The Scene Column: Fancy a Swing this Thursday?

Music reporter Vicki McCarthy has found the go-to place where you can learn the Lindy-hop, Charleston and many more dances.

Okay, without sounding like a boast, through doing the work I do, I consider myself as having my finger on the pulse of Milton Keynes’ arts scene.

So imagine my surprise when I learned that the founders of MK’s hottest night out have actually been putting on events together in the region for 15 years… my interest was immediately piqued!

Step forward talented dance partners and instructors Mike Amin and Mel Lipman.

Initially meeting while working in the same touring dance group, Mike and Mel decided to work together again after being given the chance to take over a successful and regular Swing Dance night in Bedford and ‘Swingsters’ was born!

Which sees the duo host a fantastic range of dance and live music events.

“We teach lots of different styles of dance,” Mike elaborated, “Lindy-hop, Charleston, Balboa, Jazz and Jive, so the term ‘Swing’ is all encompassing, but sums up our events nicely. Sometimes we run live music events to accompany the dance too, which makes for a different atmosphere.”

So what can we really expect if we were to attend their latest event ‘Planet Swing’, running every Thursday at The View MK (Formerly the Marle Inn), on Linford Lakes?

“A night where all are welcome,” smiled Mel. “Our nights cater for absolute beginners, right through to Intermediate dancers and we even have a freestyle session.”

It sounds fun, but dancing often takes two – what about people that want to dance, but don’t have a ‘plus one’? Well, that doesn’t rule you out it seems.

Mike explained: “You don’t need a dance partner – although partners are welcome – but everyone gets involved and swaps about during the dances. Don’t let not having a partner be an excuse to not come along and get involved!”

Can’t argue with that! So what is it that makes their job so worthwhile? “The people!” Mel answered.

“Besides seeing seasoned-dancers hone their skills, it’s just so rewarding to see the most nervous and self-conscious individuals grow through the dancing. You can see someone’s whole persona change after just a few classes. It’s wonderful to witness.”

I’ll be honest, I’ve got two left feet though… “So has everyone, apparently!” laughed Mike. “Just come along to Planet Swing and prove yourself otherwise!”

A night out in a beautiful local venue with views, learning new footwork, plus getting fit and making new friends? Well, who am I to not want to ‘hot foot it’ over there one Thursday night?

Find out more online at and

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