Swingland is a leading and well-respected swing dancing school and swing dance and music event organiser based in the London area.
We provide weekly swing dance classes and dance parties as well as courses and worksops, live music nights and glamorous swing dance balls, choreography, private lessons, demos and performances and more!
We teach Lindy hop and related dances, including East Coast ("6-count") swing, Charleston and authentic jazz dance.
Swingland is a professional organisation and is fully insured.
Learn to swing dance - Lindy hop (Jitterbug, Jive), Jazz and Charleston
Regular weekly classes and monthly workshops where you can learn and practise in a fun and friendly environment.
After the classes, our club nights feature dancing to top swing DJs and regular live bands. Swingland is the team behind renowned London Lindy hop clubs C Jam and A-Train. We also run seasonal swing dance balls - as well as supporting larger annual events including 1920s/30s/40s vintage dances such as the glamorous and very grand Savoy Ball, and festivals such as South London SwingFest.
Swingland is run by Martin Ellis who also choreographs and trains his own Lindy hop performance company, Fireflies. Martin and the Swingland team are available for private/group classes (eg wedding "first dance"), demos, performances (eg corporate events) and for video, film and TV work.
What people say
"We went to the summer ball last night as part of a hen do. The beginner class was great and the people were all so welcoming and helped us newbies along all throughout the night. The band were great, the show dances were excellent and the bar was reasonably priced. All had a great time and would love to come back again! Thank you!"
"Just wanted to say a big thank you for yesterday's ball, it was fabulous! Very well organised, great music and wonderful cabaret. Even the beginners could join in :)"
"Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Intermediate workshop yesterday. It was lots to learn but it was an enjoyable challenge, it was good to mix partnered moves with solo moves, and the four hours seemed to fly by. I thought you complemented each other well as teachers, and the students in the class were friendly and good to dance with. I enjoyed my first experience of The Bedford. Thank you!"
"Fun and friendly, with fantastic teaching"
"Thanks so much for another fantastic workshop Martin. I got a lot out of going over the previous sections, even if we didn't quite finish the routine in its entirety. G and I were saying we'd love to practice it more and then perform it, so sign me up for that if it's your aim. Thanks!"
"High quality high standard dance classes and club night. Second to none."
"Excellent teaching of savoy style Lindy hop. Lovely venue too"
"Good fun and even those like myself with two left feet can achieve something that looks similar to a dance."
"Really great class and lots of fun!"
Swing Dancer, Teacher & Choreographer
Martin has been dancing Lindy hop and other swing styles since the early 1990s, and has been teaching regularly since 1998.
Martin first found Lindy hop in 1991 at London's "Jitterbugs" club at Notredame Hall in Leicester Square, where he learnt from Lindy hop masters including Ryan Francois, Julie Oram, Sing Lim and Ronald Leslie.
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 learned technique and performance skills under world-renowned Lindy hopper Ryan Francois. He also travelled extensively at the time 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, most recently with his Lindy hop performance company, Fireflies (formerly the 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)
Bios of Swingland teachers will be posted here soon.