Similarly to the 1920s which began with the Spanish Flu Pandemic the 2020s have hardly been a stroll in the park so far.
But like the rich and brilliant iconic era that sprung from a post-war period of lockdown and depression, like a phoenix from the ashes the arts will rise again and kick start this decade!
And with the centenary of roaring twenties well and truly upon us Birmingham based dance company, The Swing Era, is coming back fighting with a relaunch of their incredibly successful dance school and their diverse event offerings.
In 2014 Martyn Nelson, founder of The Swing Era, embarked on a mission to teach the people of Birmingham how to Lindy Hop and they have recently proudly celebrated their seventh anniversary!
From the humble beginnings of offering the metropolitan town of Moseley Lindy Lessons dance classes quickly expanded to include Lindy Levels, Solo Jazz and the occasional specialist lesson in Shag, Shim-Sham or Jitterbug. This only grew dancer’s knowledge and appreciation of dances from the 1920s all the way through to the 1950s.
As the community grew so did the call for social events including freestyle dance evenings, Big Band Nights, holiday celebrations, drop-in classes and trips to the bothy for some after-class fun.
He has created a beautiful and loving community in Birmingham and the Midlands. When you step into a Lindy lesson you immediately enter a group of people with a common interest. With the additional connections the groups have on various social media platforms you’ll instantly feel part of the family.
But they have an events department too! Filled with everything you could possibly need to make any upcoming events the perfect homage to the twenties, thirties, forties and fifties.
Again, this began somewhat incongruously with requests to the company for dancers to appear at themed events to set the scene for visitors.
Noticing a niche in the market for different packages for vintage events, with the rise in popularity of television programmes like Peaky Blinders putting the West Midlands on the map and realising the centenary of the 1920s was not that far away, The Swing Era Events Department was launched.
Pre-pandemic their events went from strength to strength diversifying into the Wedding and Hen Parties, Birthday Celebrations and Corporate Events providing everything from First Dance Choreography, Swing Bands, DJs, MCs, Live Performances, Taster Classes, Flash Mobs and Decoration at events and festivals all over the Midlands. They had even branched out into school workshops and corporate team building programmes run over six weeks concluded by a performance.
By expanding into events they have increased brand awareness of the company locally and nationally and raised funds to boost their dance community.
Of course, during the last year and a half The Swing Era has had to close many of its services to uphold the government coronavirus laws and guidelines, but they have been able to run online workshops in Jazz and Lindy Hop.
With a team of amazing instructors desperate to get back in the classroom and a huge community of passionate dancers, this company will be one to watch over the next few months, relaunching their events department when restrictions lift and hoping to bring back their dance school in September! So keep an eye on The Swing Era Website, Social Media or sign up to their mailing list for updates. You’ll find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
I don’t doubt that The Swing Era will be the guiding light of the decade heralding us into the new modern, new but hopefully still roaring twenties.
Is their a way your business could diversify in events? Think about how this could improve your brand visibility and internet following.
Do you already run events with your arts company?! We would love to hear from you so hit us up in the comments below!