Lindy hop and authentic jazz dancer, teacher and performer

About Cat

Cat Foley by Milda - mildatakespictures.com

Photo by Milda

Cat Foley is a Lindy Hop and Authentic Jazz dancer, teacher and performer based in the United Kingdom.

Bio: Cat has been Lindy hopping since 2005. After helping to grow the Newcastle University scene dance community, Cat moved back to Liverpool and established Mersey Swing CIC, and remains creative director alongside an amazing all-female board of directors.

Cat is currently London based, working in the charity sector as a cultural practitioner using Arts for Social Change and teaching African American Vernacular Jazz and Lindy Hop across the UK and Europe. An actor and theatre maker, Cat recently worked with ‘Swing Sister Swing’ on a brand new narrative Swing Dance shows, and solo show ‘The Wallflower’, uses partnered swing dance as a storytelling tool to address social exclusion. Cat’s improv comedy experience and theatre background bring extra life to Cat’s teaching and performing.

Known for an infectiously fun style, Cat is open, honest and authentic and strives to support the individuality, positivity and expression of her fellow dancers.

Futhermore…
Lindy Hop and Jazz are African American vernacular dances and are rooted in African American culture both historically and today. More work needs to be done in the Swing Dance community to address racial injustice, and I acknowledge that I have benefited from privilege as a white person in the community. To participate in a culture that I am a guest in, I need to acknowledge the history of the dance and the consequences of my own actions in order to build a better future for our community. I am working on de-colonising my teaching and performing of this dance and trying to honour the cultural roots that are at the core of vernacular jazz dances.

I want to give respect to those who helped me to be the dancer I am today, inspiring and supporting me in my formative years, and to be more mindful of the spaces that I am involved in creating. Before inviting me to your scene, I urge you to consider reaching out to have a conversation with me, so we can chat about our values and to see if I’m the right fit. The ‘why’ is often just as important as the ‘what’ and ‘who’!

Since March 2020 I started donating a portion of my income to charities focussing on anti-racism, racial inclusion and organisations championing dances and culture of the African Diaspora. I will continue to do this going forward.

Lindy Hop, Authentic Jazz and Schools Programmes

What I Teach

 

Lindy Hop

Lindy Hop

Lindy hop. The pure magic of synergy between you, your partner and the music.

Cat has been teaching Lindy Hop for thirteen years, and continues to learn more about the history of this African American vernacular dance and the cultural context in which it existed and continues to exist. She teaches beginner to advanced-level classes at large international events across the UK and worldwide. Cat loves sharing this incredible dance and brings an infectious joy and energy to her classes. See where she’s teaching next on her Calendar!

Solo Jazz

Jazz

Cats are notoriously solitary animals. So naturally, Cat has solo jazz well covered.

Cat discovered the joys of African American Vernacular Jazz soon after starting swing dancing and she hasn’t looked back since! Her earliest jazz tutelage came from UK dancers such as Angela Andrew and Trisha Sewell, who have made a huge impact on her work (and are still teaching- look them up!) She is an internationally recognised vernacular jazz instructor. Her classes combine a love of the history of the dance with a strong focus on authenticity, creativity and improvisation.

Cat believes solo isn’t just for routines – it’s for life!

Private classes

Private Classes (Inc. online)

Let Cat help you take the drama out of your dancing!

Does your lindy hop or solo jazz need a bit of fine tuning? Would you like technique and drills to work on at home?

Are you a budding teacher who would like some coaching?

Whether it’s just you, a couple or a small group, email Cat to discuss what private classes she can offer!

Schools Programmes

School and community dance programmes

Engaging students with performing arts through dance and drama workshops

Cat has a wealth of experience in engaging primary and secondary school students in the performing arts, with a particular focus on dance and drama. She provides extra-curricular opportunities for students across the UK via both structured weekly programmes and one-off taster sessions. Cat also has experience in inclusive dance/ drama, and dance for the older generation.

Click here to find out more about what Cat can offer your school

Are you an event organiser?

Click on the following links to access:

Gallery of photos for use

TESTIMONIALS

Cat is an extremely gifted teacher. We had consistently amazing feedback about her classes at Girl Jam. Not only is she incredibly talented and knowledgeable but she is a warm and approachable person who makes learning accessible and achievable. I have worked with many solo jazz teachers over the years and few have Cat’s ability to impart their knowledge in such an inspiring and empowering way.
— Laura Knight, event organiser

Cat has taught workshops for Lindy Jazz and DJam for a numbers of years. She has been asked to come back again and again because we love her! Cat is incredibly professional; she works hard to bring her students the best possible classes and she inspires us with her natural humour. Cat brings joy and real energy to DJam.
— Joo-Lee Stock, event organiser

Cat frequently invents new, fun, simple exercises that greatly challenge your rhythm and balance. She has changed the way I think about dance improvisation.
— Tim, student

Lindy hop teaching team

Cat and Cam

Photo by Sara PIsta

Photo by Sara Pista

Cat and Cam are a team who love sharing the history, creativity and fun of lindy hop with students all over the world.

With 25 years combined teaching experience between them, a passion for Lindy Hop history and a similarly ridiculous sense of humour, Cat and Cam are dedicated to helping their students be the best that they can be, whilst not taking themselves too seriously. After teaching for the first time together in 2014, they have not looked back!

They love social dancing. They love throwing the heck down Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers style at 300bpm. They love teaching, helping people discover new talents and achieve their perceived impossibles. They love nerding out about historical clips and learning more about the nuances of the dance. Most of all, they love making bad jokes. Also Jungle Speed (the greatest game ever). They love that too.

Want to hire Cat & Cam for your event?

Get in touch!

Calendar

I teach workshops for various dance schools and events, private classes (including online), create bespoke choreographies for stage or wedding first dances and can offer online coaching. I am also currently working with English Heritage on some community dance and history projects.

Here is my calendar, so you can see what I’m up to:

August 2020

6th-12th: Youth dance and drama project with English Heritage and Nugent charity

November 2020

20-22nd: Stir It! Zurich, Switzerland- solo

January 2021

29-31st: Tours Workshop – with Cam Mitchell

june 2021

25-27th: Manchester Swing Festival – with Cam Mitchell

Cat Foley by GroovyBanana

Photo by Groovy Banana

Latest News

Cat and Cam – Five Years of Partnership

Completely by accident, we appear to have stumbled into our 5th year of teaching together. Hitting this arbitrary ‘milestone’ has put us in a reflective mood and the result is …

Teaching and the Comfort Zone

I imagine a student enters the class inside a bubble: their comfort zone. It may be large or small. It may be flexible or fragile. Either way, we all have a bubble…