New To Smooth Modern Jive?

The original "Dirty Dancing", Smooth Jive, also called Modern Jive, is an easy and fun social dance that you can do at parties, weddings, etc. The basic footwork is simple with a weight change or step on every beat. This means you can dance modern jive if you can walk!

And you will learn your dancing from Andy McGregor - who recently appeared in an ITV remake of Dirty Dancing - you can't get better credentials than that!

Smooth Jive is very much a social dance, nobody is going to be testing you or asking you to take medal tests. It's a party dance for grown ups with dance events, called "Freestyles" most weekends. Here's a short video taken at a recent party at the Warren Ballroom.



Partner dancing lessons are cool again, thanks to programmes like Strictly Come Dancing. And here's your chance to truly find your feet at venues throughout Sussex, with lessons in Smooth Modern Jive - the easiest partner dance to learn. You will be part of a group of dancers of all levels and each beginners lesson will last about 30-40 minutes and be followed a continuation lesson after you've had time to practice. The lessons are suitable for individuals or couples and as partners rotate - you really don't need to bring a partner. You will also be able to practice your newly learnt moves during social "freestyle" dance sessions, which take place between and after the lessons
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Modern Jive beginners lessons have 3-4 moves of the 20 or so beginners moves and repeat moves every 3-8 lessons depending on the particular moves. Take a look at the beginners lesson plan "clock" to the right, each week we move one lesson anti-clockwise around the clock with each lesson suitable for a complete novice - the moves change, but they're all suitable for a complete novice. This means you can start any week and even miss a week as the moves will come around again in a few weeks.

You will be taught as part of a group by a highly trained professional dance teacher.

Freestyle/Social Dancing - After the beinners lesson there's a short freestyle where you can practice or get a drink and freshen up before the 30 minute continuation lesson and finally, "freestyle" social dancing til the end of the night. This "freestyle" session is very sociable. Everyone mingles and dances with everyone else. Nobody sits out for long as the culture of our nights is that it's OK to ask strangers for a dance or two. Beginners get asked just as much as esperienced dancers and nobody is a "wallflower". By the end of the night you'll have danced with everyone at some of our smaller classes with 30 or 40 people - at busy nights some people get asked to dance so much they will have done the equivalent exercise of walking a few miles! And you'll have made a LOT of new friends!

Availability: Classes (remember you can start at any week) are available in Findon on a Tuesday, Horsham on a Thursday or East Worthing on a Friday - visit the home page of this website for more information

Requirements: As this is an adult class dancers must be at least 14 years old to take part in the lessons. There are no height or weight restrictions, but you must be mobile to make the most of the moves. Please wear casual, cool and comfortable clothing and avoid trainers, boots, sandals and shoes with a grip sole. Remember, don't worry if you feel you have 'two left feet' - these classes are ideal for beginners - and the teachers and dance crew will be patient. Above all, it is fun!

Spectators and Facilities: Lessons are not suitable for spectators - you'll just have to take the plunge and have a go yourselves!

Start at Any Time: There's no course to join, just turn up and join in. You can even miss a week as lessons aren't progressive - you learn 3-4 new beginners moves each week and moves are repeated every 3-6 weeks.

From your very first lesson we teach you dance technique along with the interesting and fun dance moves.

One thing to consider when choosing your Modern Jive teacher is qualifications and insurance. Our teacher is Andy McGregor. Andy is a qualified dance teacher with the UKA and his teaching is insured for £10,000,000 by his membership of the the UKA. We also have Public Liability insurance for running events and Employee Liability Insurance. Also, our electrical equipment if checked annually and certified by P.A.T. testing. In addition, Andy is in receipt of an Enhanced CRB Certificate as he is employed to teach dance by Worthing Leisure. Also, as a qualified dancer and successful dance competitor in his younger days, Andy is invited to Judge competitions and teach at venues and events around the UK and Europe - he's even performed for thousands on the stage at the Albert Hall.

N.B. WE have lifted the passage below from a Canadian dance teachers website. It accurately and succinctly sums up how we feel about teaching proper dance technique to beginners. In our opinion the teaching for proper dance technique provides a perfect foundation for Smooth Jive - and the failure to teach proper dance technique to beginners results in bad habits which limit the ability of people to progress as dancers.

Teaching Dance Technique to Modern Jive Beginners
                   (with thanks to Tessa Cunningham, author of this piece below)

First, we can not assume that a beginner dancer observing an advanced dancer and “copying” them is actually authentically replicating the technique of the dance. In order to accurately replicate a dance, one must understand the mechanics required to create the movement. Dancers with no training simply do not have this knowledge base…

Second, people learn in different styles – some are visual learners, some are kinesthetic. A teacher must cater to each learning style in order to reach each student. Visual copying is not enough.

Third, the problem with a lot of dance training is that there are teachers out there who started out as competent dancers who had no clue how they did what they did, then they discovered that they can make money from people who want to look like them, so they started teaching lessons. But the problem was that they still didn’t understand how to explain what they were doing to other people, so they do a lot of demonstrating but not a lot of ACTUAL teaching.

This is the bane of my existence. As a technically trained teacher, I constantly come across these “instructors” who are unintentionally passing on bad habits to their students. Their students learn to copy dancers they admire because that was the teaching method that was used on them. But they have no idea HOW or WHY to execute the movement in their own body, so they end up doing something totally unnatural, unergonomic and inefficient. This makes their learning slower, their leads less effective, which makes social dancing less fun and so they quit. Argh! If only they had been taught correctly from the beginning, they would have achieved more success sooner, had more fun, and therefore would still be involved in the dance.

You (might) say you “run the risk of overloading them with technique” if you spend too much time teaching it to beginners. I say it is the irresponsible teacher who bypasses technique and cheats their students out of their potential to really “get” the dance faster and better. I understand that MJ was created to “get people dancing immediately”. I totally get and support the mission. But technique does not have to take a long time to teach.

We teach technique in a way that’s fast, simple, palatable, practical and applicable. It’s not boring. It’s what your body’s been craving. Our students are constantly commenting things like, “Why wasn’t I taught this from day one?”, “Why doesn’t anyone else teach this stuff?”, and “I wish I’d learned this years ago – I would have stuck with it”.

We have taken brand new dancers with zero experience, and in 5 weeks (5 hours) taught them in such a way that they have better connection and understanding of the dance than 90% of the people who attend local dances and who have been taking classes for years. It’s not quantity – it’s quality…THEN it’s quantity.
But my point was not to fluff my own feathers, just to point out that technique is ESSENTIAL to teaching beginners and it is a crying shame that most teachers are afraid of it, either because they don’t understand it themselves, or if they do understand it, are afraid that they won’t be able to present it in a way that their students would take to, and they want to protect their investment. My point was to show that technique is ACCESSIBLE to beginners and makes the whole dance more DESIREABLE.

Venues

Tuesdays in Worthing - Smooth Modern Jive
The Warren Ballroom, Worthing College, 1 Sanditon Way, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 9FD
Doors Open 7.45pm
First Lesson 8pm
Second Lesson 9pm
Freestyle/Social Dancing 9.30-11.00pm
£7 all night

Divas - Wednesdays in Worthing
The Warren Ballroom, Worthing College, 1 Sanditon Way, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 9FD
Doors Open 7.45pm
8pm - Intermediate Lesson from a Guest Teacher
8.40pm - Freestyle dancing to a right good mix of music
Night Ends at 11.00pm

Saturday Dance Venues

Worthing,
The Warren Ballroom, Worthing College, 1 Sanditon Way, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 9FD

Horsham, The Drill Hall, Denne Road, Horsham, RH12 1JF

The Steyning Centre, Fletchers Croft, Steyning, West Sussex BN44 3XZ

East Worthing Community Centre, Pages Lane, Worthing BN11 2NQ - behind The Range - use the Range car park

The Warren Ballroom, Worthing College, 1 Sanditon Way, Worthing, West Sussex BN14 9FD
The ballroom is located on the North side of Grove Lodge Roundabout, just off Hillbarn Lane