Galway Lindy Exchange 2014

Galway Lindy Exchange 2014

It was 8.30pm Sunday evening when I entered the Office Bar in Salthill for the final night of Galway’s first ever Lindy Exchange,Galway Lindy Exchange Flyer and to be honest, at this point I thought it was all over. Seated in the room were just five other weary bodies, enjoying the music and the company of each other, but certainly in no shape to do any more dancing. This was it, an early night and home to bed. The weekend had worn everyone out. I could not have been more wrong……..

By 10pm the place was heaving, the music kicked up a notch and GLX 2014 finished with a bang rather than the aforementioned whimper. It was certainly a truly just way to finish a wonderful weekend.

We had started 2 days before with live music from the ever popular (with Galway dancers) ‘I Saw Stars‘, a wonderful little jazz trio that kept the dance floor full and the punters smiling. It was an amazing start to the weekend, made even better by such a great turnout of support, not just from our own local dancers, but dancers from all over Ireland and abroad. In fact I was delighted at the diversity of the dancers that had rolled up on our doorstep.

Galway Lindy Exchange 2014To Saturday and the weather truly blessed us. If you’re not familiar with Ireland, then let me just say that planning a day of outdoor activities was fraught with danger, but we spent the day wandering around our fair city, dancing at Eyre Square, then later down by the Claddagh. By Saturday night GLX 2014 was truly taking off and the dancing never stopped in the Eyre Square Hotel. We ran, for the first time, the Galway Swing ‘Extreme’ Games, and while I was a little disappointed that more people didn’t take part, those that did certainly put on a wonderful showing and I hope next year more people are encouraged to have a crack at the different competitions. (If you weren’t there, we ran a ‘Jill and Jack’, a ’30 Second Showcase’, and we were supposed to run an aerials competition, but alas, no entries for that one).

After a quick feed just after midnight things began to slow down into some ‘Bluesy’ business, and the dancing went ’til the wee hours.

The first ever Galway Lindy Exchange was planned as a very simple event, with the focus truly being on just encouraging people to dance whilst showing off our lovely little town. To those that attended, I can’t thank you enough for the support. To those that put in so much time and effort behind the scenes, thank you for your talent and your hard work.  We will have more pictures soon but check out a few of them below or on Facebook.  We would love to hear your favourite moments – feel free to let us know in the comments.

Now, to Lindy Hoppers Delight and beyond……

 

Paul Neary

If you missed the fun at the Galway Lindy Exchange, don’t worry we have another fabulous weekend planned for November 21st – 23rd – Lindy Hopper’s Delight.  The early bird deadline is Friday August 15th so register now to get the best price !

 

Galway Swing Flash Mob Shop St. during The Galway international Arts Festival 2014

Swing Dance Flash Mob During The Arts Festival

A Tale of a Swing Dance Flash Mob Around Galway, Of Crazy Men on Bicycles and Bubblegum Flavoured Ice-Cream

Galway Swing Flash Mob Shop St. during The Galway international Arts Festival 2014
So the day was set (again! – don’t ask about previous setbacks. Oh the recriminations) and a dozen or so dedicated and enthusiastic dancers made their way into the heart of Galway City to provide a little spot of entertainment for those out-and-about at the conclusion of Galway’s Arts Festival.

After a number of fun and sometimes wet practice sessions over the past month, we met in Woodquay for a final run-through before going public. Of course, even out here, on these final yards of terra firma before city meets water, we had an appreciative audience sitting patiently on the Corrib Princess, awaiting their river tour. It took many of us by surprise when, after completing a practice run, we were met with applause from somewhere off in the distance. It was like the captain of the vessel had waited for us to finish before departing back up the river.

We made arrangements to meet at Eyre Square. I said 20 minutes. People complained. I said 15 minutes. That was better.  Of course, 25 minutes later we were still waiting for people to arrive. They scattered themselves about quite nicely, as they’d been instructed, and I set up my small but brave (that’s another story) speaker and hit play. Our dancers came together, and we danced. Of course things went wrong, mistakes were made, but from everywhere, as the sounds of ‘Sing Sing Sing’ rang out, people emerged with cameras and phones to record our impromptu performance. This act was repeated in the tight confines of Shop St, before we headed down the the Spanish Arch for the last of our planned flash mobs.

The first two flash mobs had gone well, but invariably small errors had crept in (most obviously by myself). We were determined that this one would go to plan.

And go to plan it did. We danced, broke into our jam, the jazz girls hit their stride, and then it was time for me to flip my partner,Bike stumbles into Swing Dancing Flashmob Tracey, into the spotlight…… and along came the crazy man on bicycle . As I launched Tracey into the air I heard the cries of ‘Whoa’, saw the people looking away (or unable to look away), and out of the corner of my eye caught the harried movement of man on bike crossing into my path. I held back briefly, changed angle slightly, knowing I could save this if he stayed the course. He didn’t, but his desperate movements managed to take him further out of harms way and our flash mob proceeded uninterrupted (The video with full sound-effects is below).

It was a warm day, so we decided that just rewards for a job well done would be ice-cream from Gino’s, Galway’s finest ice-creamery. The health nuts went for the sorbet options, the weirdos who aren’t into ice-cream went next door to buy ice-pops. My own option, controversially derided by all, was a blue-coloured bubble-gum flavour. And it was num-num. From there, it was back to Eyre Square, where we whittled away the afternoon with more dancing, an encore of our flash mob, threw in a Shim Sham for no reason other than it’s the Shim Sham, and generally enjoyed a warm Galway afternoon.

Thank you to all who came out, both to dance and support us. I really look forward to the next swing dance flash mob as part of the GLX – Galway Lindy Exchange 2014 !

Paul Neary

If you missed tthe fun on Sunday head to our Facebok page to see all the pictures and check out the videos below !

 

Enable Ireland Swing-A-Thon

Dancers from Galway Swing took to the streets on Saturday 21st September and raised €500 for Enable Ireland with our yearly swing-a-thon on Shop St.

We were dancing from 12pm outside Evergreen, entertaining the crowd, and raising awareness along with some much-needed funding for Enable Ireland.  Thank you to all our dancers who came and danced with us and of course to everyone who cheered us on and supported us all afternoon.

A great day was had by all.

Galway Swing Classes to Start in Knocknacarra

Galway Swing Flyer Swing Dancing is coming to Knocknacarra !

Galway Swing will be bringing their unique energy to the brand new Knocknacarra Community Centre, Cappagh Park.  Classes will start this Thursday, September 12th at 8pm.  Our classes are run on a drop-in basis.  You can join at any time.  For more details call Paul on 087 9358160.

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