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London Swing Festival

Posted on May 5, 2011


Swing dancers from across Europe will flock to this year’s London Swing Festival on May 26–30. Swing Patrol’s second annual festival features the London Jitterbug Championships on May 27, daytime workshops and lessons, evening balls and late-night parties. 

The London Jitterbug Championships (LJC) are the “Strictly Come Dancing” of London lindy hop and a highlight of the festival. Spectators can watch everyone from beginners to top dancers in a showcase of hot swing dance talent. LJC heats will include Jack and Jill, Like a Virgin (for first-time competitors), Fast and Furious and Balboa as well as group heats. 

For other highlights, catch hundreds of dancers swinging out live at Spitalfields Market on May 30 in a bid to enter the Olympics opening ceremony. There is also social dancing every night of the festival, with the Ahoy Ball on May 26, LSF’s nautical-themed grand opening on a boat travelling the Thames. (Tickets cost £20.) 

Of the festival, Swing Patrol events manager, Pippa Tooher, said: “We’re really excited to be hosting such a fantastic event, the likes of which London has never seen. This year’s London Swing Festival is going to be a great experience for dancers and spectators alike.” 

LSF is the first event to take place in the newly renovated Bishopsgate Institute in Spitalfields, with classes and parties under one roof throughout the weekend. Tickets cost £130 for beginners’ workshops and parties.

To find out more or to get involved, visit


Photograph: Last year’s London Swing Festival © Natanya van der Lingen



Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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