About Swingland dance company - our history and the team | Swingland Dance co.

About Swingland

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.

Over the years 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.

Martin Ellis

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)