Lindy Jazz started in 2007 with a vision. Founder Joo-Lee and her partner Andy wanted to create a warm and friendly swing dance scene in Durham and Newcastle, where people of different ages and backgrounds could meet to dance, have lots of fun, and make friends.
With the support of her partner and a dedicated team of teachers and assistants, Joo-Lee launched an ever-growing programme of classes, workshops, and exciting social events where even people who have never danced get to experience the joy of learning the Lindy Hop.
You may have seen them dancing on one of the BBC One's idents or you may have always wanted to learn to dance as an adult but never had the chance or you enjoy listening to swing music. Now's an ideal opportunity to find out more.
Joo-Lee has built up a reputation of being the leading swing dance teacher and swing festival director in North East England.
She is passionate about helping adult beginners become confident dancers. Her teaching style focuses on great technique, and is always energetic, simple, and fun.
She prides herself on creating a warm and friendly atmosphere in all of her classes, and that’s what keeps people coming back, time and time again.
Joo-Lee’s love for Swing dance shines through in her teaching, and she first got the bug when she attended a week-long Charleston and Authentic Jazz workshop in Ferryhill, County Durham, with Warren Hayes from the Jiving Lindy Hoppers.
She desperately searched for Swing dance classes she could attend regularly in the North East, but to no avail. But undeterred, she signed up to any other dance classes she could and became a regular at local Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Salsa, Tango, and Modern Jive classes.
Six years later, her love for dance took her to the international dance camp Herrang, where she first experienced Lindy Hop. This inspired her as much as the Charleston and Jazz workshop had, and so she began an annual pilgrimage to Herrang. She had such an amazing experience every year and she longed to share the fun with as many people as possible. She would do this through Lindy Jazz.
Lindy Jazz started as a single class in Durham and it has blossomed into a thriving Swing dance community. Joo-Lee has taken her love of dance and used it to create something special that benefits local communities. She taught community dance fitness classes for the NHS through their ‘Arts into Wellbeing’ project, and her talents don’t stop there. She even taught actors with no previous dance experience to dance in just a few hours. Actors from dramas such as Joe Maddison's War (which starred Robson Green and Kevin Whateley) and United (starring David Tennant) became confident dancers under Joo-Lee’s watchful and experienced eye.
Andy has been dancing since 1990. His dance journey started in the world of Ballroom, and he soon discovered a love for Modern Jive.
His passion for Blues and Lindy Hop fuelled his enthusiasm for social dance, and he went on to study Lindy dance with world-class teachers like Frankie Manning, Steven Mitchell, Peter Loggins, and Russell Sargeant.
In Joo-Lee, he found a partner who shared his idea for creating the perfect Swing dance class, which combines the fun of social dancing with structured lessons to help anyone become a more confident dancer.
Andy’s trademark is relaxed and supportive teaching, where everyone works together to improve and build their confidence.
He draws on his natural musicality, as well as his experience of many difference dance styles such as Salsa, Ballroom, and Argentine Tango, to bring his teaching to life. His teaching style encourages connection and is always accessible and thorough.
His love for music and dance (and his extensive and growing Jazz, Swing, and Blues music collection) makes him the perfect resident Lindy Jazz DJ, where he helps make every class and event an exciting and truly unforgettable experience. Not only that, his Swing and Blues DJ skills are sought after nationally and internationally.
As well as playing for the Swing dancers at our regular weekly classes and events, he plays at many events in the UK and abroad, such as Herrang, the Snowball in Stockholm, Barswingona, the London Swing Festival, and the Blues Baby Blues, among many others.