A gift connected to passion is always a good choice. Christmas is coming and I decided to collects some ideas of presents that will make lindy hoppers happy. The price range is wide and there are various categories of ideas so I hope that you can find here a great surprise for every swing dancer.
- Access to online courses
- Festival passes
- Other accesories
- For Polish dancers
There are lots of amazing brands of clothes, shoes and accessories made by dancers for dancers. If you are not sure of the size or color a majority of them offers gift cards for particular items or of set value.
“Fashion brand based in Athens, Greece. Vintage clothing with a contemporary twist!
Our brand was created out of our desire to make clothes that represent our own personal style and our perspective on female fashion. We have always loved jazz music, the movies, the stars and the taste of the ‘30s-’50s and this is where all our ideas come from. Fashion trends come and go and there are times that we might be influenced by what is out there too, but not to the extend of changing our idea about how our clothing line should look like. In the same way, in our opinion modern women should find their own personal style and dress in a way that reflects who they are and how they feel about fashion. This is the kind of women that buy our brand. Our clients have their own personal style, are proud of their bodies and are looking for clothes that are feminine while at the same time comfortable to wear in their everyday life.” – Comely Bop
“Always wanted to proudly show your love for jazz to the world? You’ll be able to buy unique, hand-printed clothing inspired by posters from the Swing Era.” – SWINGPOL
“All-leather swing dancing shoes made in Poland.
Available in EU sizes 35-42. The 4.5 cm heel is perfectly balanced so you can rock Lindy Hop and hit those swivels. Additional padding gives them the feeling of comfy flats. Leather soles help you slide and glide across the dance floor making your Pure Bal pure bliss. The soft upper adapts to your feet after just a few hours and makes you feel Hepcats were made exactly for you. Original design connects vintage aesthetics with modern technology to produce the ultimate sing dancing footwear.” – Hepcats
This is not a dancer’s brand but I feel like a lot of swing dancers would love the vintage style makeup.
“Our Classic Color Lipsticks are the legacy of Bésame; gilded, purse-sized tubes packed with vibrant pigment and an unparallel finish. We’ve always been inspired by our grandmother’s original 1940’s lipstick bullets and old advertisements for design itself, but engineering a timeless, vintage-inspired formula is a more technical process. Here’s a look into how we make our modern classic.
Bésame has been making luxurious cosmetics inspired by the golden age of cinema in Los Angeles, California since 2004. We are a family company driven by a passion for quality and design that touches everything we make. Mixing history, science, and art to create exceptional products that inspire and define the power of the classic woman. Artfully crafted, Bésame cosmetics offers something truly different, nostalgic and glamorous.” – Bésame Cosmetics
Access to online courses
Some of the best swing dance teachers in the world record videos and put them on their online platforms. A monthly access to all the materials of a particular library is a great idea for a gift.
Dax and Sarah run the Rhythm Juice platform with a huge amount of material to practice solo and with a partner. They regularly upload new videos. There are two options to choose from – both are very attractive and will surely excite every lindy hopper.
“To inspire dancer’s worldwide by providing personal feedback, coaching and structured learning to improve your swing dancing!” – Rhythm Juice
“Kevin and Jo believe that the old saying “practice makes perfect” can be improved upon by applying a small variation, “perfect practice makes perfect.” If you practice something wrong 1,000 times, you’ll be really good and doing it incorrectly. So take the time you need to practice the material correctly. The number one thing that all top level dancers share is training.
iLindy will allow you to progress at the speed of your success. However, it is not a replacement for practice. This website is a reference tool of information that can speed up the learning process by providing proven dance techniques and lindy hop moves in an efficient format.” – iLindy
Ksenia focuses on solo dancing and creates complex courses focused on particular subjects. There are already 3 of them and the membership gives access to all the videos.
“Ksenia’s World of Kicks is the very latest instructional series by Ksenia Parkahatskaya. In this new series, Ksenia demonstrates and breaks down the technique, movement, timing, and concepts that she uses and developed to integrate kicks into her solo dance.
In Charleston unique series Ksenia will share her own way of dancing 1920’s Charleston. From her twist on original authentic moves to tricks, ideas and steps that she created. If you have seen some of Ksenia’s viral Charleston performances and would love to dance like that – these series will help you to do so! 9 chapters, 40+ videos, 2+ hours of material. This series applies to a wide range of levels: from beginners to advanced dancers.
Ksenia’s Secrets of Improvisation is a unique new online course that will give you the skills to take your dancing, choreographies and musicianship to another level. It’s a treasure box of fresh and exciting original ideas, tools, tricks and exercises, that will get you to discover your own personal creativity within Jazz and Swing dancing.” – kseniaparkhatskaya.com
If you prefer to have a “real” gift that you can wrap and put under the christmas tree DVDs are also a great idea.
There are a lot of great options to choose from by Kevin and Jo. My favourites are:
For Leaders Only – Lindy Hop Styling for Men
“Kevin St. Laurent is “The Balls.” As a globally renowned lindy hop instructor and hat tricker extraordinaire, he and his sassy (and silent) teaching assistant, Jo Hoffberg, will show you variations and swing out styling that will make other leaders envious. Get ready to expand your repertoire of fancy footwork and arm work that will make photographers ‘click’ their cameras and followers ‘squeak’ with delight. Indeed, this video builds on the solid layers of partnering technique that can be found in Kevin and Jo’s 5 video Lindy Hop Technique Series. It has the potential to launch you to the next level of competence and provide a foundation of inspiration for leaders to develop their personal style. Warning: when used correctly, this video may increase one’s desirability to followers from around the world.” – joandkevin.com
Counter Balance – Holding on for Dear Life
“Everyone is talking about “stretching” these days. Have you heard about it? What does it all mean? Well, it just so happens that you’ve found an answer to your question. Kevin and Jo will take stretching so far, it becomes…. wait for it…..counterbalance. Yes, you too can learn to lead and follow counterbalance. It’s a powerful technique for creating a dynamic dance, but with great power comes great responsibility. Your partners life will hang in the balance and only you can save them. Learn how to keep your feet close and take your hips away to get that look of power and grace that everyone desires. With step by step instruction, numerous drills, and clear instruction, Kevin and Jo will push you to become the master of the counterbalance universe.” – joandkevin.com
Sharon Davis is an amazing dancer and teacher. Here are some options from her:
“This is a DVD on solo jazz dancing, including five sections: 1920s Charleston Basics, Basic Vernacular Jazz Steps, Introduction to Solo Blues, Advanced 1920s Charleston, and Advanced Jazz Steps. There is tonnes of material – I counted, I teach 90 moves on this DVD! I often get asked, is this DVD just for girls? The answer is no, the moves I teach are for both guys and girls, but fair warning, the DVD was produced by my burlesque company, so I’m wearing a skirt and heels while I teach it! But these are the same jazz steps and Charleston moves that all swing dancers – men and women – need to know.” – sharonmdavis.com
“This is a DVD for swing girls! It includes swing out technique for followers, a section on my swivels and twists, some fancy footwork variations for your swing out, plus a jazz routine in high heels just for ladies.” – sharonmdavis.com
A good book is a great way to enjoy long travels between festivals. Here are a few books written especially for lindy hoppers.
This is a biography of the most important Lindy Hop dancer and teacher. A must-read for every swing dancer!
“With co-author Cynthia R. Millman, Manning traces the evolution of swing dancing from its early days in Harlem through the post-World War II period, until it was eclipsed by rock’n’roll and then disco. When swing made a comeback, Manning’s 30-year hiatus ended. He has been performing, choreographing, and teaching ever since.” – amazon.com
“Since every great swing dancer has followed their own path to greatness, this book gives dancers as many choices as possible to find their own way, including in-depth explorations of skill-building, what makes exceptional dancers exceptional, and the variety of ways dance skills can be honed in studios, groups, or on the social dance floor. By international swing dance champion and instructor Bobby White.” – blurb.com
“The first twenty of a hundred (or less) lessons on becoming a Lindy Hopper. A dancing superhero writes about the stuff you’re going through at dancing classes and parties, and problems you think only you have. Along with the lessons, there are additional “Stories from the corners of the dancing floor” and “Lindy poetry” sections. This is a beginner’s guide; it’s both for those who are only starting to dance and those who have been dancing for a while. This guide deals with questions, problems, and dilemmas that the majority of people either don’t discuss or don’t even think about. It’s written for a Lindy Hopper (and other Swing dancers), but the majority of it can be applied to other dances as well. It’s also meant for non-dancers.” – lindyhopoulos.com
Supporting the bands that play the music we dance to is really important for dancers. Here are some great bands to buy music from:
- Jonathan Stout and Campus Five
- Shirt Tail Stompers
- Hot Sugar Band
- Gordon Webster Band
- Carolina Reapers Swing
- Glenn Crytzer Orchestra
- Mint Julep Jazz Band
Festivals are a huge part of dancer’s life. You can buy a full pass (classes + parties) or a party pass (parties only) for the event of your choice.
Our idea is the Retro Weekend Festival (March 2019, Warsaw, Poland).
To see a full list of events to choose from visit SwingPlanIt.
Other ideas for accessories to buy locally or online
Shoe care travel set
Reusable water bottle
Shirt sock suspenders
Vintage style hair pomade
For Polish dancers
“Moda to lustro kobiecej historii. Ty też możesz się w nim przejrzeć. Odważne pomysły, śmiałe kreacje i przełamywanie tabu przez miliony kobiet. Ostatnie sto lat to prawdziwa modowa rewolucja. Nigdy wcześniej damski strój nie zmieniał się tak szybko. I tak efektownie. Dla słynących z urody Polek XX wiek był czasem walki: o wolną ojczyznę i o własne prawa. Wydawałoby się, że nie było wtedy czasu na zajmowanie się modą. Ale to właśnie ona dodawała im odwagi i pozwalała poczuć się pięknie. Wyczucie stylu i wyobraźnia stały się ich wizytówką. Dziś mamy coś, czego naszym prababkom często brakowało. Ogromny wybór. To właśnie on czyni współczesną modę tak fascynującą. Obecne trendy to niewiarygodny miks tysięcy elementów kobiecej garderoby wielu epok. To, co masz na sobie też ma swoją historię. Odkryj ją.” – empik.com