Full guidelines

Crazy Random Competition Guidelines

Big Apple Contest

This competition is FREE to enter and goes straight to finals

  • You will dance with your partner in a big circle with all the other competitors, facing inwards.
  • The caller will call moves from the original Big Apple Contest repertoire and you must perform them with your partner until the caller calls another move
  • You will do this for two rounds – depending on number of competitors you may be tapped out after the first round
  • You will be judged as a couple, with consensus formed from the judges (no judging sheets)
  • There is only one winning couple who will be announced on the spot!

Longest Heel Slide Contest

This competition is FREE to enter and goes straight to finals

  • Competitors take it in turns to run up and slide across the floor on their heels
  • The slide length is measured from a fixed Start Line until the last moment that you were sliding on your heels
  • If you slide or roll over on the floor your slide is only measured until the last part you were sliding on your heels
  • If you pass over the Start Line during your run up you will have to take a slide again. This is a fault
  • If you make too many faults you may be disqualified!
  • Every competitor has at least two slide attempts in the first round
  • The crowd and the MC will decide who the longest slide competitors will be to go to the final rounds
  • There is only one winner who will be announced on the spot!

Jedi Mix & Match

Showcase & Solo Guidelines

SHOWCASES

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your showcase name to be called for your heat
  • You will dance your entire 60 second routine
  • You can dance any vintage style – solo jazz, lindy hop, Charleston, Collegiate/St Louis Shag, Balboa, Blues…

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

  • You will dance your entire 60 second routine
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

SOLO

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your name to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute and a half to three different songs of increasing tempo.
  • You will be judged as an individual dancer

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

  • You will dance in two spotlights – 16x8s the first time and 8x8s the second time straight into all skate
  • Each spotlight will have one person dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as an individual dancer
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Strictly Competition Guidelines

Up & Comers Strictly Lindy

This competition goes straight to finals

  • You will dance for one or two songs with your partner in an all skate format – everyone on the dance floor at the same time
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Rising Star Strictly and All Star Strictly

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your names to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute and a half to three different songs of increasing tempo.
  • You will be judged as a couple

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

Between 5 and 7 couples will be invited to the finals depending on number of entries and at the judges’ discretion.

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 16x8s the first time, 8x8s the second time
  • There will be a final all skate
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Invitational Strictly

This competition is straight to finals

  • Every couple will dance to a short song (no spotlights)
  • Every individual competitor will judge every other couple excluding themselves (no collaborating with your partner for opinions!)
  • There will be a final all skate at fast tempo for everyone to swing out! Competitors are not expected to judge this 🙂
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Balboa Strictly

This competition is straight to finals

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 16x8s the first time, 8x8s the second time straight into all skate
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Shag Strictly

This competition is straight to finals

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 16x8s the first time, 8x8s the second time straight into all skate
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Blues Strictly

This competition is straight to finals

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 6 x 8 in both rounds with an all skate at the end of the second song
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Fast & Furious

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your names to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute to three different songs of increasing tempo.
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • You can dance any vintage style – lindy hop, Charleston, Collegiate/St Louis Shag, Balboa… as long as you dance with your partner

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

  • You will dance with your partner in two spotlights – 16x8s the first time, 8x8s the second time straight into all skate
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Mix & Match Guidelines

This year we are running the Mix & Match competitions slightly differently! Check out the full guidelines below:

Blues Mix & Match

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1:

  • Wait for your name to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute and a half to three different songs of different style and tempo.
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower).

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Final

  • You will dance with one partner for a spotlight of 6x8s, then with a second partner for another spotlight of 6x8s to a different song.
  • There will be a final all skate for you to dance with your third and final partner
  • Each spotlight will have one couple dancing at a time.
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each section – 3 different partners in total
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower)
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

There is a chance that the winning lead and winning follow did not dance together in the final! But we like this format as it will give everyone a chance to shine with different partners.

Rising Star Mix & Match and All Star Mix & Match

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your name to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute and a half to three different songs of increasing tempo.
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower).

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

Between 5 and 7 couples will be invited to the finals depending on number of entries and at the judges’ discretion.

  • You will dance with one partner for a spotlight of 16x8s, then with a second partner for another spotlight of 16x8s to a different song.
  • There will be a final all skate for you to dance with your third and final partner
  • Each spotlight will have two couples dancing at a time.
  • You do not need to battle the other couple or interact with them!
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each section – 3 different partners in total
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower)
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

There is a chance that the winning lead and winning follow did not dance together in the final! But we like this format as it will give everyone a chance to shine with different partners.

Jedi Mix & Match

Prelims:

All competitors will take part in the preliminary round.

Heats 1 and 2:

  • Wait for your name to be called for your heat
  • You will dance for approximately a minute and a half to four different songs of different tempos.
  • The first two dances will involve followers being blindfolded
  • The last two dances will involve the leaders being blindfolded
  • You will be randomly allocated a new partner for each song
  • You will be judged as an individual in your role (leader or follower).

We will post the results on Facebook and on the front desk as soon as we have the information ready and processed from the judges.

Finals:

Between 5 and 7 couples will be invited to the finals depending on number of entries and at the judges’ discretion.

  • You will be randomly allocated a partner at the start
  • You will dance one spotlight of 16x8s to one song, then a second spotlight of 8x8s to a different song.
  • There will be a final all skate to the final song
  • Each spotlight will have two couples dancing at a time.
  • You do not need to battle the other couple or interact with them (this would be too challenging blindfolded anyway!)
  • There will be no warm up song
  • You will be judged as a couple
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Invitational Mix & Match

This competition is straight to finals

  • You will be randomly allocated a partner at the start.
  • Every couple will dance to a short song (no spotlights)
  • Every individual competitor will judge every other couple excluding themselves (no collaborating with your partner for opinions!)
  • There will be a final all skate at fast tempo for everyone to swing out! Competitors are not expected to judge this 🙂
  • Winners will be announced the same night as the competition at the end of the night

Bring Your Own…

Beverages

London Throwdown is a Bring Your Own Beverages event. You are more than welcome to bring beer, cider, wine & spirits. Whatever drinks take your fancy.

Soft Drinks & Water

There will be water coolers available for you to fill your water bottle and you are most welcome to bring whatever other drinks you like.

Drinkware

In an effort to use fewer plastic cups we will not be providing any disposable cups for water or other drinks. We will have a small number of LSF tin mugs available for £2.00 each which will be yours to keep. Otherwise we would strongly recommend bringing your own water bottles and other drinkware.

Keeping Drinks Cold

There are fridges you are able to use and we will provide buckets with ice. You are most welcome to keep your drinks cool in these.

Forgot to Bring Your Own?

There is a 24/7 shop down the road from the venue:

All Seasons Food & Wine

799-801 Commercial Rd, Poplar, London E14 7HG

 

 

Important information for a great weekend

Arriving at London Throwdown

Check here for info on arriving at the festival!

Cloakroom

Please make use of the free unmanned coat rail next to the front desk if you need to leave coats, luggage or big bags but be sure to keep your valuables near you. Please avoid bringing large bags into the ballroom. While we will do our very best to keep an eye out, London Throwdown cannot take responsibility for any losses.

Footwear

 

The floor at the Limehouse Town Hall is wooden with some wear and tear. We kindly ask that if you are not happy with how fast the floor is that you change your shoes and not the floor. In other words, please do not wax or talc the floor.

 

Photography

There will be photographers at the event, if you do not wish to have your picture taken please make yourself known to them. If you’d like to take your own photos or videos at the event please ask permission from the people featured. Feel free to tag them on social media with #londonthrowdown.

 

Videography

While every care is taken to have videos filmed of the competitions at the event we cannot guarantee that you will be featured in the videos of your competitions. Find a friend or spectator to film for you if you would like to save some video memories for yourself!

Costume Changes

There are toilet facilities in the building on the ground and first floor. There is not a lot of room so we recommend arriving ready dressed where possible!

 

 

Bring Your Own Beverages

London Throwdown is a Bring Your Own Beverages event… read more

General Information

Refunds and Exchanges

We’re sorry we can’t offer refunds – see our website for the terms. If you want to swap or sell on your pass to someone else please give them your name and they can attend with your ticket.

Weather

Please always check the weather before setting out. Limehouse Town Hall can get very hot on a warm evening. Perhaps consider bringing a change of clothes and maybe even an umberella.

Transport

Always check TFL for weekend transport updates. It would be terrible if you missed your comp due to engineering works.

Your wellbeing

We hope you enjoy the event – if you need any help during the weekend please come and find an organiser or a volunteer at the front reception desk, or you can contact us at festivals@swingpatrol.co.uk or phone Michaela on 07949027194 or Pippa on 07904 658 089

The wellbeing of our attendees and team is important to us and we reserve the right to remove any individuals who behave inappropriately. Please come and speak to us if you need some assistance, or call 999 if it’s an emergency. You can find our volunteers and organisers wearing orange wristbands. See our code of conduct for full information.

Keep Up to Date

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and say you’re attending our Facebook event page or the Facebook Workshops event page, we’ll post some photos and notify you about any changes on there too!

Got Questions?

Drop us an email festivals@swingpatrol.co.uk or phone Michaela on 07949027194 or Pippa on 07904 658 089

Arriving at London Throwdown

When You Arrive

  1. Come and pick up a wristband from the Front Desk
  2. Check in for your competitions at the Competitions Desk
  3. Get settled and warmed up for your competitions!

General Registration Desk Opening Times

Friday 6 September: 

  • 6:30pm to 11:00pm 

Saturday 7 September:

  • 9:30am to 10:00am
  • 11:30am to 6:00pm
  • 6:30pm to 12:00am

Sunday 8 September

  • 11:30am to 12:00pm
  • 12:00pm to 6:00pm
  • 6:30pm to 11:00pm

Competition Registration Desk Opening Times

Friday 6 September: 

  • 6:30pm to 10:00pm 

Saturday 7 September:

  • 11:30am to 6:00pm
  • 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Sunday 8 September

  • 12:30pm to 6:00pm
  • 7:00pm to 10:00pm

The Tokyo Diner Solo Jazz and Charleston Competition

Tokyo Diner is a busy little restaurant close to Leicester Square that has been serving up cheap, satisfying, hot and cold Japanese food since 1992. They pride themselves on the authenticity of the food, decor and service: all the staff speak Japanese. It’s like a little island of Japan in the middle of London. Meals start at £6.

Richard Hills set up Tokyo Diner in his own home. He studied Japanese as a hobby in the mid 1980’s and used to go to Japanese restaurants in London so that he could practice the language. But frankly the food was neither easy nor satisfying to eat, the hushed atmosphere in those restaurants was like going into a temple, and the prices were extortionate: he worried about having to eat that food every day when he went to Japan. But when he eventually got there, what a difference: everywhere he went there were dozens of cheerful little places serving delicious, filling meals, no dearer than the supermarkets. Despite knowing nothing about catering, he decided to turn his home into a place that would serve the real thing: affordable, satisfying and fun.

That little project kept him busy for twenty years and then he felt he had time for something else. He first saw swing dancing in 2014 – and you can probably guess the rest of the story! Tokyo Diner rushed to be the first to sponsor the Solo Jazz and Charleston competition because of Richard’s strong belief that you cannot really call yourself a dancer until you can dance on your own.

https://www.tokyodiner.com/

The Eric Sun Rising Stars 60 Second Showcase

Eric Sun was instrumental in building the swing dance community at Facebook London, where he spent two-and-a-half years as an Engineering Manager helping to grow the office. Eric and his wife Karen Law were regulars on the Swing Patrol London scene, and coaxed Facebook engineers to come along to events and learn to dance. Today, the Facebook London swing community is going strong, with an official club and in-house troupe.

Eric was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2016, and died in the US on Thanksgiving Day 2017, aged 34. Eric inspired many with his zeal and dedication to the arts post-diagnosis. In his final months he performed notoriously difficult violin cadenzas as the Fiddler on the Roof, and alongside his wife, wrote a book and many compelling web posts, choreographed dance performances, and established the Tarisio Trust: Eric Sun-Karen Law Vuillaume Fellowship for young musicians.

The Eric Sun Rising Stars 60 Second Showcase has been sponsored by Facebook London in honour of Eric and his contributions. It is a category that encourages everyone to have a go at performing, bringing their own style and flair, which is fitting given Eric‘s passion for building community and spreading the joy of music and dance.

The Big Apple Contest

The Big Apple was a dance craze originating in South Carolina that was popular in Harlem and throughout the United States in the late 1930s. It was a called social dance that was done with a partner, with regional variations of moves as well as fun and silly moves that came in from popular culture.

The Big Apple starts with everyone standing in a circle holding hands. Tap your right foot in the middle three times on the 1 3 5 and everyone shouts ‘Swing Out’ on the 7!

The caller then calls moves for the dancers to dance with their partner, with all moves being fairly simple and inclusive to all levels. Some moves are similar to Charleston, Shag and are danced in solo jazz and Lindy Hop.

In some Big Apple dances the caller can invite couples into the centre for a ‘shine’ – this is a moment for the couple to do a solo, either something they’ve prepared or made up on the spot. Couples who dance together a lot might have prepared something quite elaborate! During the shines the other dancers will do a simple step and keep time round the outside of the circle.

The traditional ending to the Big Apple is a move called ‘Praise Allah’ or ‘Hallelujah’ – everyone runs into the centre and throws their hands in the air shouting ‘hallelujah!’.

You can find out more about the origins and history of the Big Apple dance on a variety of sites, with a few great notes about moves and clips for inspiration!

Teachers at Rock That Swing Festival 2013 do the Big Apple with steps called by the MC!

The Big Apple Routine danced today was made famous by the film Keep Punchin’ from 1939 and was choreographed by Frankie Manning. He hadn’t seen the Big Apple dance craze and simply designed the routine based on a telegram! Although many of the moves from this routine are danced in the Big Apple dance, they would have been danced to songs of a slower tempo which make it easier for everyone to join in as well as easier to hear the call and respond with a move.

Join us on the Friday night before the party for a free lesson on some classic moves from the Big Apple! We’ll be holding the Big Apple Contest that same night and it’s free to enter. Simply find a partner and jump in!