Little Big Weekend


Teachers | General Workshops | Teachers' Workshops | Challenge Workshops| Extra Classes


Marie N'diaye

Marie N'diaye

Specialities: lindy hop, slow drag, chorus lines, solo dance, tap, women's jazz history.

Based in Stockholm and teaching regularly at the Chicago studio, Marie is all about jazz dance history and jazz dance FUN. Leader of the HotCha and Herrang chorus line projects, Marie is an avid historic researcher, chasing down obscure women dancers from the jazz era. And then learning as much as she can from them.

Marie is known for her thorough approach to teaching (come ready to work hard), and for encouraging students to experiment with expressive movement and style. She'll work with Anders to present workshops which ask you to experiment, to focus, and to really enjoy what you do with music.

Kate Hedin

Kate Hedin

Specialities: balboa, DJing, lindy hop, musicianship, competition judging.

Kate is an enthusiastic teacher, known for her clear, logical teaching, and encourages students to explore balboa following as an athletic yet exacting skill.

Kate will brings clarity and drive to the Little Big Weekend balboa program. She's a motivated competitor, a focussed dancer, and a thoughtful teacher. And she'll be asking students for sweet lines to cover that technical powerhouse.

Anders Sihlberg

Anders Sihlberg

Specialities: solo dance, tap, lindy hop, boogie woogie, slow drag, performance choreography, teaching young people.

Anders met lindy hop when he was 13. It stuck. Now he's a part of a number of performance projects, including the Basie Brothers. Based in Sweden, but travels all over Europe teaching young people (and older people) about having fun with jazz music.

Anders is especially interested in the Harlem jazz and swing dance stars, and his teaching style is rooted in respect for the past, and sheer joy in dancing now. Expect an exacting approach to technique and history, but an enthusiastic embrace of improvisation and having fun.

Bobby White

Bobby White

Specialities: balboa, lindy hop, solo dance, dance history, writing, speaking.

Bobby's dancing and writing is informed by the OG*s of the jazz dance world, but his teaching style is friendly, thoughtful and engaging. Meet. All. The. People.

He'll be working with Kate to present balboa classes which draw on the history of this lovely dance, but with an eye to the present day. He'll encourage us to think about structure as well as form; how things work as well as how they look. And he will make a some jokes.

*Original Groovers

Saturday Workshops


The workshop components of the Little Big Weekend 2017 are run by two people. Sharon Hanley from Swing Time Australia, who teaches weekly balboa classes, and Sam Carroll from Swing Dance Sydney. This means you'll be getting workshops designed by specialists for special people :D

There will be 2 streams of general admission workshops on Saturday of the Little Big Weekend:

  • Lindy hop with Marie and Anders
  • Balboa with Kate and Bobby

These Streams are run in parallel.
This means that you can only register for one stream.

Soz: you cannot mix and match lindy and bal workshops on Saturday. Do not cross the streams: that would be madness.

Lindy hop workshops

Saturday 6 May, 10.30am-5.00pm, Ashfield Polish Club Ballroom, 73 Norton St, Ashfield (MAP).

10.30-11.45am Workshop 1
12.00-1.15pm Workshop 2
2.15-3.30pm Workshop 3
3.45-5.00pm Workshop 4

Balboa workshops

Saturday 6 May, 10.30am-5.00pm, Ruby's Dance Hall, 14 Cadogan St, Marrickville (MAP).

10.30-11.45am Workshop 1
12.00-1.15pm Workshop 2
2.15-3.30pm Workshop 3
3.45-5.00pm Workshop 4

Workshop passes

  • The Everything Pass includes all Saturday Workshops, costs $220, and is available in Wave One of registrations ONLY (9am Monday 27th March - 5pm Friday 7th April).
  • The Saturday Workshops Pass is $150, and is available in Wave Two of registrations (9am Monday 10th April - 5pm Sunday 21st April).


These classes are mixed level, but for participation in the lindy hop stream you will need to have been dancing lindy hop for at least a year, and be comfortable with swing outs, circles, charleston, a variety of turns, jazz steps, and breaks.

For participation in the balboa stream you will need to have been dancing balboa for at least a year, and be comfortable with the basic rhythms and steps of pure balboa and balswing, including throwouts, pop turns, lollies, and double and single time steps, to join the balboa stream.

We also ask that you be social dancing regularly to join these workshops

Why mixed level?

Swing Time Australia and Swing Dance Sydney are committed to teaching and dancing swing dances as social dances, and that means an ability to find joy in dancing with all partners. Marie and Anders draw on the tradition of social lindy hop taught by Frankie Manning, where partners work to find a shared sense of music and connection. Kate and Bobby approach balboa as a dance of the ballrooms of Los Angeles, where Betty and Hal Takier would join thousands of dancers on the floor.

In these workshops we shift our emphasis away from dancing through a sequence of steps in perfect repetition, and towards social dancing skills.

The challenge for all follows and leads will be: how do you maintain your own sense of rhythm and timing while sharing a dance with a partner?

Teachers' Workshops

Sunday 7 May, 12.00-2.00pm and 2.00-4.00pm Ruby's Dance Hall, 14 Cadogan St, Marrickville (MAP), $60 per workshop.

In these session we will explore our guest teachers' approaches to teaching dance.

Workshops for those dancers currently teaching balboa, lindy hop, or authentic jazz dance. You may choose to attend one or both of these sessions, as long as you meet the criteria.

All of the LBW teachers have worked closely with old timers, and with historic footage and sources to learn as much as they can about jazz and swing era dances. All our teachers travel widely to teach, and teach in local communities. They have extensive experience with both general teaching models.

These teaching workshops will have two parts:

  • A practical component, where the teacher demonstrate a teaching approach, and you experience this as participants, and
  • A more discussion- and workshop- based session where you work through practical teaching strategies and your own questions or challenges with the guest teachers and your teaching peers. Please do come prepared with topics you'd like to consider.

Challenge Workshops

These classes are capped; there are very limited places in these classes. This improves the teaching and learning experience.

Lindy hop challenge class with Marie and Anders

Thursday 4th May, 6.30-8.30pm, Ashfield Presbyterian Church Hall, cnr Knox and Liverpool Rds, Ashfield (MAP), $60.

Registration is via email to Sam Carroll

Balboa challenge class with Kate and Bobby

Monday 8th May, 7.00-9.00pm, at Swingtime Studios 26-28 Cook Rd Marrickville (MAP), $60.

Registration is via email to Sharon Hanley


This challenge class will be challenging. That may mean higher tempos, or it may mean complex rhythms and sequences. Or it may mean dancing in front of your peers on your own. This workshop will ask you to work hard, and to be challenged.

An essential prerequisite for this class is being able to support your classmates, and collaborate with them on difficult material with good will and enthusiasm. We will not be 'giving feedback' to our partners; you will be working with your peers to see how you can make a move or exercise work with all partners.

These workshops will be working at a higher, more demanding level. You must, as a bare minimum, have been dancing lindy hop for at least 5 years for the lindy class, and balboa for at least 3 years for the balboa class. You must also be social dancing regularly, and attending workshops at least 2 or more times per year. You will also be working on your dancing in your own time. When you take workshops, you understand the value of a mixed-level class, and are not precious about only attending 'advanced' classes.

Come with a list of things you're currently working on in your own dancing, and would like to work on with this group (if it's possible), and be prepared to try new and unusual things, or very familiar things. As Ramona Staffeld says: "As soon as you think you've 'got' a step, it's dead; we are never done with a step." Be prepared to leap in, dance a lot, and come away with a long list of things 'to work on'.

This will be fun.

Extra Classes

Tuesday 2 May: Tap dance with Marie and Anders

6.45pm, Ashfield Presbyterian Church Hall, cnr Knox and Liverpool Rds, Ashfield).

Marie and Anders teaching at Swing Dance Sydney's weekly tap dance class.

6.45-7.45pm Beginners
$17 per class at the door.

Wednesday 3 May: Lindy hop with Marie and Anders

6.30-9.00pm, Petersham Bowls Club, 77 Brighton Street, Petersham (MAP).

Marie and Anders teaching at Swing Dance Sydney's weekly lindy hop classes.

6.30-7.30 Beginners
8.00-9.00 Intermediate
$17 per class at the door.