A talk with Feel Good Swing

 

Feel Good Swing is a dance school based in Turin established by Chiara Silvestro and Alessandro Rossi.

They offer classes and workshops, organizing also evenings devoted to the 20s, 30s and 40s Afro-American dances: Lindy Hop, Charleston, Jazz Roots and Blues.

 

How did you approach dancing and why Swing and Lindy Hop in particular?

 

Chiara has been dancing since she was a child: she studied contemporary  dance and jazz for years and she participated in shows and events. Circa 8 years ago she joined a workshop falling in love with swing, and she started to attend other camps and events in Europe – the italian scene was practically non-existent except for Como and Rome, where there were teachers also at that time. From that point on she started to teach some classes of Charleston and Jazz Roots (to be clear: solo swing) and then Lindy Hop classes.

I approached dancing with Hip Hop and Capoeira, then I met Chiara who exposed me to Swing. From that moment on I also started to join workshops and events all around Europe while I was still studying with Chiara, that I can actually consider my teacher.

Fell Good Swing, our school – of which we are very proud – born in that period.

We have always loved Swing music, big bands and voices of the 20s, the 30s and the 40s, but we can say in these years our passion for this genre has grown up.

We like dancing Swing music because we like this music. The two things get together.

In Swing there’s improvisation, complicity with the partner, freedom of expression which allows a certain variety. You can dance on slow and delicate tracks but also on quick and wild ones.

 

 

What do you love the most speaking about this genre?

 

As I said the music, of course. We like all the black and contaminated music, everything that comes from Africa and that has been mixing with other traditions during the XX century, creating different genres but mantaining their bond with Africa. We like r’n’b, funky, blues, soul, rap. Swing music is just another piece of this passion. And we want to find out more on it.

 

The genre has come back lately. Did your students increase? Why do you think it has spread so much?

 

This is an interesting thing about Swing, the fact that is so able to involve people of different ages and social classes, bringing them together in the same place from the beginning to the end of a class. It’s incredible. Evenings are pleasant and you’re able to share a lot with partecipants: new friendships, new romances, a community of people happy to be together.

When Chiara started in Turin the scene didn’t exist; now not a day passes without a social dance, and I’m speaking without considering bigger events, workshops, festival etc.

 

 

Do you work with a lot of young people? Why do you think they’re so interested?

 

There’s a lot of young people even if, as I said,  the public is pretty varied. We can say the most interested age group is that between the 25 and the 50 years old, so not the youngest – at least at the moment.

The socialisation factor related to this kind of dancing is definitely very important for its spread, but personally I want to say again that music is the special thing here: it is pleasant even when you’re not dancing.

 

Which are the artists that make impossible to you not to dance on the strains of?! 

 

It is difficult to come to an agreement since we have so many names in our minds. At the end we decided to go for Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Johnson and Fats Waller but – again – we are throwing aside lot of artists we wanted to include.

 

 

I’d like to thank Chiara and Alessandro for being so kind and helpful.

What are you waiting for? If you are in Turin go and pay them a visit!

 

Carolina Vecchi