About us - background and the team
Established in 1998, Swingland Ltd. is run by Martin Ellis who has been dancing, teaching, and performing Lindy hop ("Jitterbug" or "Jive") and related Swing Era dances since the early 1990s.
Swingland has grown steadily into a small team of very experienced teachers and event organisers, all driven by our passion for swing music and dancing.
Recently we have opened a couple of small franchises and are always interested in teachers with the right experience and passion.
Swingland is a professional organisation and is fully insured.
Swing Dancer, Teacher & Choreographer
Martin Ellis has been dancing Lindy hop and other swing styles since the early 1990s, and has been teaching regularly since 1998.
Martin began performing in the mid-1990s as a member of London-based Lindy hop performance group the Jitterbug Jammers and then moved on to the Illinois Jackets where he studied under world-renowned Lindy hopper Ryan Francois, also travelling extensively to learn from the finest exponents of Lindy hop, including original dancers like Frankie Manning. Martin was a founding member of the group which later became the Lindy Circle. He has also performed with the Cotton Clubbers, and with Zoots and Spangles.
Since then Martin has choreographed and performed many Lindy hop and jazz dance numbers for competitions, Cabarets and demonstrations, and now choreographs and performs regularly with Lindy hop performance company, Fireflies (formerly Attic Cats).
Martin has always been a social dancer at heart, with a keen interest in live music - and in 1998 he set up Swingland as a vehicle to promote swing music and dancing, principally in the London area. Swingland has had a major impact on the current swing dance scene in London and, having taught people from many parts of the world, Martin's influence now stretches far and wide. He has travelled regularly and retains a keen interest in the development of the dance and also its preservation in its original form.
Competition results include:
- 2004 Swing Jam - Teachers/Performers Invitational Jack & Jill - 1st
- 2003 UK Lindy hop Championships - Strictly Swing – 1st (partner: Natalie Bateman)
- 2003 UK Lindy hop Championships - Open - 2nd (partner: Liza Patoux)
- 2003 Swing Jam - Teachers/Performers Invitational Jack & Jill - 3rd
- 2002 Swing Jam - Teachers/Performers Invitational Jack & Jill - 1st
- 2002 Herrang Dance Camp - Fast Feet - 2nd
- 2001 UK Open Lindy hop Championships - Jack & Jill - 1st
- 2001 UK Lindy hop Championships - Open - =2nd (partner: Liza Patoux)
- 2001 UK Lindy hop Championships - Strictly Swing - 3rd (partner: Liza Patoux)
- 2000 UK Lindy hop Championships - Open - 3rd (partner: Jane Eliot)
- 1999 British Swing Dance Championships - Up Tempo - 1st
- 1999 Monsters of Swing (Ventura, California) - Jack & Jill - 3rd
- 1998 UK Modern Jive Open - Showcase - 2nd (partner: Liza Patoux)
- 1998 UK Modern Jive Open - Classic - 2nd (partner: Jane Eliot)
- London College of Communication – casting, choreography and training actors/dancers for 1920s and 1950s sequences for film commercial as part of Student Skillset
- William Morris Academy, Hammersmith – taught 1930s-style jazz and Lindy hop to BTec students culminating in a successful performance at the Lyric, Hammersmith
- British Ballet Organisation; National Youth Theatre; Churchill Museum/Cabinet War Rooms; TeachFirst; Bishop Wand School Sunbury; Merlin School Putney
Corporate clients include:
- Thomson Holidays (through The Production Suite) – taught 1930s/40s-style jazz and Lindy hop routines to holiday reps to become part of the season's entertainment in various resorts
- Abbey National plc (through The Production Suite) – taught 1930s/40s-style jazz and Lindy hop as part of a management day
- Mr. Motivator (Center Parcs Activities Weekend, Sherwood Forest) – taught Lindy hop as a fitness/motivational exercise
- BBC Blast; Gately Communication; LBHF; Naked Communications
- Rock Bottoms; JiveTime; La Santa Swing; Northampton & Leicester Swing Dance Society
- “Des O'Connor Tonight” (ITV); “2001: A Tap Oddysey” (Bloomsbury Theatre); “Last Of The Blonde Bombshells” (BBC/HBO); “Piccadilly Jim” (Myriad); “What It Is” (Freddy Fresh); “Hold On” (KT Tunstall); “Rewind” (Goldspot)