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Madeira Sugarpush Swing retreat 2024

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Madeira Swing Dance Retreat 2024


September 19th – 23rd 2024


Hello Lovely Dancers!


We are delighted to announce we are going to Gaula situated on the Eastern part of Madeira Island, renowned for its stunning views and peaceful atmosphere. Madeira is a picturesque archipelago famous for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. 


Our exquisite villa is nestled near the village of Santa Cruz and just 15 km from Funchal, offers a luxurious and intimate family-like atmosphere. Our home has plenty of space with a stunning patio overlooking the serene blue Atlantic Ocean.  Each balcony affords a spectacular sea view where you can relax and enjoy the sunrise on the horizon. Take a swim in our saltwater pool, or even enjoy a refreshing dip in the Ocean which is right on our doorstep. 


This Retreat promises to enhance your swing dancing skills in an enjoyable and laid-back setting, specifically designed for dancers at the improver to intermediate level.


How it works

Sit back, relax, and let the good times roll. Your hosts, Holly, and Romayne have meticulously attended to every detail to ensure this retreat is your most memorable one yet!


You will arrive on Thursday, set your bags down and have time to soak up the sun. That evening we plan to relax by the pool with a welcome drink provided by yours truly and enjoy a home-cooked dinner at the house. 


On Friday night, we're planning to stroll down to the town of Santa Cruz, where our dinner reservation is already set. Santa Cruz offers a beautiful promenade along the seafront. The town is lined with traditional restaurants, making it a great spot to relax and enjoy the ocean views. During the weekend, we will take a trip to visit the capital city of Madeira, Funchal, where we can explore its charming streets, visit the historic Sé Cathedral, enjoy the bustling Farmers' Market (Mercado dos Lavradores), take a ride on Cable car, and enjoy the breath-taking views of the city and ocean. You'll have ample free time to discover the city's rich cultural offerings. We will make reservations for lunch and dinner at beautiful local restaurants so you can enjoy your time sightseeing. 




Holly France and Romayne Etwaroo are set to guide you in an engaging and demanding series of classes. These sessions promise to be both challenging and enjoyable, with a strong emphasis on personal attention for each participant. The focus will be on enhancing musicality, fostering originality, mastering rhythm, and encouraging improvisation. Participants should be at improver level or higher, and the classes will be tailored with variations to suit individual abilities and needs. It's important to note that familiarity with swingouts is a prerequisite for joining these classes. 




Rooms are available for either single occupancy or shared arrangements. Shared rooms will be allocated based on the same sex, but we are fully accommodating for non-binary individuals – please feel free to discuss your needs with us, it's no trouble at all. For couples and those preferring single occupancy, we advise informing us as soon as possible, as these options tend to be booked quickly.




We take great pride in offering delectable vegetarian home-cooked meals, prepared with an array of fresh, local ingredients that the area generously provides. If you have any specific dietary needs, please inform us. Your chef for the retreat, Holly, brings a wealth of culinary experience as she previously worked as a chef at the acclaimed vegetarian restaurant, Mildred’s.



£565 pp shared room. Most rooms are for 2 people one is for 3 

£680 pp  single occupancy.

£450 pp Shared bunk room. There are 2 x bunk beds in this room and the room is quite small. 

What's included: 


  • 5 x Dance classes 

  • 4 x Nights accommodation

  • Breakfast or brunch each ad

  • 2 x Meals a da

  • Welcome drinks 

  • Welcome gift 

All your dinner/lunch reservations are planned

There will be social dancing throughout the retreat too 


Please note the cost of travel to and from Funchal will be kept to a minimum.


Getting there 


You can fly directly to Funchal Airport which is approximately 3km away from the property. 


There are direct flights from 2 airlines. Please note, the flight prices may change due to the month purchased. We encourage everyone to book their flights as soon as possible for the cheapest fare. 


Please take note of the check-in and out times of the house before organising your flights.


Check-in is after 5.00 pm.  

Check-out is at 10 am.


A taxi from Funchal airport is between £3-£6 and should take less than 5 minutes. 


 There will also be a WhatsApp so people can discuss possible ride shares from the airport if preferred. This has worked well in previous years.


Private lessons will be available at a discounted rate of £45 per hour, spaces will be limited so please book these in advance.



Address: Vereda Ribeiro Francês Vivenda São Pedro, Gaula, Madeira 9100, Portugal


You can reserve your space by paying a deposit to Holly of £100. Please note that this deposit is not refundable unless there are extenuating circumstances that can be evidenced. 


Full payment to be made by June 1st, 2024.

You can email us on: 

Please feel free to get in touch with any queries you have.


Donations: We are always looking at better ways to respect this jazz dance and its history and culture, we strive to continue to learn and improve.  The Black Lindy Hoppers Fund does great work building, nurturing, and strengthening black dancers within the swing scene.  Collective Voices for Change has also been leading sessions on how to improve our whitewashed swing dance scene. We will be donating from the profits from this trip to both, see what they do here and why not give them a follow-on social media too while you're at it?



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