About Swing Out London

We are a non-profit independent listing of events for swing dancers in London.

We don't run any of these events ourselves, and we only list links to the websites of the various dance schools, promoters and bands who run these events.

London has one of the oldest living Swing Dancing scenes in Europe and probably one of the biggest. Swing Out London tries to clearly show what is going on to help you navigate the huge number of events going on in the city.

Our goals

1. Dancer-focused

We provide a service for dancers, rather than an advertising platform for promoters. We aim to list events we think our core audience will enjoy, and sometimes that means saying no to a listing.

2. Independent

We are not affiliated with any dance school or organisation, and we don't take money for listings. Hosting costs are covered by donations and occasional banner advertising.

3. Accurate and Up-to-Date

We only show the next 14 days of events on the site, and we try to make sure that everything within that window is correct. Sometimes that can be difficult, so please always check with the event organiser's site.

4. Comprehensive

We try class and every social dancing opportunity within certain criteria: see our Listings Policy for details.

Swing dancing in London

The current social swing dance scene in London dates back to the 1980s, with Jitterbugs and the London Swing Dance Society's Stompin' at the 100 club both launching in 1987.

Today it's a huge and diverse scene with people from different ages and backgrounds, dancing in different styles, to different varieties of vintage jazz music.

Scenes within the scene

Swing dancing in London is very much collection of different scenes which all blend into one another: some people are into vintage clothing, others are much more casual. Some are into earlier 1920s music, others prefer the 40s/50s vibe and cross over with the Jive/Rock and Roll scenes. Some events are in church halls that only dancers go to, others are in bars where you're sharing the space with a general public.

Maybe a majority of the scene is in some way connected to the wider international Lindy Hop community: there are dozens of events every month across Europe and around the world (Swing Planit is the place to find out about those).

But London is perhaps unusual in having a vintage music club scene which to some extent stands apart from that. And not so unusual in having vintage party events aimed at a more general public, but which can still provide fun dancing opportunities.

Live music

London has a healthy vintage Jazz music scene: some incredibly talented musicians who play vintage swing jazz and hot jazz, not as a nostalgic novelty, but as a living breathing artform.

We list gigs by bands who play good music for our kind of dances, but only if there's enough space to dance. Sometimes these gigs are aimed at dancers, sometimes not.

Getting in touch with the scene

The main forum for the Swing Dance Scene in London is Swing Dancers Of London Facebook group. That's the best place to go if you have questions about the scene, or if you're visiting the city and want some advice.

Colophon