:45pm Lunch Break
  • 2pm Class title TBA w/ Kelli Wilkerson & Patrick Wall
  • 3:30pm Class title TBA w/ Kelli Wilkerson & Patrick Wall

Location: Avenue Dance Studio, 4541 Irving St. @ 46th Ave, SF, 94122

Cost: $65 if registered by Sunday, April 19. $75 after the deadline. $20 drop-in for individual classes.

Pre-requisites: This class is geared toward intermediate level dancers who have taken at least 3 continuous months of Intermediate Lindy Hop and are regular social dancers. If you are unsure, please email Nathan for advice.

No partner needed. 24 students max.

Register online today and save $10!

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Swing or Nothing! All Day Workshop with Nathan & Audrey

All-Day Intermediate Lindy Hop Workshop with Nathan & Audrey

Saturday, March 27, 2010, 10am-5pm @ Avenue Dance Studio

Nathan & Audrey

  • 4 classes, 1:15 minutes each, w/ lunch break
  • 10am Solo Jazz & Charleston
  • 11:30am Aerials, Dips & Tricks Fundamentals
  • 12:45pm Lunch Break
  • 2pm Clips Class (learn partner swing dance sequences from the old movies)
  • 3:30pm Partner Stealing (for breaking into jam circles) w/ Hep Jen & Ken Watanabe

Location: Avenue Dance Studio, 4541 Irving St. @ 46th Ave, SF, 94122

Cost: $65 if registered by Thursday, March 25. $75 after the deadline. $20 drop-in for individual classes.

Pre-requisites: This class is geared toward intermediate level dancers who have taken at least 3 continuous months of Intermediate Lindy Hop and are regular social dancers. If you are unsure, please email Nathan for advice.

No partner needed. 24 students max.

Register online today and save $10:

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$75 for the full workshop.

$20 drop-in at the door, as space available. If dropping in, we recommending coming with a partner to keep the class balanced.

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Register online for Swing or Nothing/Sunset Lindy Hop Classes and Events

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