is Swingland's weekly Tuesday night swing dance and music club at renowned venue The Bedford in South London - learn with experienced professional teachers and dance to top swing DJs & occasional live bands. C Jam is respected internationally as a must-visit London club for Lindy hoppers.
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About C Jam
Expect fun, challenges, lovely people and great music! A typical night at C Jam attracts a crowd of between 50 and 100 people from all walks of life, and all age ranges (18+). Swing dancing is an increasingly popular pastime and is probably the most fun you can have keeping in shape! It is very sociable - come with friends, a partner or on your own - everyone is welcome and you'll soon feel at home.
What we teach
We teach the original swing (jive) dance - the Lindy hop as danced in the great ballrooms of the Harlem Renaissance, such as The Savoy. Smooth, cool and flowing or highly athletic and energetic, but always happy and playful. With roots in the Charleston, Breakaway and other styles, it is danced primarily to Big Band Swing but can be danced to everything from hot jazz, early rnb, rock'n'roll and lounge swing.
Who goes to C Jam?
All levels of experience are represented - from complete beginners to experienced dancers. Every week new people come along to learn for the first time but C Jam also attracts the very best dancers - both local and international who come along to strut their stuff after the classes.
Please do join our regulars on our C Jam Facebook page!
Top swing DJs and occasional live bands play the very best swingin' tunes from the past to the present - from the giants of the 1930s and 40s - Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Jimmie Lunceford, Artie Shaw and Glenn Miller to name but a few - through to modern arrangements of standards and new songs. As long as it really swings for dancers we're happy to play it!
Our longest-running night
C Jam is Swingland's longest running weekly club night. We started in Clapham Junction in early 2000, quickly moving to The Bedford later the same year.
Classes at C Jam
Join any week. No need to book (just turn up). No partner needed.
See also What to wear.
7.45pm - beginners/improvers class (Lindy hop fundamentals)
Learn all the basics with simple fun routines aimed at getting you dancing quickly - with plenty of emphasis on good lead/follow technique and connection as with all our classes! No experience required. Absolute beginners always welcome!
If you're not doing the next class grab a drink afterwards and stay for the social dancing/practice later!
8.45pm - intermediates Lindy hop class (except live band nights)
Move your dancing to the next level! Expect lots on technique and style as well as steps. You need to have a reasonably good grasp of all the steps regularly taught in the beginners class to take intermediates. So 6-count and 8-count basics plus basic knowledge of partnered Charleston steps is assumed. In conjunction with our regular workshops this class is designed to set and maintain a really good fundamental level for intermediate-level Lindy hop in London.
Music and dancing at C Jam
After the classes we have dancing!
- Social dancing
From 9.30pm (9pm on live band nights) it's freestyle time - try out the moves you've learnt, or sit down, have a drink and watch what's going on (The Bedford has a large fully licensed bar downstairs - several actually! - and you can bring drinks up to the Ballroom). Resident DJ Martin & occasional guests play "the best swing music in town" and are happy to take requests too.
Occasionally we'll have a live band and these nights always bring out the best Lindy hoppers, so don’t miss them!
On special occasions we'll stay open for dancing til midnight. Usually though we finish around 11pm - the bar downstairs is open til midnight.
For live music/late dancing please see Dates.
We rotate partners regularly in our classes so you don't need to bring a partner and you get a chance to dance with everyone. This is the best way to learn and it's a great way to meet people too! Because of the numbers at C Jam it is not practical for couples to stay together - please join in the rotation, you will learn much quicker!
The teaching team at C Jam is lead by Martin Ellis (Swingland and C Jam founder and director) with dance guru Rowan McLelland - joined on occasion by Oli Deans, Kim Sheard, Jess Bowers, Romayne Etwaroo, Sarah Phelps, Emily Duncombe and/or Liza Patoux.
Admission to C Jam
Doors are open from 7.30pm and the first class kicks off at 7.45pm.
There is no need to book - just turn up.
- Standard admission - £12.50
Includes either or both classes and social dancing/practice.
Concessions - £10 - available to NUS/Equity members with proof - please show your ID at the door.
- Special rate - £5*
Social dancing only.
*On band nights and other special occasions the admission price for dancing only is higher - the standard admission price unless otherwise stated - please see Dates.
Cash or debit/credit card - please pay on the door.
Last admission is 10pm.
Block bookings - save money!!
Save money with our Class Cards.
- 5 entries - £55 (save 12% on the door price)
Purchase on the door or on-line.
How to get to C Jam
C Jam is held in the magnificent Ballroom at The Bedford in Balham - a stunning period venue with probably London's finest dance floor for swing dancing!
The Bedford is at 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, London SW12 9HD.
By tube - Northern Line to Balham, 2 minutes walk. Turn right out of the station and walk up Balham Station Road. The Bedford is easily visible ahead of you.
By train - Balham (10 minutes to Waterloo or Victoria via Clapham Junction), 2 minutes walk as for tube.
By bus - bus routes 315 (Bedford Hill), 355, 249 or 155.
By car - just off the South Circular (A205), Balham is easily accessible by car from all directions. There is plenty of parking in local streets, free after 6.30pm - or use the Sainsbury's car park opposite.
Venue website thebedford.com
Google Business Page - Swingland @ The Bedford SwinglandBalham
The Bedford is an amazing early 20th century venue (established 1931) incorporating several fully-licensed bars, a wonderful period Ballroom upstairs (where you'll find C Jam) - and even a "Shakespearean Globe" style circular Club Room!
The Bedford has won a string of awards over the years and hosts a number of well-known and not so well-known events - whatever the day of the week you'll find a number of different things going on. An extensive food menu is available in the main bar (on the ground floor).
C Jam has been running on Tuesday evenings at The Bedford since August 2000.
C Jam - Dates
Shown below are dates for the next two months - for dates after that, please see our calendar.