Greg Craven, Ex Teacher
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Hi Dawn! I'm honoured that you are featuring me on your website :)
Tell us about your years of dancing. When did you start and what did you do?
I started the Lindy hop in Wimbledon in 2014. I just happened to walk by a sign saying there was a dance class on and then I was totally hooked. A few years in, I started learning Balboa and shag. I performed in various festivals and had some small gigs with a small performance troupe in Bristol and London.
In 2018, I was attending a Balboa workshop and this stranger I had just met in the class asked if I lived near her (I did) and if i was willing to help her start a dance school in South West London (I was).
It was really fun to look behind the scenes and see how it was like to set up a school, attract students, do photo shoots and plan classes. Because we hardly knew each other we trained together and also performed together at the Lantern Arts Centre's Christmas comedy night before starting teaching together. It was my grand idea to dance outside the Raynes Park train station to give out flyers.
First Performance at the Lantern Arts Centre
I love teaching dance classes, but what I especially liked were our students. The socials were fun, especially because we got to chat to everyone and Dawn and I both baked cakes to share around.
What I loved about SwingStateLondon was that we could make our own rules, set the scene for our own happy environment, and create our own world. It was me who suggested that we do an "everyone leads and everyone follows' class, as I personally love to follow. Dawn obviously got her kicks from using as many Star trek references she could find. Dawn lists me as a 'ex-teacher' under this blog but I reckon I was so much more than that!
First SwingState Photoshoot
Why do you dance?
I'm the active sort and I suppose I love contact. In school I played lots of rugby, and I think partner dancing enables you to have contact without the violence. Ha ha. I also play the trumpet and I love Louis Armstrong. Having a hobby that combines both dancing and my favourite music keeps me interested. I now live in San Francisco and I will continue to dance. When I visit London I would love to see you all at SwingState again!