I’m a dancer/teacher in Swing dances, including Lindy Hop, Charleston, and Blues dancing. Very active on the Paris scene, I teach several times a week for Shake that Swing. I have also taught across the UK, Ireland, Germany and Sweden.

Though I love dancing and fully enjoy training as much as I can, I’m also convinced teaching skills are one of the most important, and most overlooked, aspect of a dance teacher. For this reason, I believe starting dancing in my early twenties was very positive, as I have experienced first-hand the hurdles students go through as they begin to understand their bodies and the music. It led me to develop a comprehensive and systemic framework through which I can plan, and explain, a progressive learning path.

This understanding is supported by an active interest in teaching methodology and pedagogy. The end result is ( I hope ) clear and engaging lessons that facilitate and boost learning, while communicating the energy and enthusiasm of the dance.

My dance philosophy is about natural body movement and the intricate relationship between music and dancing. I firmly believes any dance should leave you with a big, unshakable grin on your face !

I’ve been doing regular classes, hen parties, shows, workshops, DJing, even a movie – and I’d love to work with you !

Teaching with Philippa Svensson

Philippa and Vivien met on the dance floor in 2011 with a slap to the face, and hit it off immediately. Since then, they have been teaching and competing together across Europe, as well as in their respective scenes (Oxford UK and Malmö, Sweden) – until they finally found a common home in Paris, where they teach weekly classes in Lindy-hop, Solo Jazz Roots, and of course Blues dancing. They believe that couple dancing finds its roots in solo body movement and musicality -but solid technique is a must. With Philippa’s background in gymnastics and physiotherapy, and Vivien’s boundless enthusiasm, they want to share the idea that any dance should leave you with a big, unshakeable grin on your face !

Philippa’s first meeting with blues dance was in the attic above the old ambulance garage a late summers night in 2010. Following a string of house parties she fell in love, and due to her unrivaled ability to absorb movement and technique she quickly left her mark on the dance scene, spreading her passion for the blues. Drawing on her training in solo dance and gymnastics she brings a unique view on follower expression through control, definition and elegance. Balancing her quest for technical perfection, mastery of dance alignment and connection, is a bubbly personality and a love for really bad puns.

“I took a four hour workshop with Philippa Svensson & Vivien Nivesse in Copenhagen 2015. It was my first teaching experience with Vivien, but I was already a big fan of Philippa’s teaching style, so I had high expectations. All of the material they taught was new to me, and that is a rare experience. Their style of movement and simple but powerful concepts are easy to understand but hard to master, so you really feel like you bring back a goodie bag of new things to play around with after their class. They maintained a personal presence and warm consistent atmosphere throughout four hours without a break for longer than 10mins., and they really packed information into every little inch of the workshop. I would recommend their classes and workshops to both beginning and advanced blues dancers and wouldn’t hesitate to repeat the experience again.” Theis Egeberg, Copenhagen, January 2015

Bio

Prof Member LogoDancing:

I started dancing back in ’08 at Uni. French Rock’n’Roll looked like a friendly dance but oh boy, did I get sucked in quickly. Fun parties, fun people – I was soon practicing in my room to weird tunes with enthusiastic abandon. A lot can be said for gateway dances as my teacher surreptitiously started dropping hints about Lindy, Charleston, Balboa, and exciting week-enders. Moving to Japan for six months, then England, did little but encourage more practicing, more dancing, more styles! My first encounter with the mysterious atmosphere of a Lindy ‘Blues Room’ led to a  forray in wild territories, investing my time in the less-known Trad Blues and Fusion scenes. Nowadays, I wholeheartedly believe all dances drink from the same stream of body movement and musicality, and I’m interested in practicing both Solo and Partner dances in as many styles as I can. Going part-time in my regular job in ’11 has given me the opportunity to train my dancing, and since throwing myself full-time into dancing, I’m getting as much as my feet can handle!

Teaching:

“Great dancers are not necessarily great teachers, great teachers are not necessarily great dancers.”

When you discover an intense passion, it’s hard not to want to share it! But it’s one thing to have dancing skills yourself, and quite another to teach them. You not only need to have a clear systemic overview of the activity, but also find a pedagogic approach that lets people progress through it.

As I’ve improved through my own dancing, I’ve also taken on the challenge to make the dance accessible to all, find effective teaching techniques, and most of all convey the incredible happiness that comes with it.

Home: I have been regularly active on the Oxford scene since early ’12. I teach Lindy-Hop several times a week in a variety of levels from Beginner to Advanced. I’m also regularly teaching 20’s Charleston Hen Party, so enthusiasm and teaching perfect beginners is definitely one of my skills!

Abroad: I’m teaching workshop weekends in England, Ireland, Germany and Sweden, and several more are in the plans.

Organizing:

I’ve started and run my own weekly event for two years, Swing Fix, within the scope of the Oxford Lindy Hoppers. I’ve been involved in a variety of workshops and full-weekenders, including  the Oxford Winter/Mid-Term Blues as main organizer. I know the tough challenges that organizers face and I’m more than ready to be an easy-to-handle teacher with lots of flexibility!

Performing:

I’ve performed in groups, solo, you name it. You can see me dancing briefly in the movie Gambit (2012), I’ve done promotion for Hermes (the scarves), and various charity/corporate events. I also run the performance group the Oxford Blue Cats and I’m part of the London-based Hotfoot Strutters.

Competing:

Lindy:I’ve been competing for a while in local festivals ( 2nd Strictly DJAM 2011, 1st Rock Bottoms 2010) but my best result to date has to be a 2nd at the Lindy Shock Open J’n’J 2013.

Blues: 1st place Berlin Blues Explosion 14 Showcase, 3rd place at J’n’J and Strictly for same competition, 1st place J’n’J Espanish Blues Festival 2013, 3rd place J’n’J Feelin’ Blues Israel 2013 – and making it to the finals at Blues Baby Blues 13, Berlin Blues Explosion 13, in both Strictly and J’n’J.

Gallery

Videos

Past and Future events

This is a list of events we’ve taught at already, or will be in the future. We’re always ask for a feedback survey after our lessons and we’re happy to provide you with the results, or to provide references from organizers !

Future events :
2019:

  • Nuremberg Blues, Germany, October
  • Belta Blues, Newcastle, UK, April
  • Winter’s End, Minsk, Belarus, March

2018:

  • La Vie En Blues, Paris, September
  • Blues in Sicily part II, Catania, Italy, April
  • South City Blues, Malmo, Sweden, April
  • Blues in Sicily, Catania, Italy, Mars
  • Cosy Cologne, Kolhn, Germany, Mars
  • Oxford Swing Festival, Oxford, UK, February

2017:

  • Lindy Hop/Charleston, Corbie, December
  • Belta Blues, Newcastle, October
  • Banana Blues, Brussels, October
  • Cotton City Blues, Manchester, September
  • Moose Blues, Oslo, May
  • Blues in Angouleme, March
    • 2016:
  • Copenhagen Blues workshop, December
  • Berlin Blues Explosion (Performance), November
  • Nitty Gritty Blues 2, Newcastle, October

2015:

  • Copenhagen Blues workshop, January
  • Oxford Blues workshop, January
  • DJAM, January
  • Uppsala Blues Camp, January
  • Lucerne Sideways Festival, February
  • Oxford Swing Festival, February
  • Malmo Blues workshop, March
  • Espanish Blues Festival, April
  • Blues Fever May
  • European Blues Invasion, June
  • Newcastle Blues workshop, September
  • Stir It! 15, Zurich, November
  • BeBlues, Switzerland, November

2014:

  • Uppsala Blues Camp,  January
  • Lindy Express (tasters), February
  • Malmo Dance Camp,  April
  • Munster Lindy workshop with Ursula Ader,  May
  • Gothenburg Blues workshop, May
  • Manchester Blues workshop, June
  • Oxford Summer Blues, July
  • Blues Baby Blues, November
  • Oxford Sweet and Slow workshop, December

Contact

I am available to teach both private and public lessons in many styles of swing dance, including Lindy Hop, Blues, and Charleston. If you would like to get in touch, please email me: vnivesse@gmail.com.