A dance group is celebrating one year of fun, making friends and helping charity. RotherHop has met since March 2017 for regular classes and occasional dance parties. Members do the Lindy Hop, an energetic style which not overly technical. Teachers Dave Doyle and Krissy Moore aim to get beginners dancing socially after just one lesson.
“It’s funny,” said Dave, “how often we invite people to try it and they say ‘oh, I can’t dance’. But we’ve not taught anyone who hasn’t mastered the basic step after lesson one. And one step is enough to get you grooving.”
Kaye Taylor has been a keen RotherHopper since day one. She and other members regularly attend gigs and socials around the borough together. In April they cut a rug at the Phoenix Sports and Social Club, to the Colin Yates Big Band.
Kaye said: “Learning Lindy Hop is a really enjoyable experience. It gets you out of the house and you make loads of new friends. From the lessons we also get to go to some great social dances. Try it and you may be surprised how much you enjoy it.”
She added: “We are also lucky to have two really nice people teaching us.”
Ken and Jayne Fox had never danced together when they joined RotherHop, just under a year ago. Ken said: “Jayne loves to dance every chance she gets. We’ve enjoyed all the classes from start, with the friendly and welcoming teachers.
“I always had two left feet, so to be dancing is fantastic. I’ve come a long way with the class, met lots of lovely people and made many friends too. We can definitely recommend it so, if you have never tried swing dance, come and give it a go.”
RotherHop aims to boost Rotherham’s profile and benefit charity as well as spreading a love of swing dance. The group has appeared at vintage fairs and festivals around the county, including July’s Wartime Weekend at Kelham Island.
Last September, members graced the bandstand for open-air classes at the Rotherham Show. In December, they donated dozens of items to the homeless at RotherHop’s Christmas dance.
January 2018 found the group homeless, until staff at town centre nightspot The Trades offered their dance floor.
Dave said: “We would really like everyone who danced with us before to come and find us again. If you like big band music, rhythm and blues or rock ‘n’ roll, this is the dance class for you.”
The club held a tea dance at Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival in March, raising £120.00 for Maples Cancer Care. And Dave and Krissy performed at a cabaret in April, helping fund this year’s Rotherham Pride, at which RotherHop will also appear.
The group has bigger ideas for this year, with concerts and mixed-style dance parties planned, as well as taster classes at Rotherham’s Vintage Hop.
Dave said: “It’s been so nice to create a friendly, welcoming environment where people can enjoy swing dancing. Seeing the smiles when people master a tricky step, or even the basic footwork, makes all the work worthwhile.”
He added: “We’ve brought colour and energy to vintage events around the county. It’s been a fantastic journey and there’s much more ahead.”
RotherHop now meets at The Trades, Greasbrough Road, from 7.00pm every Monday. Beginners are always welcome and dancers don’t need to bring a partner. Classes are suitable for ages 16 and up, costing just £3.00 per person.