Jun 262013
 
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The Swing of Things

The Year 9 ‘Swing Kid’s Day’ to celebrate the youth of Germany who refused to conform to Hitler’s extreme demands, particularly where race and religion were concerned, was held on Sunday 23 June. The highlight of the day was the lunchtime riotous explosion of dance and music reminiscent of 1930’s Germany where Swing Kids would openly rebel against the authoritarian and racist rules of Hitler’s society by indulging in anti-conventional dancing to the music of Jewish and black musicians such as Artie Shaw and ‘Count’ Baisie. The day itself was the result of yet another successful collaboration between the History and Drama departments, and a huge thank you must go out to Miss Lee, our superb Head of Drama, for the manner in which she and the Drama staff coached the students in the various dance steps that were prevalent at the time of the ‘Age of Swing’.

The ‘party’ atmosphere come the day, was down to the unceasing efforts of Miss Lee, Mrs Beck, Miss Percival, Mr O’Dowd and Mrs Leap and everyone, staff included, had a great time on the dance floor. In over thirty years of teaching rarely have I witnessed such good-natured zest and ‘joie de vie’.

The costumes, many of them hand-made, were stunning – the girls or “Jazz-Dolls” as they were known at the time, looked amazing in their swing-inspired dresses and bright make-up, whilst the “Swing Boys” were the epitome of ‘cool’ in their ‘tough guy’ fashions, reminiscent of Hollywood’s era of the American gangster.