The Slovenia Times

Swing Explosion



Polka dots, braces, black-white patent leather shoes and music that taker us back to the time of our grandparents. Obviously, swing has been reborn and fascinates young and old. The origins of such dance music dates back to the 1920s in America, where the black community discovered the Lindy Hop, Charleston and Jitterbug while dancing to jazz music. New types of dance and music soon reached the old continent; swing broke the rules of traditional dances and opened new ground for those that followed. "It has always had an underground movement to it, but it had survived and burst forth again in 90s carrying the passion that it first had when it started. That is why it is still cool," explains Sajles Sinkovec, who was born in New York to a Slovenian mother, and came to Slovenia in April of 2003. "The King of the Swing" That's what some call Sajles who has dance in his blood. Growing up around a theatre and dance environment all his life, he first experienced dance at the age of 12, tap dancing in his mother's studio. After jazz dance, break dance, ballet, flamenco and others, Sajles fell in love with swing 12 years ago. Now he is sharing his knowledge to the others: "I knew swing was a part of history here in Slovenia that had disappeared and needed to be brought back and reignited". An all-round artist, he finds his inspiration in black and white movies and music "of long ago of a time a history forgot, but we will always remember". Still a lot to learn Although having a long and successful dance history, Slovenians are known as being withdrawn and reserved, even when it comes to dancing in public. Obviously, the magic touch of swing could give vent to all hidden feelings and passions. Sajles, who has taught thousands of people in the United States and in Slovenia, believes that dancers here have a lot to learn and grow into, not just about the dance, but about the music, the history and the people: "What I find in common between American and Slovenian dancers is the energy, the fun, the smiles and the desire to learn. The best experience is to see so many people enjoying the dance and the music from long ago." "Bo kar bo" When being asked about the future development of swing in Slovenia, Sajles answers winningly: "bo kar bo" (It will be as it will be). Swing is not just a type of dance, it is a way of life. One evening is enough to become stunned by it special energy and, before you know it, caught up in its world. Workshops, events and lectures are available all over the country. The most important thing the swing beginners need to know? "Relax, have fun and smile", concluded a dance teacher, who is organising a huge vintage swing dance festival in April, which will be based on parties and workshops on earlier forms of dancing. For all enthusiastic beginners, free basic lessons are given every week on Mondays in KMS (Klub Mariborskih studentov) in Maribor and on Tuesdays in Emonska klet in Ljublana.


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