Probably because I would like to know what I’m doing, rather than look like a penguin trying to run on the spot when attempting the Charleston. Scottie Cupit, an Aussie who runs Swing Patrol, was happy to help me out at one of his beginner classes (they also offer levels 1.5 and 2, plus social dances after the classes).

With flapjack snacks and alcohol on offer, there’s a real social atmosphere to the class, which is a good thing as you have to get pretty close to people you’ve just met as you form a circle where the followers (usually women), move around to dance with each lead (usually men). There were times I had to dance alone due to the male/female ratio, but it gave me a chance to watch others and learn. 

I was surprised how quickly a simple triple-step turned into a routine, with turns and everything. By the end I was asked to dance by a more experienced learner and managed to get through a whole song with no penguin legs in sight. £8. Classes held five days a week across London. See website for details.

We went to Candid Arts Centre,
Angel, EC1V 1NQ  
Tube | Angel