About Us

Who we are:

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

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

 

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.

 

What People Say

Joo-Lee has in depth knowledge of dance with fantastic people skills. However you are feeling at the beginning of a session you always feel happier at the end with a sense of achievement.
I would recommend Joo-Lee as an excellent team builder getting people to interact and working together towards a common goal.

Wayne Monk Partner, Gelders Bakery, Sunderland

As always, Lindy Jazz are always a pleasure to work with. It's always impressive to see how organised the operation is - a well oiled machine. It was especially good seeing how the tempo of the evening was kept at a great pace, the atmosphere was held throughout and the hosting skills were impeccable - genuinely impressive stuff.

Carlo Viglianisi Director, Emptyshop & Brass Festival Fringe

I thought your interactive dance session was fabulous. It was new, innovative, enjoyable, broke down barriers very quickly and got people talking. However, my initial thoughts were very negative, it was not something that I wanted to get involved in and I could not see any value in “dancing”. Oh, how quickly I changed my mind! I believe that this is something that you should be promoting.

Bryan Burke BKB-Consultancy

Many many thanks to you and Andy for running such a superb day and night of events!  I know that those participating really enjoyed themselves and I have had a lot of good comments about the Friday night.   I appreciated all your efficient management of everything and hope that we can work together again.

Louise Butler Exfactor Limited

Having danced for a year now, I find that Lindy Jazz beginner lessons are still useful due to their emphasis on technique, which can always be improved by dancers of any level. Lindy Jazz is unique in its beginner lesson content, which inspires people to be creative.  Rather than giving a set routine of moves, they teach a strong foundation of moves and encourage people to use them in any order, and to go further by coming up with their own variations. This ensures that all dances are kept fun and interesting for both leads and follows.

I would undoubtedly recommend a private lesson with Joo-Lee due to her in-depth focus on fundamental technique, which underpins everything about lindy hop. The advice I was given has long since stuck with me and I have seen a marked improvement in my dancing abilities since.

Michael Wall

I would like to thank you and Andy for your wonderful presentation of the Lindy Hop Blues dance at our Equality Awards on Friday. The dance, which was beautifully executed, lent atmosphere to the occasion and was extremely well received.  I would certainly be more than pleased to recommend you for any such event, thank you again. 

Liz Reay Chief Executive, Equality North East

Just a note to say thanks to you and your dancers for Friday night - all the feedback tells me it was rockin' in there!

Lisa Vickers Events and Communications Manager, Women Into the Network (WIN)

I was skeptical of dancing lessons and didn’t know what to expect as there are so many different types however to be honest my first taster to Lindy hop at Procter & Gamble Sports & Social Club was great! It’s fun, energetic and I couldn’t stop smiling even when trying to remember some of my moves. The instructors were fantastic and this was obvious with the enthusiasm of the followers & leaders participating.
 
It was a nice end to the working day and I am already looking forward to next week’s lessons

Stuart Peacock Hewlett-Packard

Woodhorn booked Lindy-Jazz to perform on August Bank Holiday Monday as our major exhibition at the time was about Northumberland during WWII. The period music and dancing displays brought the exhibition theme and the museum site to life in a fun, friendly and accessible way. Lindy-Jazz were very professional to work with, and I would recommend them wholeheartedly. We were particularly impressed with how the group engaged with our visitors, spending time chatting with them about the music and dancing alongside their impressive performances.

Liz Ritson Exhibitions and Events Officer, Woodhorn QEII Country Park

“It gave me time to develop an alternative understanding of lindy away from step patterns and moves”

Having a private lesson meant I had a consistent partner and therefore the opportunity to try different approaches to the same move. We were able to discuss what worked better, worse, or just differently.

Appreciating common "ideas" like triple step, pulse, stretch, kick down, and beginning to feel comfortable with them helped by allowing me to focus on other ideas, whilst maintaining communication with my partner.

I now have a better understanding that communication between dance partners improves with a good connection. Non-visual communication adds to the dance and is something that watching a demonstration can’t teach; I don’t get it until I feel it.

It’s fun to dance with the teacher; they love dancing too. 

If you know what you want but are looking for a way to get there; Or if you do not know what you want but know you want to learn, I would recommend a private lesson with Joo-Lee.

Dave Anon Lindy Jazz member

“You can pick up advice and pointers a lot more quickly in a private lesson”

Everyone has their own rate of learning and people pick up things in different ways/methods. Joo-Lee has a way of making the student relax and feel at ease… even me, who sometimes feels a bit awkward!

The detail you can go down to in a private lesson is far more than in a class full of students. When trying to focus on one particular area you find other things that may need looking at more closely.

It's not just dance practice but also the explanations behind it that I found interesting, I can't think of one thing that wasn't helpful about the advice that was given. 

I would recommend Joo-Lee to anyone. Her passion and real care for her student is always evident - she cares about the needs of the student. 

Graeme Flatman Lindy Jazz member