I don’t want to sound like Ana Botella when I say this, but Madrid really is a city that has a lot to offer. Apart from a buzz on the street that I’ve not quite found anywhere else, the capital of Spain is brimming with a great variety of daytime and late night activities to keep you busy until 2014.
It was in Madrid, for example, that one evening some friends and I went along to a free Lindy Hop (also known as Swing dance) class to try it out. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but this statement is true: ever since that day, my life has changed for the better.
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I’ve now been dancing for 2 years, and in this time have made countless friends, kept in shape, discovered new music and had a many strange and wonderful dance-fuelled adventures.
One of these adventures took me to the stunningly quaint city of Toledo. Over the weekend of the 13th – 15th September 2013, the city held the IV Toledo Lindy Hop Exchange. The event was hosted and organised by the Ayuntamiento de Toledo and I Swing Toledo as part of the XVI Festival de Jazz de Toledo. There were free classes throughout the day for anyone who wanted to try some Lindy Hop or Balboa, along with clandestinos in two of the main squares of the city.
However, the highlight of the weekend for me was undoubtedly the chance to dance Swing in the beautiful Plaza del Constitorio, in the heart of the historic city. Not only was it a thrill to dance in such a beautiful setting, I was also dancing to the rhythm (hopefully) of the impressive big band, Lady and the whipswingers, who were playing live in concert. The turnout was excellent, with the whole square packed full of dancers and onlookers who were enjoying the music, dancing and the magical atmosphere. Lindy schools present from Madrid and Toledo included I swing Toledo, Big Mama Swing, Big South, Blanco y Negro Studio, En Modo Swing and I-Swing Dance.
It’s a shame that there are no Swing classes in English in Madrid, as it’d be an excellent way to learn English through learning to dance – it’s helped me with my Spanish, that’s for sure! If I find out about any or indeed organise any myself, I’ll be sure to post about it! In any case, I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in Swing dance to try it out!
Below I’ve put some photos from the event, courtesy of Blanco y Negro Studio.