Frankie Jaffey

On Monday, January 20th 2020 the funeral of Frankie Jaffey took place at Brandwood End Cemetery. A clear blue sky on a cold January afternoon saw Frankie’s closest family, her partner, and a few close friends attend a traditional Jewish burial that marked the end of her fight with cancer. I first met Frankie not through dancing but through work. A bright enthusiastic lady starting a new job in a secondary school in Chelmsley Wood. With an infectious smile and positive attitude, we soon became friends and eventually, she convinced me I should attend her Lindy Hop class. At this point, I hadn’t done anyRead More →


Episode 2 Today we talk to Frankie Jaffey from Birmingham who discusses dancing in two cities; Birmingham and Bristol. We will hear about how her Lindy Hop journey began and developed, how cancer has affected her dancing and the support she has had from the scene. She also offers a few insights to what inspires her to continue dancing and some excellent tips for dancers wanting to improve. KB: hello Frankie. FJ: Hello KB: And welcome to the 1st podcast. Could you introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do that’s not dance related? FJ: Oh, wow! So,I’mRead More →

Episode 1 The opening blog starts with a chat with Simon Furze from Birmingham, a regular dancer at classes and an event organiser. see what he had to say. Welcome Simon KB: – Karl SF: – Simon Furze Recorded Thursday 17th August 2017 KB: Hello Simon, welcome to the very first in a new series of introducing dancers blog. SF: Hello Karl, very exciting. KB: Simon, many of the local dancers have met you but for our new readers, could give us a brief description of what you do outside of dancing. SF: I work for Birmingham City Council, I work in Corporate Comms forRead More →

Or do we think? So, we all dance and share 3 or so minutes having fun, perhaps a fleeting conversation and then move on. One of the things that I love about the swing dance scene is how sociable it is, sometimes I spend the entire evening talking rather than dancing. Often though it’s the other way round. All those fantastic people sitting, dancing, teaching and I have the pleasure of their company for brief moments, but what do they think? What am I thinking? A few months ago I had a thought, why not spend a little longer with some of these wonderful peopleRead More →

Introduction Following the success of our wedding dance, myself and Ben decided to branch out and actually learn something more about Balboa. We left Lindy Hop behind (momentarily) and travelled to the opposite coast of America (metaphorically) to learn something new at Hot Ginger Balboa Classes – September Edition. What is Balboa? Balboa originated in the 1920s-1930s on the crowded dance floors of the dance halls, especially the Rendez Vous Ballroom on the Balboa Peninsula, which produced a dance with close body contact and small footwork. Our venue for the afternoon was Moorpool Hall in Harborne, one of Birmingham’s hidden gems.   Balboa Basics OurRead More →

Following the fantastic sets by Dj Martin Safar and Mr FivebyFive I picked you the final hour in the Night Owl Swing Room at Birmingham’s Swingamajig Festival, a unique blend music, dance and performance. I admit I was a little apprehensive, people had been dancing all day and there was live music on the other stages so who would remain? As it turns out a lot more than I’d expected so I was extremely happy that I’d prepared a couple of playlists for the festival. I didn’t use the more traditional big band list as during the day the room had had the Jim WynnRead More →


Introduction A lot of people talk about listening to more swing music to improve their rhythm and musicality, so I sat down and thought ‘how do I do that?’ In workshops and online  you find explanations of different formats, AABB, AAAB, etc for music and how these can be used in your dance. But this article isn’t about that it’s a guide on listening without counting, because for me multitasking is difficult. I’m listening to the music, I’m dancing with a partner, finding space on the floor and often also remembering to breathe and smile. So add counting to this list and what happens? NowRead More →

As we head towards the festive celebrations we (Lindy Hop Birmingham) are taking our 1st break from teaching since September. It’s been a tremendous start since becoming ‘independent’. With new dancers, tasters classes at Hot Ginger and Hot Club de Swing, then getting up to speed with websites and social media. The day to day administration having never been self employed before is finally less overwhelming. T’ain’t what you do The break from teaching and from the day job enables us to take a constructive look at how things have been going. There have been busy weeks and not so busy weeks that felt a lot like private lessons.Read More →