Hop The Castle Kinnersley Castle May 2000

Lindy Circle hosted a swing dance weekend with a unique atmosphere in marvellous venue .

The Lindy Circle bash west of Hereford in Welsh Wales went down a storm with the 60 or so dancers that made the trek. A large contingent from Toulouse followed their teachers Bruno and Veronique David, and many from London came to learn from Sing Lim and new husband Chan Meng. The main night was on Saturday, when the theme was Cartoon Capers. Lara Croft, Spiderman, Alice In Wonderland, Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Asterix and friends and many others made appearances in some fabulous outfits.

The evening dance was made all the more enjoyable by the appearance of Jennie Lobel and The Swing Kings. The band played a selection from their 1998 CD. The band, led by Jennie's Dad Tommy, was rapturously received by the dancers and played three sets until will past 2am. Jennie is also a keen Lindy Hopper, and attended many of the classes. During the evening, there were several cabaret spots from the Lindy Circle crowd. Sing Lim also performed a delightful jazz number.

Kinnersley Castle is a wonderful building with a labyrinth of rooms and grounds for taking leisurely strolls. It was built around the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries, and was named after a Saxon colonist. It has played host to many dance-related events, although no swing weekends before last year's Hop The Castle. The only connection previously was that Lindy Hop was named in 1927, which was probably the year that the current plumbing was installed.

As well as the regular Lindy Hop classes, there were some interesting taster classes. Bruno and Vero encouraged some hip-swiveling salsa, while Sing did everyone's head in with a fast-paced Lindy Hip-Hop number. Sing also managed to get a large number through her Charleston Stroll, no mean feat as brains slowly closed down on Sunday afternoon.

The weekend ended with an outdoor barbecue in some pleasant May sunshine. There seemed to be enough supplies left over to feed the five thousand, but every last packet and bottle was safely loaded onto the coach for the drive home.

2000 Andrew Winton.

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