Lindy Hop

We teach

Teaching is our main business and passion! We teach Lindy Hop and Authentic Solo Jazz at both national and international level. We are usually very flexible to make our classes affordable for any size of event: workshops, private classes, weddings, etc.

We Perform

Bring the the energy of swing dance and the magic of swing jazz to your event. We have performed for big musical events, for companies, and small/familiar events such as weddings. We guarantee gazes and smiles will be stolen from your audience.

Regular Classes

We run local dance classes in Lisbon. Check out the littlebigapple.pt website for information on classes, but also Swing dance and music events. Hope to dance with you soon.

About Us

Our Story: a surprise

Our story can be an inspirational one, as it goes against the very common idea in the dance world that “first you need to promote your dance in competitions, performances, etc, only then you’ll start to be invited to teach at international events”.

But, all that has happened so far (see map bellow) has been a result of mouth-to-mouth promotion of our work as teachers and social dancers. Indeed, because of our “non-spotlight” nature, it has also been a surprise for us. But it means that we where wrong… the dance community highly values social dancing and specially highly pedagogical classes, even if you’re not an Youtube sensation.

Teaching is an art-form in itself

The Power of Local Teachers

We spend a lot of time dancing with different people, specially beginners, and are constantly tweaking and developing our teaching and dance approach.

Locally we initiate and stay with students for long periods of time (>3 years). This gives us a super powerful tool to measure the pedagogical effectiveness of our teaching. Like some crazy scientists, we constantly experiment with new approaches with our local students, and are able to accompany the impact of our teaching in their “dance development”.

This long-term feedback tool allows us to optimize the real Long-term value of our classes. Sure we like to provide a “good time” in class (short-term results), but our ultimate goal is the measurable impact our classes have in the future.

We’re looking to develop dancers, not to create students

We’re currently hired for:

Teaching Map

More Personal

We’ve known each other ever since Cátia was born, but started to spread our love for Swing rhythm and the joyfulness of Lindy Hop in 2011, when we started teaching together. Both locally (Portugal) and internationally, we deliver step-by-step classes built on top of some fun but challenging material that ensures you learn with solid technique and rhythm.

Our hope is always that you take home what you’ve learned as a tool to create something new and awesome.

In Class

We have complementary approaches: David, energetic and with a strong analytical mind, deconstructs the nuclear biomechanical elements of the movements and rhythmic structure of the dance and music, teaching them in detail, while Cátia prefers to use analogies in a more intuitive and organic approach, always trying to bring out to the best in each student.

Our classes are usually built bottom-up, starting with a key idea/concept (rhythm, posture, balance, connection technique, etc) and the vocabulary, a.k.a. steps or moves, are used as tools to explore the applications of the main goal(s). We always try to challenge everyone… Because we are a two-headed balanced team, there’s no particular extra focus on leaders or followers.

We are also very specific on WhyWhat and How we are doing things in class. Althought there are plenty of practice times during class, nobody is ever left with a “just do it” instruction.

Cátia Fonseca

I’ve been in love with dancing ever since I can recall, and dancing has always fulfilled me more than anything else.
Modern and contemporary dances were my choice since adolescence, until one day, while visiting Slovenia, I discovered Lindy Hop!
From that day I knew that was what I wanted. The energy, the music, the smiles and the social aspect of it motivated me to learn it and pass it on to the students.

I’ve had modern and contemporary dance classes for 6 years, with several teachers.
I’ve learn that technique is important as well as knowing our body and its movement. Adapting the dance to our identity is even more important, as is putting our soul into any movement.

David Afonso

I’ve always loved music and sports, but had never danced until 2010. Dancing was not for me, a bad two-left-footed dancer!
But the energy and joyfulness of Swing dance and music got me hooked. Fast forwarding to the present time, my obvious starting limitation is now my greatest teaching strength, as I had to consciously understand and learn the inner works of swing dances, starting from it’s most basic elements like balance and rhythm.

Musical background

I started to “carefully listen” to music around 8 years old, studying in depth vinyls of staple names such as Pink Floyd, Electric Light Orchestra and Chris de Burgh.

I quickly picked up a crappy classical guitar and learned some pop-rock songs by myself.

Just before getting into the Lindy Hop I picked up the alto saxophone, but practice time quickly faded due to dance classes. It’s a dream that I intend to grab in the future.

Physical background

I had never danced before starting Lindy in 2010. Not at home, not at the disco, nowhere. But the swimming and karate years shaped the biomechanics perception of my own body. The study of biomedical engineering, with its components of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pathology, etc., gave me a good functional notion of the human body.

Additionally, I did specific training and got certification (Certificate Sports Coach) in the area of fitness.

Academic background

Master’s in Biomedical Engineering IST/FML.

PhD in Biomedical Engineering IST/FML.

Information for Organizers

Rates

Our work is valuable, but the money we ask for it highly depends on several variables. We’ve given classes for groups of different sizes as well as private classes. We’ve also performed in very different settings.

We always try to find out what works best for the event while being fair for us. Feel free to contact us ([email protected]) with your proposal or inquiry. To speed things up, try to mention these topics in your email.

Bio & Photos

Here are a couple of pictures (link) for your graphical team to play around with. These picture include the photographer in the copyright properties. We’d appreciate if you’d acknowledge them the way you see fit.

Use this link for an up-to-date small bio.

Travel

As organizers ourselves, we deeply respect the usually tight budget management of events. So we will help out in finding the cheapest traveling options.

In general we prefer to travel on Friday and return on Monday, unless the event span is longer than that or we take some vacations time out.

Our standard deal is that transportation required for the event are covered by it.

Shows, Auditions, Competitions

We’ll gladly hold auditions, judge competitions, and do social dance demos. Just let us know before the event that you’re interested in any of these, or others.
If you’re interested in a choreographed performance, or in other specific services, please contact us in advance.

Music: DJ

Besides teaching dance, David is also an enthusiastic Swing & Blues DJ with international experience – website – and is also a music geek, having a drive to create (and play in) swing bands.

Contact us if you’re interest in DJ’ing or musicality tasters to be part of your package.

Accommodation

We like to be hosted by local dancers. We love to mingle with friendly people, and appreciate that they are able to show us the local culture and social life. Of course we won’t say “no” to the luxury of private hosting or hotel.

Double bed, or two single mattresses (avoiding air ones) put together, is preferred as we are a couple.

Please note that Cátia does not ride bikes. So if the venues are more than 20 min walking distance, alternative transportation will be needed.

Allergies

We’ll gladly hold auditions, judge competitions, and do social dance demos. Just let us know before the event that you’re interested in any of these, or others.
If you’re interested in a choreographed performance, or in other specific services, please contact us in advance.

Food

Food is not what drives us, hence we have no food preferences or dietary needs, but we do like to “eat healthy”. As long as we have appropriate nutrients and calories for the day, and avoid spicy hot or overly salty food, we are fine. Having said that, we mostly prefer to eat simple food, specially with the locals, than going to a fancy restaurant.

Our standard deal regarding food is that three meals plus snacks are included the days we teach.

Drinks

Neither of us really enjoys alcoholic drinks. Of course we will do the honor of a special toast, but otherwise we mostly prefer to drink water and fruit juice.

Our standard deal regarding drinks is that we get enough drinkable water (can be tap water if good) on the days we teach. If you are unaware of how much David sweats, please notice the emphasis on “enough”.

Languages

We speak Portuguese (not expecting that uh!?) and English fluently. We also can understand a little of Spanish, French and Italian, but not enough to be useful in class.

Because our classes are a lot about concepts and more abstract ideas, their true value will only be attained if the message is clear.

If your event has a relevant number of participants that are not at ease with English, it would be valuable for everyone (us, the students and the event) if we can find someone to translate. We’ll need to have a 15/30min meeting with them beforehand, to make sure class flow is as smooth as possible for everyone.

Tips for your workshop

Food is not what drives us, hence we have no food preferences or dietary needs, but we do like to “eat healthy”. As long as we have appropriate nutrients and calories for the day, and avoid spicy hot or overly salty food, we are fine. Having said that, we mostly prefer to eat simple food, specially with the locals, than going to a fancy restaurant.

Our standard deal regarding food is that three meals plus snacks are included the days we teach.

We’re currently hired for:

Testimonials

from organizers

from students