The Uptown Swing Dance Company is a team of talented individuals with a passion for dancing and for teaching. Here’s an introduction to our team, and if you see us on the dancefloor, do come and say hello!

Richard

Richard is Artistic Director of The Uptown Swing Dance Company and has run the whole shebang since founding it in 2011. He is passionate about all forms of dance as well as teaching as an artform in its own right. He is also an avid collector of music and is slowly building up a pension fund composed of vintage records.

Richard is a widely respected figure on the local and international dance circuit, and is frequently invited to share his love of swing dance with other communities in Europe and beyond. He works professionally as a dancer and events manager full time, and is committed to providing the highest quality in all areas, and making sure that everyone is having as much fun as they possibly can with their clothes on.

Aila

Aila has been teaching with The Uptown Swing Dance Company since 2012 and partners Richard for most of the Lindy Hop classes. Together they placed at the recent European Swing Dance Championships in the Lindy Hop division. Aila has also won European competitions in other swing dances such as Collegiate Shag.

She is a born performer and has studied theatre and clown with many influential teachers, as well as a host of dances including ballroom, flamenco and eccentric dance. She is a full time professional dancer and director of the internationally renowned flapper troupe, The Bee’s Knees, performing and teaching all over the world. Along with Duncan, Aila runs the Dalston classes on Mondays.

Duncan

Duncan started dancing swing in 2009 and is a familiar face on social dance floors around Europe (though mainly due to his impressive beard).

In addition to Lindy Hop, Duncan is a big fan of the Charleston in all its forms and is an accomplished Solo Jazz dancer.

He also runs Swing Out London – a website used by many Lindy Hoppers to find out where they can go to dance in the city.

Along with Aila, Duncan teaches the Beginners classes on Mondays.

Ed

Ed started to learn Lindy Hop in 2013. Since then he has fallen foul to an addiction to social dancing that has taken him across Europe and as far as Japan. He is also a member of a Lindy Hop development team in East London and enjoys collaborating with other dancers to improve their dance. Ed is currently developing a book that identifies what makes an outstanding dance teacher and is excited to see how the individual techniques translate into progress for his students.
He brings an enormous amount of energy to his classes and loves to infect his students with his enthusiasm. He believes it’s important his students feel they can make mistakes, take risks and enjoy their classes. Along with Katie, Ed is in charge of the Improvers and Intermediate classes on Tuesdays.

Katie

Katie took her first Lindy Hop steps in an office when she persuaded a colleague to teach her all he knew. With a rough grasp of the basics she took to the social dance floor, and there fell in love with the dance, the music, and the spinning! The joy of dancing in beautiful vintage locations to fabulous music has never lost its thrill.
Since those early days, Katie has spent years honing her technique. Katie’s desire to develop her skills has taken her to swing festivals all over the world and she regularly contributes to a Lindy Hop development team in East London. Katie particularly enjoys helping her students find poise and grace in swing dancing and is known for her super-human spinning power! Katie runs the Improvers and Intermediate classes with Ed.

Volunteers

We would be seriously stuck without our fabulous team of volunteers, helping at events and in classes.

If you’d like to help out at any of our events in return for free tickets and copious alcohol, just give us a shout or join our staff and volunteers Facebook group.

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