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Hundreds of Scottish dancers – from professionals to absolute beginners – will swing out at a massive swing dance ball organised by BBC Dragons’ Den swing dance school success Swing Patrol in association with the Edinburgh Swing Dance Society, Edinbop and Edinburgh University Swing Dance Society.

The Edinburgh Swing Dance Ball, sponsored by footwear brand Keds, will take place at 7.00pm on Friday 28th November at The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh.

It is the grand finale to UK Frankie Manning Month – the UK’s biggest series of swing dance events which celebrate the first visit to the UK from lindy hop legend, Frankie Manning in 1937. “Swing”, “jitterbug” and “lindy hop” are all synonyms for the street dance style popularised by Manning and other dancers at Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom in New York City from the late 1920s to late 1940s. Fusing style, energy and fun, the dance was the precursor to jive, rock-and-roll and hip hop. It influences most popular contemporary dance styles.

Judy Murray, Anton Du Beke, Alison Hammond, Aljaz Skorjanec, Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton have all learned routines from Strictly Come Dancing assistant Charleston choreographer, successful Dragons’ Den entrepreneur, and Swing Patrol’s founder, Scott Cupit, who will be teaching hundreds of absolute beginners how to Charleston at the Edinburgh Swing Dance Ball. The event follows over a month of swing dance balls held across the UK. Having started in Birmingham, then moving on to Manchester, Bristol, and London, Scotland’s capital will be the final big event for UK Frankie Manning Month.

One of the UK’s hottest swing scene bands – Down For The Count – will keep the crowds in groove as the evening progresses with stylish, energetic fun including games and dance competitions – with Keds footwear as prizes. Swing Patrol’s professional performers will then bust out some of Frankie Manning’s signature moves – including his favourite acrobatic lifts, jumps and flips – to delight the guests.

Deborah Meaden, Dragons’ Den panellist and investor in Swing Patrol said, “Prior to launching UK Frankie Manning Month, Scott showed me how successful his big swing dancing events are. Swing Patrol’s event hosts are charismatic; the teachers run lessons which hundreds of people participate in at once; the performances by Swing Patrol’s dancers are exhilarating; the bands are on fire – and everyone dances, even if they’ve just learned the steps. I have brought friends and family of all ages to these events and, like me, they all get caught up with the atmosphere extremely quickly. The Swing Dance Balls during Frankie Manning Month are going to swing the UK out.”

Scott Cupit, Managing Director of Swing Patrol UK said: “From ballroom to break dancing, Frankie Manning’s moves have had a massive impact on dance culture – and I can’t wait to celebrate that in Scotland’s capital. The Keds sponsored Edinburgh Swing Dance Ball will be an amazing vehicle to share Frankie Manning’s mastery and swing dancing in general with people that have never set foot on a dance floor. We’ll be getting Scottish people to learn some of the moves I’ve been teaching to some of the Strictly Come Dancing contestants. To anyone in Scotland who’s even curious about swing I say strictly, ‘Come dancing!’”

Noah Bernard, Brand Director of Keds, said: “The awareness of the mix of classic and contemporary style of swing dancing has rocketed since Swing Patrol’s success on Dragons’ Den. Strictly Come Dancing has also boosted The Charleston’s popularity in particular, so the UK is getting into the swing vibe. Only two people have now been part of Strictly Come Dancing and Dragons Den. One is Deborah Meaden and the other is Scott Cupit – a feat he’s achieved in just a few months. It’s important that Keds recognises its place within swing culture as lindy hoppers’ shoe of choice by contributing to the community’s success. Swing is about head-to-toe style, authenticity, enthusiasm and a sense of fun – which are core values of the Keds fashion brand. Teaming Swing Patrol’s Keds wearing dancers with other dancers around the UK at the Swing Patrol Balls will spread the joy of this energetic, sociable and stylish pastime.”

The Edinburgh Swing Dance Ball is at 7.00 pm, Friday 28th November 2014, The Assembly Rooms, 54 George St, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 2LR.

Tickets are available at http://www.swingpatrol.co.uk/spevents/swing-ball-edinburgh/

Submitted by Brian Ahearne

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