Wednesday 22nd October 2014
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What is 'Hop the Castle'?

Hop the Castle is a Lindy Hop dance camp held annually at Kinnersley Castle in Herefordshire, England (UK). The event is organised and hosted by 'Lindy Circle Productions'. The camp normally takes place on the second or third weekend of May.

Our concept is to run a high quality intensive camp for Lindy Hoppers of an Advanced or good Intermediate standard. The small size of the castle means that it will only ever be a small event. This makes for a friendly and intimate atmosphere and also allows us to maintain a high standard in the classes. We aim to create the best possible learning environment by inviting high quality teachers and ensuring that classes aren't overcrowded. The spread of abilities within the classes is also fairly even allowing people to learn to their maximum potential.

 

The Teachers

We try to invite teachers who for one reason or another don't often teach here in the UK. With this in mind we've been delighted to present the following teachers:

2007 TBA
2006 Skye Humphries (USA) & Frida Segerdahl (Sweden)
Henric Stillman & Joanna Eriksson (Sweden)
2005 Skye Humphries & Ramona Staffeld (USA)
Kevin St. Laurent & Carla Heiney (USA)
2004 Kevin St. Laurent & Carla Heiney (USA)
Hasse Mattsson & Marie Nahnfeldt (Sweden)
2003 Eddie Jansson & Eva Lagerqvist (Sweden)
Sing Lim & Chan Meng (Singapore)
2002 Steven Mitchell & Virginie (US)
Ryan Francois & Jenny Thomas(UK)
2001 Ryan Francois & Jenny Thomas (UK)
Eddie Jansson & Eva Lagerqvist (Sweden)
2000 Sing Lim & Chan Meng (Singapore)
Bruno & Veronique David (France)
1999 Bruno & Veronique David (France)
Julie Oram (UK)

The Workshops

We don't hold class auditions at the camp as we prefer to pre-screen dancers into the appropriate level before the camp. There are three levels of classes as follows:

  • Intermediates Plus:  At least 1-2 year's experience, with a good understanding of basic lindy technique.
     
  • Advanced:  A minimum of 3 years experience, with good technique, improvisational skills and musicality. Many of the students at this level have actually been Lindy Hopping for over 5 years.
     
  • Advanced Plus:  These classes are aimed at the highest level. Many of the dancers in this level are actually teachers and/or members of performance groups. Most students at this level have actually been Lindy Hopping for at least 5 years. You should consider yourself amongst the top 5% in your country to join this level.

All students will typically receive about 9 hours of classes in total, and maybe a few extras as well! Each level will get classes from both sets of teachers (i.e. about 4.5 hours each). We have published a provisional Schedule although there might be some minor adjustments to this nearer the time.

 

The Parties

  • Friday Night - Late night Swing Party
You'll be greeted at the castle on the friday night with plenty of late night snacks. There's then a short welcoming speech introducing the teachers followed by dancing in the great hall till late. The music's provided by DJs Groove Juice Special + Special Guests.
  • Saturday Night - Themed Fancy Dress Party
Each year we choose a different theme for the Saturday night party. Themes in previous years have been; 'Haunted House', 'Cartoon Capers', 'Kids', 'international', 'Circus', 'Medieval' and 'Wild West Frontier'. The evening starts with a banquet followed by dancing with music from DJs Groove Juice Special + Special Guests. There's also cabaret from The Lindy Circle Performance Group and anyone else who wants to have a go!
The theme for 2006 will be Under the Sea!.

 

The Castle

The event takes place in a fantastic castle in the village of Kinnersley in Herefordshire (close to the Welsh border). The castle has been around since Norman times and was later rebuilt and renovated in the 1580ís. The castle is now in private hands and the owners live in the castle and hire the extra rooms out to primarily dance and folk festival events.


Barbeque on the rear lawn of Kinnersley Castle (2000)

You've got to have stayed in the castle to really appreciate what a fantastic piece of history it represents. It's very original and has a wonderful dilapidated feel with lots of hidden nooks and crannies and wonky staircases.

You can find out more about the castle at www.kinnersleycastle.co.uk.

 

The Food

All meals from Friday to Sunday dinner are included in the price. We have a great relationship with the caterers who provide most of these meals. Every year they receive loads of compliments about the quality (and quantity) of the meals, especially the Saturday evening banquet which is the most lavish meal of the weekend.

The meals on Friday and breakfast each day are catered for by the Lindy Circle. We have a rota and everybody is expected to sign up and help with some of the preparation or cleaning up afterwards. Alcohol is not included in the price and there is NO bar at the castle. You should therefore bring your own wine/beer if you want to get a bit squiffy!

 

The Accommodation

Two nights stay in the castle is included in the full price. Accommodation in the castle is simple, rooms are shared, and beds or mattresses on the floor are available for everyone (There are no en-suite rooms). Kinnersley Castle sleeps up to 45 people, so space is limited! Rooms will be allocated in advance.

Alternatively, you can choose to stay in one of the many local B&Bs. You will need to book and pay for this accommodation yourself. Click here for a list of B&Bs within easy reach of the castle.

 

Getting There

The castle is located in Herefordshire just a few miles from the welsh border. It's about 4 hours drive from London.

In previous years the majority of people came from London so we organized transportation to and from the Castle by coach. However, the demographics of the people coming has changed over the years with people now coming from all over the country. Fewer and fewer people were taking the coach so consequently we are no longer offering the service.

You will therefore need to make your own travel arrangements. The castle is in a remote area so driving is the most practical way of getting there. You are encouraged to car share wherever possible to avoid more cars than necessary cluttering up the castle car park. We will try to match people wanting lifts with those able to offer lifts to others.

Driving directions vary greatly depending on where you're coming from. We therefore suggest using RAC Route Planner or a similar web site to plan your trip.

The full address is:  Kinnersley Castle, Kinnersley, Herefordshire, HR3 6QF (Map)

Alternatively, you could use rail and taxi services. The nearest mainline train station is at Hereford. From here the taxi trip to the castle costs about £20-£25 and takes about half an hour.

 

The Cost

There are 2 different options as follows:

Castle Package - £220, which includes:

  • 2 nights basic accommodation in the Castle
  • All meals from Friday through to Sunday dinner
  • All workshops & parties

B&B Package - £180 which includes:

  • Meals (excluding breakfast) from Friday through to Sunday dinner
  • All workshops & parties
  • You will need to book and pay for your own accommodation in one of the many local B&Bs.
    (Click here for a list of B&Bs within easy reach of the castle)

 

How to Book

Please fill out and submit the on-line booking form.

We are unable to reserve your place without a deposit. To confirm your booking please send us either, the full amount, or a deposit of £100. The deposit amount is sufficient to secure your place. However, we'd very much appreciate payment in full if you're able to afford it. This helps us to minimize the administration associated with collecting the final balance payments.

Cheques should be made payable to 'Hop the Castle' and sent to the following address:

Hop the Castle
7 Wilton House
1 Alexandria Road
London
W13 0NP
England

In the event that we receive more deposits than we have places then we first look at the balance of leaders to followers and levels. Bookings will then be accepted on a first come first served basis (using the postal date as the measure). After that we will start a waiting list, and return any deposit cheques not accepted.

Please note that once booked, we can only refund your deposit if we can resell your place. The balance in full will be due by 15 April, and again this can only be refunded if we are able to resell your place.

For more information contact Dan at Lindy Circle Productions

Tel: +44 (0)20 8840 5554   or,    e-mail: dan@lindycircle.com

 

Hop the Castle   |    Booking Form   |    Local B&Bs   |    Workshop Schedule

 

 

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