Marie Welton teaches a group the basics of swing dancing.

Marie Welton teaches a group the basics of swing dancing.

Swinging into a new year

Jump Joint Swing offers 10-week Lindy Hop courses to get you into shape

Is there a better way to get in shape for your New Year’s resolution than to have so much fun you’re not aware of the calories you’re burning?

Just ask Marie Welton, who’ll get you in the swing of things with her new 10-week retro swing dance course, which begins Jan. 19, running Saturday and Mondays at Whalley’s Jump Joint Swing dance studio.

“It’s a lot of fun, and there’s no pressure,” she says, adding that her retro swing/Lindy Hop is a non-competitive style, unlike other ballroom dances, including West Coast swing.

“There’s a lot of swing out there that’s a lot more serious,” she notes. “I take the competition right out of dance. Starting from the very beginning, when you step out onto the dance floor, you are partnered right away, and you learn 32-bar phrases to go with music.”

And if your resolution for better living in 2013 includes helping others, take heart. Welton’s dance classes support the Metro Kids Society, a North Surrey group which offers recreational activities for at-risk youth.

In class, there are simple steps, and lots of repetition, and beginners after their first lesson will have three or four styles under their hat that can take them through a night of dancing.

“It gives people confidence – it’s something they want to show off.”

Since not everyone is loose enough at first, Welton has gone so far as to ask too-nervous beginners to sit in a chair and to swing to the music with their bodies without moving their feet.

“I focus on building up their courage to try something they’ve never tried before. The more fun you have, the more you want to do it,” she says.

The Saturday night courses will be followed by optional $2 drop-in dances for family or friends of students – anyone can bring their own music, too.

“A lot of people already know how to dance. They don’t want classes, they just want to get out and dance,” Welton says.

Graduates of the 10-week course will have the opportunity to show off their skills in a spring showcase, which will benefit the Metro Kids Society.

Everyone is welcome to register for the 10-week course, and no dance experience or partner is required.

Jump Joint Swing is located at #110-12232 Pattullo Pl. For more information about the courses or private lessons, call Marie Welton at 778-867-1457 or visit

Surrey North Delta Leader