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 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 has been teaching with The Uptown Swing Dance Company since 2012 and partnered Richard teaching for a lot of this time. 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 with other Uptown swing teacher, Peter Ayers.
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 Peter, Aila runs the Dalston classes on Mondays.
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.