Update 26th March 2021
Following the government's announcement of a 4 step plan to exit lockdown, we're able to start looking hopefully at our options ahead.
Social Dance Events
The Weymouth Dance (originally Apr 2020) won't be able to run on 17th April as hoped, so we are re-scheduling for Sat 4th December 2021. Ticket holders will be contacted with options shortly, tickets will be available for purchase soon.
The Portsmouth Dance (originally March 2020) is being planned for Saturday 26th June, with reserve dates 7th August, 4th September and 9th October in case the lockdown easing is slower than hoped. Ticket holders have already been contacted, the event is currently sold out.
Other outstanding dance events will be reorganised as we get closer to the end of lockdown.
10 Week Courses
In general, we're working towards starting new 10-week courses at a number of local venues from September 2021.
Those who were participating in a course that was interrupted during the March 2020 lockdown will be able to take the whole of the same course, or any part of it, within 12 months of their local venue resuming. All participants have also been offered free online class equivalents.
Update 14th January 2021
Sadly the current lockdowns mean that all real-world activity remains postponed until further notice.
Brooke and Debbie are continuing to work on the Swing Dance Company online school, and we are pleased to be able to offer the Absolute Beginners SwingJive course on-demand for the first time. Free trial lessons are available to book here.
On-demand versions of the Intermediate Green and Inters Plus Orange courses can also be booked here.
We'd really like to thank all our dancers who have remained so supportive, and we hope you are keeping safe, healthy and in good spirits. We look forward to a time when the government begins loosening the current lockdown rules.
Update - 30th September 2020
There's mixed news from The Swing Dance Company with this latest update.
We've managed to get COVID-safe partnered classes restarted in one location, plus more online courses are available now.
However, live music and social events are not going to be able to run for the foreseeable future. Therefore we're making alternative arrangements for our planned October events, more details below.
COVID-safe Inters Plus Purple and Super Courses launched in Farnborough this Monday evening. This was our first return to real-world classes since lockdown commenced. The class ran superbly, everybody who attended joined with a partner from the same household bubble and every couple maintained a 2m+ distance from all other couples. A range of other measures were also introduced to keep the class COVID-safe, which you can see here.
Attendees gave us excellent feedback:
"Well done for bringing back some semblance of order and more importantly, fun during these strange times. We felt safe and secure and found it comforting to see familiar faces again, albeit wearing face masks. Keep dancing!"
"We have arrived back from this evening's jive class in Farnborough and I am happy to report that everything went very well. We were pleased and impressed with the arrangements that had been made to ensure that the COVID guidelines had been followed.
It was good to get back to the class, so thank you to all involved in getting things going again."
"It was so good to be back dancing last night at Wavell school. Bob and Bridget Did an excellent job from our arrival to our exit. All instructions were made clear and distancing measures in place.
Looking forward to next week."
If you're questioning why we managed to establish one new class but not any others, here are the issues we've been working around:
Some are not accepting bookings at all, others are too small given the requirements for ventilation and distance during dance classes. All of those that would allow us to resume have changed their operating terms.
Teachers & Demonstrators
Teachers and demonstrators in our classes work together face-to-face and holding hands, so we've been aiming to use staff who come from the same household or bubble, which significantly limits our options.
Whilst some people have been desperate to return to classes, others would prefer to wait until the world is closer to normal. We understand and accept this. We can't run a class without enough enthusiastic dancers.
We have taken significant steps to ensure that we are operating in a COVID-secure manner. Please check out the guidance we provided to customers before attending, available on this button.
Live Music Events
Two live music events were scheduled for this October. Sat 10th October with Si Cranstoun and Sat 24th October, which was the rescheduled Spring Ball. The Jive Aces are also booked for an event in December. This section details our plans moving forward.
The Swinging Spring Ball is provisionally going to be rescheduled to take place on Sat 27th March 2021. This is the equivalent Saturday 12months on from the originally scheduled date. JG & The Ultimates remain the feature band on the night. Clearly, it depends on the progress of the pandemic and government guidance as to whether the event can take place on this date.
The only ticket holders were transfers from the Spring Ball and so the following information applies the same.
Our Xmas Swinging Ball with the Jive Aces has not been cancelled yet. With circumstances changing frequently, we will delay making a final decision until about one month before the event. However the only ticket holders are transfers from the postponed Spring Ball and if the Xmas Ball cancels, the same options will apply.
1. The default option is that your ticket will be rolled over onto the new Spring Ball date of 27th March 2021. If you are happy with this you don't need to do anything.
2. Credit / Ticket Transfer - if the 27th March 2021 date is not convenient for you then we can transfer your ticket to our Xmas Swinging Ball event with The Jive Aces on 12th December or provide a voucher for the full purchase price against any other event.
To take advantage of a ticket transfer or credit please reply using the email address you used to place your order stating your name, number of tickets, date of purchase and your preference for alternative event or voucher.
3. Refund - Before asking for a refund, please note that this event will run as soon as it is safe. Most people will want and need to socialise again.
This event was close to sell-out with most tickets purchased at a discounted early booking rate. Any tickets for this event that are made available in the future will be priced significantly higher.
The Swing Dance Company has operated live music events at ALN School successfully for nearly 20 years and we are fully committed to returning as soon as we can in the future. But right now, the whole live music industry is at a standstill until this crisis passes so we would urge you to consider our other options ahead of a refund.
If neither of the first two options suits you then we can process a refund. Refunds will be processed in line with our existing cancellation policy, available here, https://theswingdancecompany.co.uk/swinging-ball/terms-conditions-dance-events/, based on the new event date. Admin fees will be waived.
Thank you so much for your patience as we've reorganised this event. We're really excited to see you again at the earliest opportunity.
Update - 17th September 2020
10 Week Courses
Gosport and Farnborough will resume with COVID-safe courses this Autumn.
From 28th September, you will be able to book with a person from your household to attend a socially distanced class.
The venues are both schools with COVID-safe practices in place. We have undertaken a risk assessment to ensure we can proceed with our classes, in line with government guidance.
However, there are risks available from the course booking pages, available from this link.
Online course are available this Autumn;
- Inters Green
- Inters Yellow
- Inters Plus Purple
- Inters Plus Orange
- Super Course
All participants on real world courses will have free access to the equivalent online course. Online courses will be available to book separately for those who can't attend a real world venue.
By January 2021, Absolute Beginners and Inters Plus Blue will be available.
Live Music Events
We are still unable to proceed with live music events, so the Si Cranstoun event scheduled for 10th October has now been cancelled. Ticket holders will be contacted.
The 2020 Swinging Spring Ball was postponed to 24th October. It's looking increasingly unlikely that this will be able to go ahead. We hope to reschedule for Sat 27th March 2021. We will contact all ticket holders once this has been confirmed.
Update 16th July 2020 - Looking Ahead to the Summer and Autumn Courses
Dance Classes Could Be Permissible From 25 July
With the government announcement that indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres that follow certain measures can open from 25 July, The Swing Dance Company has the first glimpse of an opportunity to return to a dancefloor near you.
Potentially a Limited Return to Action this Autumn
On the news that dance classes could potentially open, we have been exploring which of our venues would consider accommodating our return for courses this Autumn. These could be lessons for couples attending with a partner from their own household who they danced with exclusively throughout, or solo classes.
Each couple would need to maintain a safe, clearly marked distance from their neighbouring couple. As well as negotiating safe spaces at venues, we also face huge challenges to enable our teachers and demonstrators to deliver classes in a COVID-safe way.
Survey Coming Out Soon - Please Come Back Here
Of course you, as the class participants, are the key piece to understand in our puzzle. Knowing how keen you are to return to classes, what type of classes and in which locations is essential for us to effectively run classes.
A questionnaire is currently under construction, a link will be provided here so that you can let us know if you would like us to put a class on for you!
Limited Service This Autumn
We're expecting a very limited service this Autumn, we're already aware of numerous venues that won't be able to accommodate us at least until the end of September. More information will be available soon.
Update for Sunday 22nd March - January to April Term of Swing Jive Courses
Finishing Off This Term's 10 Week Courses
We want to enable everybody to finish off this term's courses. Some venues did manage to complete all 10 weeks, others had up to 3 weeks remaining. Didn't complete this term? Here's our plan to help you achieve this!
We're currently filming full lessons covering weeks 8, 9 and 10 of the Absolute Beginners Course, Intermediates and Inters Plus courses. These lessons will be emailed to everybody on our registers so participants can complete the classes at a time that suits them.
Videos will provide full class content providing step-by-step tuition of each move. Lessons will follow exactly the same format that you are used to in class. There will also be opportunities for you to send video back to us so we can give you feedback.
The filming and editing will take some time, we hope to have the first of these emails out during the week ahead.
Extended Free Repeat Guarantee for Beginners & Intermediates
We offer a 12-month free repeat guarantee on Beginner & Intermediate courses as standard. This will now apply from when our next round of courses begins. So if you want to take all, or any part of your Beginners course again you will be able to do so.
Update for Sunday 22nd March - Swinging Spring Ball in Portsmouth
Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding at this unprecedented time. We're sure to be in need of a huge party and catch-up with friends at the end of it all.
We've rescheduled the Swinging Spring Ball to take place on Sat 24th October 2020. JG & The Ultimates remain the feature band on the night.
1. The default option is that your ticket will be rolled over onto the new date. If you are happy with this you don't need to do anything.
2. Credit / Ticket Transfer - if the 24th October date is not convenient for you then we can transfer your ticket to another event or provide a voucher for the full purchase price against any other event. Other similar events in Portsmouth later this year include;
- the Autumn Swinging Ball with Si Cranstoun & His Band on 10th October
- the Xmas Swinging Ball with The Jive Aces on 12th December
To take advantage of a ticket transfer or credit please reply using the email address you used to place your order stating your name, number of tickets, date of purchase and your preference for alternative event / voucher.
3. Refund - Before asking for a refund, please appreciate that no operator can be hit harder by coronavirus than social dance organisers, but that when the virus passes, most people will want and need to socialise again.
The Swing Dance Company has operated live music events at ALN School successfully for nearly 20 years and we will resume doing so in the future. But right now, like many other businesses, we are at a standstill until this crisis passes so we would urge you to consider our other options ahead of a refund.
If neither of the first two options suit you then we can process a refund. An admin fee will be deducted in line with our existing cancellation policy and based on the new event date. For a cancellation at any time up to 9th October, 2020 the admin fee would be £5 per transaction.
Thank you so much for your patience as we've reorganised this event. We're really excited to see you again at the earliest opportunity.
The Swing Dance Company Team
Update for Monday 16th March 6.00pm
Following the Prime Minister's press conference this evening, now is clearly the time for all social dance classes and events to close.
Having already announced the cancellation, suspension or postponement of all Swing Dance Company social events yesterday, all other classes will be suspended after this evening.
This includes the final remaining Swing Dance Company activities; classes on our 10 Week Swing Jive courses. Do not attend any further Swing Dance Company classes or events prior to Easter.
We will be contacting all customers booked onto current and upcoming events to discuss arrangements going forward.
In the meantime we would urge all staff, customers and other dance organisers to follow the government advice to stop all unnecessary social activity.
We hope to see everybody safe and well on the dance floor at some point in the future.
Updated: Sunday 15th March
In light of the rapidly developing situation regarding coronavirus, The Swing Dance Company is planning to take the following steps:
Swingeasy, our regular class and dance social evenings will close with immediate effect until further notice.
Swinging Spring Ball with JG & The Ultimates
This event will be postponed until the Autumn.
We are in communication with the band and venue to identify a replacement date and we will contact all ticket holders once this has been confirmed.
10 Week Courses - This Term
(Please note this information is no longer relevant, see the update from 16th March)
Unless advised otherwise by specific venues or government policy, we aim to complete this term's 10 week courses as the risks of passing infection are relatively low.
Given that class sizes on our 10 week courses are relatively small (most range from 6-15 couples) and partners remain with each other throughout, the risks of passing infection are much smaller compared to social events, where it is normal to dance with a variety of partners throughout the event.
Courses at most venues have either finished already or will have finished by Thursday 19th March. Classes at just a handful of venues will still be running beyond this date. We will be monitoring the national situation and adjusting accordingly.
Courses Next Term
Many courses have already been listed on this website to start after Easter, during April and May. We will monitor events over the coming days and weeks to determine what steps to take with regards to next term.
New 13th March 12.48pm
At present our policy is to follow government advice, so all scheduled classes and events will go ahead unless/until government advice changes or specific venues are made unavailable. So far one Swing Dance Company class was postponed as a result of a precautionary school closure.
It seems that government advice will change in the future, once it does change we will react accordingly.
Should any specific venues become unavailable, or if government advice changes then we will notify those concerned regarding cancellations or postponements.
In the meantime we want everybody to remain safe and healthy whilst attending classes and events. To help us achieve this, please consider the following;
- If you have recently travelled from an infected area, or if you have any symptoms such as a dry cough or a fever then please self-isolate.
- If you are in a high-risk category and prefer not to attend our classes to minimise your socialising at this time then we understand. We would look forward to seeing you again when you’re ready.
- Observe advice provided by the government to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus, particularly; wash your hands with soap and water frequently, use hand sanitiser gel when you can’t wash your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
If you have any queries or concerns please contact us via our Contact Form.