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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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Mudflappers at Festival No.6

Festival No.6 – September 2018

Mudflappers at Festival No.6

Festival No.6 – September 2018

For our fifth year at Festival No.6 we played the piazza at 7:15pm on Friday night. We put on a Mudflappers Megamix with tunes from the 30s to the 80s. For the first time we played with our DJ Tobin on stage, so we could mix it up between performances, demonstrations and audience dance-offs. What started with Charleston ended with a Thriller-fueled zombie stage invasion. We also taught Lindy Hop, St. Louis Shag and Northern Soul workshops up in the No.6 Academy. Our fifth No.6 has been our best one yet – great to end on a high!

Mudflappers dance to Sweet Thunder at Pete the Monkey 2018, France

Pete the Monkey – July 2018

Mudflappers dance to Sweet Thunder at Pete the Monkey 2018, France

Pete the Monkey – July 2018

We returned for a second French adventure in Normandy, with rolling fields and sunny seaside as backdrop to this eclectic charitable festival. We taught partnered Lindy Hop in a treehouse and our favourite solo Charleston stroll in the gorgeous (baking) sunshine. It was a treat to discover London friends Sweet Thunder playing pop-up swing-jazz slots with their travelling piano, so much of the weekend was spent cheerfully swinging out to live music with twinkle-toed festival goers. [Reports of unofficial Mudflapper-initiated dance-alongs in the late night Disco Tent can neither be confirmed nor denied].

A Bientôt!

 

Mudflappers at Shambala 2017  under our newly designed team sign

Shambala – August 2017

Mudflappers at Shambala 2017  under our newly designed team sign

Shambala – August 2017

The most glorious heatwave befell the UK over this August bank holiday weekend, so we de-camped from inside the Idler Academy’s Imaginarium to teach outside, doing several Charleston classes to vintage and not-so-vintage tunes over the weekend. We also got invited into the dance-off stage ‘all stars’ spectacle; essentially a boxing ring surrounded by hoardes of sparkly, cheering revellers and have no shame in saying our Tranky Doo placed behind well-deserving winners including outrageously attired cross-dressers, a 10 year old acrobatic prodigy and obviously, the champion; a guy who took all his clothes off. Individual Flappers and friends however did win several heats with their unique swing-inspired moves, to rapturous applause. We love you Shambala.

Mudflappers at Leefest 2017

LeeFest – August 2017

Mudflappers at Leefest 2017

LeeFest – August 2017

With a Peter Pan-inspired theme of Neverworld, this weekend is all about escapism, and we drew crowds with our lively Charleston class three times over the weekend, despite battling larger sound systems nearby. Revellers were so keen they continued to follow along to our Michael Jackson Thriller Charleston routine (impressive!) and when we took to the decks to play tunes for the hour after class, the bar tent continued to hop. One of our biggest crews so far this summer, it was great to use extra Mudflappers for even more crowd engagement, and give our resident DJ centre stage for a while.

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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

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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.

“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.