Who is Boogie Beat Swing?

Jamie is from Portland, Oregon, in the Northwest region of the U.S. (Oregon is the state north of California) (though he was originally born in Chicago). He has been dancing various styles of swing since October 1997, starting with a bit of East Coast Swing in a ballroom dance class while attending college at Oregon State University. He then moved on to a West Coast Swing class, becoming so thoroughly hooked on swing dancing along the way that he joined a Lindy Hop class soon after. The love affair only grew and grew, until he was dancing 4-5 times per week. After 2 years he moved to Galway (in the west of Ireland), where he lived and taught for almost 2 years. While there he began travelling to Dublin, as he had heard there were some Swing dancers there. After a couple of misses he finally met them in January 2001, and that’s when he met Clare. Before long he was going to Dublin every week to see (and dance with) her, and soon after (around April 2001) he began teaching a class there as well since he was in town anyway. 🙂 Clare briefly moved to Galway, which is when she began teaching with Jamie, but shortly they both moved to Dublin for good, where they have been teaching and dancing together ever since.

Clare is from Dublin and has been Swing dancing since July 2000. Her first experience with swing dancing was having her uncle (who lives in Portland, Oregon, and started Swing dancing there just before Jamie moved to Ireland, though the two didn’t meet until later) trying to describe to her over the phone this cool new dance he had started learning. At the time she also worked with someone who had heard of it as well. She was intrigued enough that when she heard there was a swing night on at a bar called HQ (long since closed, alas), she decided to check it out. It didn’t take long for her to get completely hooked. She started taking East Coast Swing classes at the Morossini-Whelan dance school on Parnell Square with some of the people she met at HQ, and before long they were out dancing like mad. Venues came and went — HQ, Viva, the Sugar Club — but still they stuck with it. When she moved to Galway to be closer to Jamie, she started to help him teach his classes there. When they moved back to Dublin, she continued to help him. Before too much longer her skills progressed to the point where she joined Jamie as a full partner in the venture rather than just being his assistant.

We are no longer running
Swing Dance / Lindy Hop classes
or social nights

Farewell from Jamie and Clare

Hi Everyone,

The last year and a half of living under the shadow of Covid has wrought many changes to all of our lives. As well, it has been a period of reflection and introspection, of re-examination of priorities.

Following much consideration, changing of plans and of minds, reconsideration, indecision, trepidation, and finally acceptance, Clare and I have come to the difficult decision to step away from teaching dancing.

This truly has not been an easy decision for us. We have years — for me, Jamie, Covid stopped us about 3 weeks before the 19th anniversary of the first dance class I taught in Ireland — of happy memories and have met so many wonderful people over the years, that it’s hard to imagine that not being a part of our lives.

Or rather, it would have been difficult to imagine pre-covid. Having had that responsibility — of organising classes, organising DJs, finding venues, publicising, responding to emails, taking phone calls at any hour of the day, night or weekend, teaching twice a week for 45+ weeks per year, and doing all of that on top of day jobs and raising 2 kids, and as a result being physically and mentally exhausted most of the time — lifted from our shoulders for the first time in 19 years, it was so liberating, as you can probably imagine, given the above list! And we realised that it was something that we just need to do, for our own sakes and for our kids.

As it turns out, our hands would likely have been forced anyway, as I have now signed up for a 2-year course to add qualifications related to my work, and the classes are only on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

We don’t intend to stop dancing altogether. Teaching our classes was always great fun, and we enjoyed it immensely. At the same time, it made the dancing into work, and we both tended to avoid social dancing as a result. We hope that stepping back like this will help us to rediscover our joy in dancing again and do more actual social dancing.

All of that being said, it was still difficult to contemplate giving up our “baby”! I’ve been teaching and organising social dances since 2000, and Route 66 has been going since 2004! We know that the social night in particular is (or was!) a beloved part of many people’s weekly routines, and we wanted to be sure we could hand it over to someone who had many of the same philosophies of teaching and social dancing as us, and who could be relied upon to take over the organisational reins on a long-term basis without letting it drop. For us, Alan fit that bill perfectly, and we were SO happy that he was willing to take over the night from us.

Yes, there will likely be some changes — some due to his own style, some due to the realities of the post-Covid world (whenever that actually arrives!!), which may even necessitate a change of venue and/or night (as Alan himself will elaborate upon further himself) — but the relaxed, drop-in nature of the classes and many of the same DJs will remain the same, he’s got many of the Dublin-based teachers you all know lined up to teach the classes, and of course the most important thing that made the nights so special will also be there: all of YOU, the students and dancers! This night was never about us; it was always you guys and the special friendships you made while sharing dances that really built the community you all came to love so much.

So whenever and wherever Alan is finally able to bring the night back, go out and hit the dance floor and celebrate with each other, and bring back the joy you used to feel and have been missing for so long. And if you see us out dancing, be sure to come over and ask us for a dance!! 🕺 💃 🥰 🥰 🥰