Our old friends at the Idler Academy were running a bookshop at Byline, the festival of writing and journalism. They asked us if would like to teach swing dancing in their bookshop and we said “Yes!” (We usually do…) You remember the summer of 2018 when it was hot, hot, hot? Well, Byline was the weekend that the heavens broke. We took shelter in the bookshop tent and taught our mix of old moves to new music between the aisles of books.
Back at Neverworld (formally Leefest) for our third year of entertaining Merpeople, lost boys and pirates. We were called opon for an exhilarating early morning lindy hop teaching session, waking up the bleary eyed festival lovelies. What was a hour scheduled lesson soon turned into a 3 hour lunchtime dance session as we carried on performing and dancing to the DJs that followed. Ace time, as per, love this festival, especially glitter wrestling at The Beach!
We returned for a second French adventure in Normandy, with rolling fields and sunny seaside as backdrop to the eclectic and charitable Pete the Monkey festival. We taught partnered Lindy Hop in a treehouse and our favourite solo Charleston stroll in the gorgeous (baking) sunshine. It was a treat to discover London friends Sweet Thunder playing pop-up swing-jazz slots with their travelling piano, so much of the weekend was spent cheerfully swinging out to live music with twinkle-toed festival goers. [Reports of unofficial Mudflapper-initiated dance-alongs in the late night Disco Tent can neither be confirmed nor denied…]
The Mudflappers’ Tour de France has become an annual fixture. This year we headed to sunny Provence for some rehearsals in the rolling hills, a village square show and street performances on the shoe-melting streets of Avignon. Our multi-talented ‘Flappers debuted our busking band and we just couldn’t help ourselves from a little impromptu dance “sur le Pont D’Avignon”, as the old song says…
Our core crew return to Lunar festival
Invited back by our friends at Electric Swing Circus, we had the most fun type of gig brief – ‘just come along and be your fabulous selves’! We did ‘walkabout’ entertainment – dancing to live bands, providing a bit of a show where energy was low and starting jam circles with enthusiastic dancers in the crowd elsewhere. We also hopped on stage for the late night Ragtime Records DJs – our friend C@ in the H@ with his banging bassy electroswing tunes, as well as for and CatJam, featuring in little ad lib spots alongside hula hoopers, full 20s vintage-attire charleston girls and… fluorescent astronauts. As you do. We got high fives from the late night revellers which made us feel like rockstars 🙂
Returning to the spectacular Festival number 6 in Portmeirion is always an honour, and this year we had our work cut out for us, doing dance slots between each of the live acts in the central village square. We kept the piazza pumping despite some sideways rain and wind – even extending the set by nearly an hour and pulling out some party tunes when the bands couldn’t get onsite! The crowd were amazing, dancing with their brollies and wellies – if ever the Mudflappers truly earned their moniker, this gig was it!
Tom, Eleanor, Oli and Jenny headed to Liverpool to teach, perform, and get people dancing (even in the pouring rain). We ended up being featured on local radio.
You can check out more photos on theLiverpool Echo website
The Idler Academy again provided a place for us at one of our favourite festivals to run our fun-loving swing dance class and performances. This year, it started as a gentle Sunday afternoon activity to close up the day’s schedule, and ended up with us being joined by some swing dance friends and throwing down moves in some jam circles, keeping the crowd going much longer than anyone expected!