This weekend, La La Land danced its way to victory at the BAFTAs, picking up five awards – including the coveted Best Picture and Best Director. Ryan Gosling, however, missed out on best actor – despite having tap-danced his way into audiences’ good books and popularised a new vintage summer style.
But the biggest influence the film of the moment is having is bringing dance back. The elaborate, tightly-choreographed and meticulously-rehearsed dance numbers in the film may be out of reach for many of us, but La La Land is encouraging many men to step it up from a simply foot tap.
So, if you’re looking for a way to unleash your inner-Gosling, and want to join the ranks of men pulling themselves up by their dance shoestraps, these are the best places to learn.
Follow in the style of La La Land – a technicolour, retro, swinging picture – by enrolling at City Academy for a swing dance class. With three levels of difficulty, and held at various studios across London, pack your two-tone shoes and you’ll be going full Gosling before you can click your fingers.
Battersea Swing Dance
Out in Battersea, Swing Dance is consistently rated as one of the friendliest dance classes in London. Less about getting your technique exactly right than having a good time and using dance to meet new people, this is the spirit of Damien Chazelle’s La La Land – for which the director kept in mistakes and errors made by Gosling and Stone to increase the film’s ‘real world’ feel.
Swing Out & Shimmy
In Aldwych, Croydon and Covent Garden, these weekly classes are perfect for those of all abilities, and goes for a golden age of cinema look with their aesthetic. Pleasantly, you can learn a range of solo and partner dances with Swing Out & Shimmy, so you don’t even need a partner.
Chazelle cited the heydays of the 1930s big studio musicals as his inspiration for the style of La La Land, and Swing Patrol, at Old Street, promise to teach you the dances of this era. From the Charleston to the Lindy Hop, these swinging numbers have the style and urgency of Gosling’s.
Paris Rock Club
If you’re looking for something with a little more oomph, Paris Rock Club teaches the swing dances of La La Land, but also more Rock ’n’ Roll moves. With over 20 years of experience, this is a first rate place to start filling your dance card.