Beckie and Fred became a partnership, dancing and otherwise, in 1992 and their first holiday together was to the US Masters Convention in South Fallsberg, NY where, with Tricia Darnell, they got the idea of a Swing Convention for London. Living in the North West outskirts of London they put a lot of time into promoting the first Swing Masters Jam (as it was originally called) in that area.
Pressures on them to bring the teaching of Lindy Hop out of Central London led to workshops with Ryan Francois and Sing Lim to ensure consistent teaching and the search for a suitable location. The original Watford Ballroom with its lovely atmosphere and beautiful sprung dance floor was the first location found in late 1993 but was unavailable for any complete evening, so a temporary venue in nearby Northwood began in early 1994. In June 1994 the Watford hall became available and became their principle venue in September after the second Swing Jam.
Twice monthly Saturday night Swing Dance Club nights for Lindy Hop began there in January 1995 and continued until Lindy Hop ceased there in late 1998. Staines classes were started at the same time as Northwood and, with a change of venue halfway through, ran for four years. High Wycombe started in 1995 and is still pulling in large classes at the Loudwater venue.
Beckie and Fred have been running the Swing Jam under the Live2Jive banner since 1996, following Julie Oram's resignation from the Swing Jam Committee due to pressure of work, Sing Lim having returned to Singapore in late 1994 and Tricia Darnell to University shortly before to study for her Master's Degree (in 1995 Anna Lovell and Moira Dean were invited onto the Committee for the year).
In running the Swing Jam Beckie and Fred have been aided, cajoled and generally kept going by their willing band of helpers. West Coast Swing Beginners and Intermediate classes were introduced at Watford at the beginning of 1998 and a twice-monthly Friday night West Coast Swing Fever Club at Acton began at the same time.
They have quickly become acknowledged as being amongst the leading West Coast Swing teachers in the UK. In March 2002 West Coast Swing was replaced by a new venture, Rock 'n' Rollin' @ The Rayners, an authentic Rock 'n' Roll evening which takes place every Thursday at The Rayners, Rayners Lane near Harrow. This has now moved to another venue at Ruislip Manor Sports & Social Club, Grosvenor Vale, Ruislip Manor, Middlesex.
During a recent trip to Dallas, TX Beckie and Fred gave a 'Teach the Teachers' workshop for local Lindy Hop teachers and have been asked to repeat this and to give additional workshops on their next visit.
information and picture taken with the kind permission of Beckie from Live 2 Jive website: http://www.live2jive.ndirect.co.uk/whoarewe.htm
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