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We are the Mudflappers

a not-for-profit dance collective who perform for the love of dancing and making people laugh. Our stage show mixes the jazz dances of the 20s and 30s – the Charleston, Balboa, Collegiate Shag and Lindy Hop – with a few new moves of our own.

The Mudflappers got everyone, and I mean EVERYONE dancing

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They have our crowd laughing, lindy hopping and doing the charleston within 45 mins, which is no mean feat!

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Festival No. 6 – September 2015

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Festival No. 6 – September 2015

We are absolutely thrilled to be returning to Festival No. 6 last year. If ever there was a perfect venue for a festival then this is it, and we have the privillage of being asked to teach right in the middle of it, in the piazza of the fantasty mediterranean coastal village-inspired Port Merion. This year we’ll be throwing in some performances in and some late night dancing to boot. We’ll post on Facebook closer to the time to let you know where we’ll be.

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Port Eliot – July 2015

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Port Eliot – July 2015

At this year’s Port Eliot festival the Mudflappers will be the resident dance band at the Idler Academy stage. Beneath the boughs of the shade trees, between the gin bar and the sea, you’ll find us helping innocent punters to learn the lindy hop. We’ll be running taster classes all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We’ll also chuck in the odd show when the opportunity arises – we may even get to perform out in the mud!

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Lubstock – July 2015

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Lubstock – July 2015

We are delighted to announce that we will be returning to Lubstock in 2015 to do more dancing and teaching. At Lubstock they create something really special, which is why we are so pleased to be invited back to take part again. If everything falls into place, Lubstock 2015 will be the first time we manage to get all of our irreverant band of Mudflappers together on stage at the same time, and that will be an achievement!

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Liverpool Sound City – May 2015

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Liverpool Sound City – May 2015

We are chuffed to have been invited to perform at this year’s Liverpool Sound City. To tie in with this year’s festival has a New York-Liverpool theme, we will be performing will our own unique Lindy Hip Hop show, which mixes traditional Lindy Hop manoeuvres with a New York themed hip hop soundtrack. And if that makes the audience want to get up and join in then great because we will also be offering free taster lessons for anyone who wants to give them a go. We can’t wait! Check us out on the festival website.

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Swingamjig – May 2015

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Swingamjig – May 2015

Our summer of festival fun begins as it did last year with Swingamjig. We had so much fun performing there last year that we are really looking forward to going back and kicking off the summer with a bang. If you are in the mood for some electro swing vintage sounds gypsy mayhem, why don’t you join us? Check out the festival website…

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Festival No. 6 – September 2014

MudflappersFestivalNumber6

Festival No. 6 – September 2014

The Idler Academy have a knack of booking us to dance in beautiful places, but at Festival No. 6, they surpassed themselves: centre stage in Port Meirion’s stunning piazza. There, twice a day we taught crowds of around 200 how to Charleston. Seeing so many people dancing together, smiling and cheering is hard to beat.

Mudflappers Shambala

Shambala – August 2014

Mudflappers Shambala

Shambala – August 2014

At Shamabala our brief was to put on pop-up swing dancing shows. Our strategy was to hijack sound systems, appear from no where, bust out our routines to crowds of onlookers and then to disappear again as quickly as we arrived. We performed at sandwich stalls, coffee shops, bars and restaurants, on the bandstand and on stage for the C@t in the H@t in the Electric Swing Circus’s Swingamajig tent. We taught a fair few revellers a few dance moves along the way.

Mudflappers Off Grid

Off Grid – August 2014

Mudflappers Off Grid

Off Grid – August 2014

The Mudflappers began at Cloud Cuckoo Land, in August 2013. That festival didn’t run this year but the organisers invited us to its sister festival, Off Grid, to do some irreverent dancing. Off Grid has such a cool anything-goes atmosphere. We arrived, found some people who wanted to dance, and danced with them. That’s what its all about.

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Lubstock – July 2014

MudflappersLubstock

Lubstock – July 2014

Lubstock is such a lovely festival with a fantastic family vibe, and we were very fortunate to be invited this year to make our contribution. We performed our routines on the main stage, taught Lindy Hop and Shag, and danced until dawn. The band members also got in a bid of wild swimming, an emerging Mudflappers summer pursuit.

Mudflappers Port Eliot

Port Eliot – July 2014

Mudflappers Port Eliot

Port Eliot – July 2014

We were booked by the lovely people at the Idler Academy to teach and perform swing dancing in front of the Idler Academy Tent at Port Eliot Festival. Our dance floor was a beautifully shaded glade that had a tidal estuary as a back drop. After teaching three classes a day and putting on a show, we dived into the cool waters. And when the tide was out the temptation to crawl out into the oozing tidal mud and do some real ‘mud flapping’ was just to great to resist.

“The Mudflappers got everyone, and I mean EVERYONE dancing at our Idler garden party last summer. They were the absolute highlight of the day combining technical skill with masses of positive energy. It was a whole lot of fun.” – Roberta McCaughan, Idler Academy Operations Manager

“The Mudflappers have been in residence at Rock a Hula since its inception and provided fantastic fun tuition for thousands of novice swing dancers. They have our crowd laughing, Lindy Hopping and doing the Charleston within 45 mins, which is no mean feat! As well as being great teachers for beginners, they always throw in a show to open with, and are truly fantastic semi-pros. Many punters look on in wonder, then in delight they are encouraged to try their hand (and feet) at the techniques themselves. Love ‘em.” Jen Walke, Producer of Rock a Hula! (rock ‘n’ roll, hula hooping and swing dancing event) – London’s ‘Standout 1950s night’ (The Times)

Oli first saw people Lindy Hopping in a bar in New York in 2003, and has been hooked ever since. He has been teaching, performing and choreographing routines since 2009. His gigs have included performances at Latitude Festival, Shambala Festival, Rock a Hula, Cloud Cuckoo Land and at Kensington Olympia. For Oli, swing dancing is a sort of passport to the world, and never passes up the opportunity to get a few people dancing along, even if it is in a puddle at a festival, which is sort of how the Mudflappers began.

Peter took up dance lessons 9 years ago after gatecrashing a party and finding himself unable to dance to the pre-60s music being played. He is an expert in the amusingly named swing dance ‘Collegiate Shag’ , and has taught in London and Sweden. His dance credits include the unfunny Cameron Diaz film ‘Gambit’, the much better ‘Me and Orson Welles’, choreography of 30 extras for the lovely ‘Where I Belong’; and the forthcoming megasequel ‘Avengers 2: Age of Ultron’, although he’s not allowed to talk about that.

Poppy was about 10 years old when her aunt showed her some basic swing steps. Her enthusiastic, but rather unrefined, Charleston became her trademark party move. Later, she discovered the Lindy Hop, Balboa and Boogie Woogie too and got the social dancing bug. A hut in the Bolivian jungle is, to date, her most exotic (and sweaty) location for teaching a swing dance class.

Eleanor is so busy dancing that she has never found the time to read of write, which means that her bio is taking her some time to craft.

Jenny attended her first dance lesson at the age of 4. Unfortunately she screamed until she was removed from the ballet lesson – it was 16 years before she dared try dancing again. When she did though, she was hooked. Her dancing has taken her here, there, and everywhere, although the highlight has to be performing at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2013. She doesn’t take dancing too seriously, and just wants everyone to have fun with it!

Nat started dancing as a child, learning tap, modern and musical theatre. After spending a lot of time spinning and upside down she went on to study at Bristol’s circus school, Circomedia. It was in Bristol that her obsession with Lindy Hop began. Within 3 months she performed at The Invisible Circus’ ‘Swing Step’ and went on to teach and perform at events such as Larmer Tree, Secret Garden Party, Bristol Harbourside Festival, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Lubstock and London’s Olympic Opening Ceremony 2012.

Ellen has been ‘dancing’ in mud since Glastonbury ’97 way back when you used to pay an old man £5 to throw you over the fence. Since ’99 she’s taken to Lindy Hop and these days she dances her way in, in her Mudflapper finest. She’s danced at Lovebox, Latitude Festival and the Olympic Parks events.

Bob first began to suspect when he was watching Dirty Dancing for the 5th time. But it wasn’t until his early thirties that he finally came out and accepted that he was born to be a dancer. Since meeting Lindy Hop, Bob has thrown an arm and a leg into Tango, African and Blues dance. Bob also likes mud.