Tuesday 14th October 2014
Dragons’ Den Success Hosts Birmingham Swing Dance Ball To Celebrate Lindy Hop Legend
7pm, 25th October 2014, Union Hall, Aston Students’ Union, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ES
West Midlands launches first annual UK Frankie Manning Month – the nation’s biggest series of swing dance events
Birmingham dancers — from professionals to absolute beginners — will swing out at a massive swing dance ball organised by BBC Dragons’ Den swing dance school success Swing Patrol in association with Birmingham’s key swing dance scenes, including JazzJiveSwing, Hot Ginger and The Swing Era. The Birmingham Swing Dance Ball at 7pm on 25th October at Union Hall, Aston Students’ Union launches over a month of celebrations around the nation of the first visit to the UK from lindy hop legend, Frankie Manning. Manning’s UK tour in 1937 included an appearance at the Royal Command Performance for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. “Swing”, “jitterbug” and “lindy hop” are all synonyms for the street dance style popularised by Manning and other dancers at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom in New York City from the late 1920s to late 1940s. Fusing style, energy and fun, the dance was the precursor to jive, rock-and-roll and hip hop. It influences most popular contemporary dance styles.
The Birmingham Swing Dance Ball – sponsored by footwear brand Keds — will be hosted by successful Dragons’ Den entrepreneur and Swing Patrol’s founder, Scott Cupit, who will lead lessons for hundreds of absolute beginners so everyone attending can get into the swing of the evening, even if they’ve never danced a step in their lives. Then Swing Patrol’s professional performers will bust out some of Frankie Manning’s signature moves — including his favourite acrobatic lifts, jumps and flips — to delight the guests. One of the UK’s hottest swing scene bands — Down For The Count – will keep the crowds in groove as the night progresses with stylish, energetic fun including games and dance competitions — with Keds footwear as prizes.
Deborah Meaden, Dragons’ Den panellist and investor in Swing Patrol said, “Prior to launching UK Frankie Manning Month, Scott showed me how successful his big swing dancing events are. Swing Patrol’s event hosts are charismatic; the teachers run lessons which hundreds of people participate in at once; the performances by Swing Patrol’s dancers are exhilarating; the bands are on fire — and everyone dances, even if they’ve just learned the steps. I have brought friends and family of all ages to these events and, like me, they all get caught up with the atmosphere extremely quickly. The Swing Dance Balls during Frankie Manning Month are going to swing the UK out.”
Scott Cupit, Managing Director of Swing Patrol UK said, “From ballroom to break dancing, Frankie Manning’s moves have had a massive impact on dance culture — and I can’t wait to celebrate that in the music-loving West Midlands. Manning so impressed Queen Elizabeth in 1937 it’s reported that he was the only performer after the Royal Command Performance to whom she offered a handshake. He performed steadily with jazz greats including Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, as well as appearing in numerous Hollywood films. The Keds sponsored Birmingham Swing Dance Ball will be an amazing vehicle to share Frankie Manning’s dance mastery and swing music with people that have never set foot on a dance floor. To anyone in and around Birmingham who’s even curious about swing I say strictly, ‘Come dancing!’”
Noah Bernard, Brand Director of Keds, said, “The awareness of the mix of classic and contemporary style of swing dancing has rocketed since Swing Patrol’s success on Dragons’ Den. It’s important that Keds recognises its place within swing culture as lindy hoppers’ shoe of choice by contributing to the community’s success. Swing is about head-to-toe style, authenticity, enthusiasm and a sense of fun — which are core values of the Keds fashion brand. Teaming Swing Patrol’s Keds wearing dancers with other dancers around the UK at the Swing Dance Balls will spread the joy of this energetic, sociable and stylish pastime.”
The Birmingham Swing Dance Ball is at 7pm on Saturday, 25th October 2014, Union Hall, Aston Students’ Union, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ES.
Tickets are available at http://www.swingpatrol.co.uk/spevents/swing-ball-birmingham/
UK Frankie Manning Month will be the biggest series of swing dance events in the UK. After kicking off in on Birmingham (25th October), swing dance balls will be held in Manchester (1st November), Bristol (14th November), London (15th November) and Edinburgh (28th November).
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Swing Patrol performers are available for interviews, TV appearances and photoshoots. Expert interviewees are available for interviews on the subject of Frankie Manning, swing music and dance, and the UK’s swing scene.
For further editorial information, images, sample lessons or to arrange interviews with Scott Cupit about Frankie Manning, swing music and dance, or The Swing Dance Balls contact: [email protected] or call 07904 414 889.
For further editorial information, images and samples of Keds please contact Aniqa Ali at [email protected] or call 0207 012 1560.