Those looking to put a little spring in their step are invited to join Le Bop modern jive dance classes in Oakleigh.
The dance style originated in France in the 1950s as a fusion of the American jitterbug and smoother rock n’ roll dancing.
Over time, Le Bop has borrowed a mix of moves from Street Latin including Jive, Lambada, Dirty Dancing and other styles, and is often danced to commercial music.
Classes are now running at Number Ninety in Oakleigh and teacher Kaarin Goode said the partner dance style was a great way for people to learn Le Bop in a social setting.
“Our focus is to get people freestyling or social dancing. We teach basic footwork and timing in the beginner class, where dancers learn a sequence of steps before moving on to freestyle,” she said.
While there are more than 400 moves in the dance style, Le Bop is easy to learn and ideal for beginners or those who enjoy freestyle movement.
Ms Goode said the style of dance can change depending on the teacher’s approach or influence.
“It’s a great way to be creative. And the style will all depend on the teacher – sometimes they’ll infuse some hip hop or a smoother, lyrical style.”
Ms Goode said Oakleigh was chosen as a location for the classes because the founders of Le Bop were keen to offer it in other areas of Melbourne.
“It was a way for us to take the dancing out to the suburbs, instead of expecting people to come in (to Prahran),” she said
Ms Goode said the Oakleigh venue was smaller and more intimate than their Prahran location but the formal space offered “a lovely community feel”.
Since launching the classes in Oakleigh in August, there has been a positive response with old students returning because the location was more suitable, as well as several new attendees each week.
“It’s a good social night and a good way to get fit while having fun,” Ms Goode said.
Thanks to Le Bop/The Space Dance and Arts Centre for the images in this article.