Teaching is our passion! We teach workshops for all levels of dancers and have a bunch of pricing options that make our workshops affordable for any size of dance scene. We have collected all the infos in what we call the “SwingStep Workshop” factory!
Bring some swinging energy to your event. We have performed for companies as large as Coca Cola, Mercedes and KFW and as small as your wedding and private party.
Ali&Katja run local dance scenes and a teaching team: the SwingStep Team. We love visitors – on the web and on the dance floor! Check out our what’s up on Swingstep.com.
Share to grow has been the number one core value of mine!
Often people tell me that I’m creating my own competition by sharing everything I’ve learned. So far, I have just seen a lot of growth both for my personal and business life.
As a chemist I was told to lock up my lab-journal and not to talk to anyone about my results until they were published.
I believe that is one of the reasons I did not feel the same growth as I do now.
I’m a dancer now and I will grow my business my way! Yeah! / Ali
It was love at first dance: Ali&Katja have been dancing together ever since they met on a Paris dance floor in 2003. Based in Heidelberg, Germany, they are working to spread the Lindy Hop through their teaching teams in Heidelberg, Darmstadt and Berlin and with their own travelling to teach workshops around Europe.
Ali&Katja are best known for their technical yet accessible teaching. Their goal is to build upon and expand what you already know about the dance rather than to try to change you. Their very clear step by step “how to” instructions help you learn and practise in a focused way, so you can transfer your new skills onto the social dance floor right away.
In their classes, you’ll also get the tools how to practice and tell yourself if you’re “doing it right” outside the classroom. This way, you can continue to improve and practice on your own and take your dancing to the next level.
I have an idea! Most people know me as a pragmatic person who loves to try and apply new ideas. Often these ideas are based on my interest areas such as science, psychology, stand up comedy or one of my many educational audio-books. In our dance classes, it is not uncommon to find me citing books like “Made to Stick” (by Dan and Chip Heath) when I talk about communication between the dance partners. Our passion and goal is to spread swing dancing, both in Germany and around the world. That’s why we are running several online activities, blogs, discussion groups, and free instructional videos that cover all aspects of the life of a dancer.
Is it “Katja approved”? When you feel that your mind is just about to explode with new ideas, it is perfect to have an amiable wife whose greatest pleasure is to challenge them. This is why we established the “Katja approved” signature. If it is “Katja approved” – it is good! When preparing a class or workshop, I always make sure the material gets “Katja approved”.
I am a Pack Leader! The “about me” section cannot be complete without a short description of our lovely dogs. Their names are Rufo and Lulu, and they`re two friendly rescue dogs from sunny Spain. From the great dog behaviorist Cesar Millan, I learned how to be a pack leader – the motto goes “exercise, discipline and affection”. Hmm, I just got an idea for our next dance class…
Vintage is the new cool From living the vintage life style to living on the vintage dance, the swing dance era has brought me a lifetime of joy and happiness. First, I fell in love with the clothes and the hair-dos. Dancing and teaching all across the globe gave me the opportunity to share my knowledge about the vintage style, helping the girls to dress their hair like in the old movies.
Swingout! Imagine a rollercoaster ride on your feet, that’s how I feel when the leader swings me across the dance floor. My passion is to spread this feeling to women every where. With my background as a professional translator, I can communicate the motions and techniques of swing dancing in fluent German, English and French.
Pushing the boundaries My culture and upbringing imprinted a strong need for security in me. Living on swing dancing is not exactly the most obvious and easy way to achieve security in your life. When I’m sometimes wondering if all will work out well, Ali jumps in and re-paints the big picture for me and points out our achievements. He’s my rock and he surely rocks! Him dreaming up the big plans and me filtering and challenging them has made it possible to live an exciting life as a dancer and a swing dance evangelist.
As I write this, the SwingStep team includes people from many backgrounds: Germany, Canada, China, Sweden, Persia and Israel. Many more nationalities are scheduled to join early next year. Two team members are married, one is lesbian. Some are vegetarian, others pescetarian or carnivore. Most the team speaks German fluently, others less so, some not at all.
What we all do have in common are our core values and our passion for Lindy hop.
If you want to learn more about our Core values, Ali has written an entertaining ebook on that subject matter.
We’ve been working on SwingStep since 2010. However, Ali&Katja have been preparing for this since 2004.
Here are some major milestones along the way:
2004: The first meeting with Lindy hop
Ali met Lindy hop in a Chemistry laboratory at the École Polytechnique where he was doing his Masters degree
When Ali moved to Paris from Stockholm he planed to show his collegues a few cool Salsa moves. That’s when Ali met Patrick… yep, that Patrick… the cool guys with all the awesome videos online. It turned out that Patrick was working in the same laboratory and that he just came back from Montreal, learning this cool new/old dance called Lindy hop.
Anyways, long story short: they made a bet, I showed him some Salsa step, and Patrick took me to one of his Lindy hop lessons…. needless to say that I lost that bet 😀
2004 + 3 months: The first Ali and Katja encounter
Patrick left for some competition in Montreal and left Ali all alone. Ali’s urge to go out dancing was being fighting his shyness of going out alone. Faith took hold of him and dragged him to the dance floor to put him in-front of the love of his life: Katja Uckermann!
2005: The first workshop
Ali followed Katja to Germany to start a new life together with her. Going from dancing every day to dancing only once every few weeks was too much to bare. That’s when they decided to help the small grup of Lindy hop enthusiasts in Heidelberg with sharing the little they’ve learned so far.
2010: the recession that re-directed destiny
Katja was just finished with her translation studies and were looking for a job. Ali were just wrapping up his PhD while doing some Chemistry consulting on the side. The global recession made job searching unattractive enough to say “heck, let’s give growing the Lindy hop community a try as a full-time endeavor”
2010: First time teacher at larger events around Europe
Lindy Shock, Smokey Feet and Rock that swing festival to thank a few early adopters 😉
2011: The first team members joined Ali&Katja.
Thank you Kris Blindert for believing in us.
2011: Still alive and having enough generous friends that fed us
2013: Supporting over 10 full-time dancers and Lindy hop evangelists to spread the love of this dance!