Dance

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There are groups running drop-in classes, courses and social dances in various styles in and around Reading. Classes generally run weekly. Courses are series of classes where they start with the basics and build up week by week (so you need to start at the beginning of the course). Drop-in classes are where you can start any time - they often have beginners' lessons earlier in the evening with more advanced lessons later. Many have social dancing at the end of the evening after the lesson(s). Levels of difficulty/competence are often described as beginners, improvers, intermediate and advanced.

Most dance forms are partnered dances, although you usually don't need to take a partner and even if you go as a couple to a lesson the teachers usually ask people to change partners so everybody gets to practice with everybody else. Most dance forms also have leader and follower roles which are generally assigned to men and women. Where there is an imbalance in numbers what usually happens is that surplus men or women take turns standing by while other couples practice a move, and then as participants change partners those waiting re-join and others have to wait a turn. Sometimes surplus participants will practice a move on their own (with an imaginary partner) until they move on to the next real partner. Sometimes, if there are more women than men, some women will take leader roles to balance the numbers. It is less common for extra men to take follower roles although in some social dances men will dance with other men as well as women with other women.

There are also solo dances (such as taught at Reading Swing Jam's Jazz / Charleston classes) which can be performed by a group ensemble, or by pairs or groups improvising and responding to each others' moves.

Organisers of partnered dances generally encourage participants to observe good personal hygiene! Take a bath or shower beforehand, use deodorant if necessary, brush your teeth etc. For all dance forms it's advisable to take water to drink, and possibly a towel and/or a fan in all but the coldest weather: dancing is exercise and you can get quite warm.


Fun Fact There is some scientific evidence that dance may improve brain health, reduce risk of dementia, improve mood and certain cognitive skills such as visual recognition and decision-making, reduce stress and help develop new neural connections, especially in regions involved in executive function, long-term memory, and spatial recognition, and even to be therapeutic for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Bachata & Kizomba

Salsa Bachata Social Club (Facebook) run Bachata lessons and workshops, including Bachata and Kizomba lessons at the Rising Sun Arts Centre on Monday evenings.

Ballroom

Reading University Dance Club (aka Ballroom, Latin and Salsa Society) runs Ballroom classes on Mondays at Wessex hall. They have a YouTube channel.

Capoeira

Capoeira classes run at St Lukes church hall, Erleigh Rd, on Tuesday evenings.

Five Rhythms

5Rhythms classes run at St Lukes church hall, Erleigh Rd, on Thursday evenings at 20:15. They also have a meetup group.

Folk

Ceilidh

There don't seem to be any ceilidhs running in Reading; the nearest seem to be those run by Oxfolk in Oxford.

Clog

Aldbrickham Clog and Step Dancers practice at the Park URC Church at Palmer Park on Tuesdays, and perform at various events through the year. They have a Facebook page.

Morris

Kennet Morris Men dance mainly Cotswold style Morris. During the winter months they practice in Shinfield (just South of the M4 Black Boy) and dance during the Summer months: May to September.

Scottish

Reading St Andrews Scottish Dancing Society runs courses (at St Andrews United Reformed church on London Rd opposite Eldon Square) and socials and ceilidhs.

Salsa

There are various styles of Salsa and different classes teaching them and social dances centred around them.

Red Hat

Red Hat Salsa run drop-in classes at different levels followed by social dancing upstairs at RISC, weekly on Tuesdays and monthly on Saturdays They say you can get your first and 4th lesson half price and 10th lesson free - these aren't advertised at the venue.

Salsa Bachata Social Club

Salsa Bachata Social Club runs monthly dance parties on Fridays at Yates's with a couple of lessons followed by social dancing. They also have a facebook page.

University

Reading University Dance Club (aka Ballroom, Latin and Salsa Society) runs Salsa classes on Thursdays at Wessex hall. They have a YouTube channel. First lesson is free: tell them at the door that you're new.

Cuban Salsa / La Rueda

La Rueda / Rueda de Casino is danced in pairs in a circle. Moves are called out: they have names in Spanish (although the names don't necessarily have obvious meanings, e.g. dile que no means tell her "no"). Many of the moves involve changing partners around the circle. This video shows examples.

Afrodesia

Afrodesia Salsa run drop-in classes at different levels followed by social dancing at The Butler pub in Chatham St on Wednesday evenings.

Rising Sun Arts Centre

La Rueda at the Rising Sun run drop-in classes at different levels on alternate Wednesday evenings at the Rising Sun Arts Centre. The group's Facebook page shows dates.

Sequence Dancing

Sequence dancing is a form of dance in which a preset pattern of movements is followed, usually to music which is also predetermined. Sequence dancing may include dances of many different styles. The term may include ballroom dances which move round the floor as well as line, square and circle dances. - from Wikipedia

Wednesdays 2-4 pm, Church of Jesus Christ of LDS Church Hall, corner of Meadway and Church End Lane, Tilehurst (entrance from Church End Lane). Free. Contact Terry 0118 950 3855

Swing

Charleston, Jazz, Lindy Hop, Balboa, Jive etc

Reading Vintage Swing Dance Scene

The Reading Vintage Swing Dance Scene website ("For all things swing dance related in Reading") describes the evolution of different types of Swing dance, lists classes (with a Google calendar), events, bands, venues (including some non-dance places), retailers of vintage clotes etc, and more.

All Jazzed Up

All Jazzed Up run courses at Watlington House on Tuesdays and Thursdays and occasional events. They also have a blog and a facebook page.

Ceroc

Ceroc is a Jive dance with simplified footwork making it easy to learn, and also the proprietary trade name of the organisations running lessons and dances. Ceroc Thames Valley runs drop-in classes in Wokingham and Twyford and Ceroc Newbury in Newbury.

Reading Swing Jam

Reading Swing Jam run solo Jazz / Charleston courses at Rising Sun Arts Centre on Monday evenings, Blues at the Purple Turtle on Thursdays and other events.

Reading University Swing Dance Society

Reading University Swing Dance Society (see also RUSDS own website) run classes and dances during University term times (but open to all, not just students or university members).

Jive Cats

Jive Cats run classes in Caversham, Woodley and elsewhere.

Balboa Mondays

Balboa Mondays run courses at the Rising Sun Arts Centre on Monday evenings, and other events.

Global Cafe

The Silver Heels Band plays at Global Cafe on the 3rd Thursday of each month (with breaks in the summer and at Christmas/New Year). Cafe Zazous also play every other month, music in a Django Reinhard French cafe Jazz genre, also on Thursdays. Both usually attract Balboa, Lindy etc dancers.

Purple Turtle

The Ding Dong Daddios play regular(?) monthly gigs at the [Purple Turtle] which attract a lot of local swing dancers.

Tango

Milongas are Tango social dances.

Berkshire Tango Club

The Berkshire Argentine Tango Club (note web page plays unsolicited audio) runs classes in Caversham and Woodley.

Reading Tango Club

Reading Tango Club runs classes at St Luke's Hall in Erleigh Rd, and Milonga socials.

Rising Sun Arts Centre

The Rising Sun runs drop-in classes on Thursday evenings.


fitness dance

swing based

Jitterblast (Facebook) at Caversham Hall, St John's Road, Caversham, RG4 5AN - Thursdays 11:30am (note: not as advertised on some flyers)

"A dance fitness workout that uses high-energy moves from Swing Dances like Lindy Hop, Charleston and Vintage Jazz with some classic Hollywood film dance moves thrown in!"
email / phone Jean 07808966928 / Shirley 07974205485

Zumba

Sue Chalmers runs Zumba classes for over 50s at the University Sports Centre on Friday mornings at 10am.

others

  • Folk - French, Greek etc?
  • Ballroom?
  • Tap?
  • Belly?
  • others?