Pick ‘n’ Mix Program

We created an exquisite Pick ‘n’ Mix menu of >35 mind-blowing activities over 3 days for all tastes.

Let’s spice up your festival experience.

These delicious activities are grouped according to different topics from which you can mix your most refined cocktail.

Check out the full program below.

More Pick ‘n’ Mix hours up for grabs

Pass and ticket holders can now add more Pick ‘n’ Mix hours to their account via the registration website.

We answer a bunch of questions you might have below. If anything is unclear, get in touch!

pick 'n' mix

December 28, 29 & 30 are jam-packed with activities on 5 different topics. You choose how many and which ones to do during the festival!

Read more about the topics here and discover the full Pick ‘n’ Mix program in detail below. Yes, the #fomo is real…

arts discovery

Besides being a jazz festival, the Upside Down Festival always honours other arts that offer a different, refreshed perspective you might not have explored before. Why not try painting? Or singing? Or juggling? We will be inviting artists of all types to inspire and guide you. Careful! Your boiling creativity might affect your dancing in unexpected ways.

One activity per day

body and soul

Give some tender loving care to your body and soul through introspection and discovery of their hidden potential. Allow an energetic exercise or a relaxation technique, a meditation or a creative therapy to shake you physically and mentally. These sessions will nourish and energize you. And you’ll feel like your shining self afterwards!

multiple activities per day

ghent exploration

We’ve prepared some nice afternoon activities to discover the marvellous city of Ghent and its lovely people. You may explore unexpected nature, find hidden treasures at vintage shops or reach nirvana in a sauna. All with a bunch of curious people that love to go Upside Down. Perfect to get out of the dancing bubble and be refreshed for the evening parties.

One activity per day

swing expansion

Don’t expect a typical Lindy Hop class and any levels. We made a nice selection of dance workshops with a link to the swing era that will allow you to expand your dancing skills. Every day, the inspirers will present different topics that you can play with during the parties. Make sure to – wooooow! – surprise your friends with new moves and insights!

Multiple activities per day

topical talks

“So intense and interesting!” – this testimonial from last year reflects that the talks are a deep dive into different intersectional topics and emerge as a wiser individual and community. We’ll share experiences, good practices, thoughts, and doubts. These sessions will benefit any curious participants and they are almost a must for folks who are actively shaping the swing dance community.

One talk per day

Pick ‘n’ Mix Program

Thursday December 28th

Sketching Jazz

with Martin Lasthein (he/him)

Thu 28 Dec, 13:00 – 15:15 @ Wisper Beeldend

Counts as 2 Pick ‘n’ Mix hours

Grab a pencil, clear your head and let’s explore jazz through drawing dancers, musicians, details and even feelings. Guided, simple drawing exercises ending with a pile of great Upside Down jazz art.

Open for everyone, no experience needed. We provide material or you can bring your own sketchbooks or favourite pens or pencils.

Deep body work

with Saskia Faelens (she/her)

Thu 28 Dec 11:45 – 12:45 @ Wisper Theater

counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

In this workshop it’s all about feeling what your system is telling you. Saskia will share some basic exercises and will often ask: ‘What do you feel now?” “Where do you feel it?” She will make adjustments when necessary to give you the opportunity to feel more deeply without too much resistance.

The exercises given will be easy to practice further at home. Repeating the given exercises will in time give you more sense of self and a rediscovered calmness.

Improving Balance

with Nathalie Verdonck (she/her)

Thu 28 Dec 14:15 – 15:15 @ Wisper Theater

counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Awareness Through Movement, based on the Feldenkrais-method. What will we do?

  • Observe yourself while moving
  • Develop your sensitivity
  • Get more options to use your body

We go slowly, with respect for your bounderies. We go for comfort, freedom, ease, mobility, and better! We will turn, slide, reach, roll, hop…

Curious? Come and explore!

Sustainable City Tour

Guided by  Annelies (she/her)

Thu 28 Dec, 13:00 – 16:00 @ TBA

! counts as only 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Join us on a city tour with a little twist. We invite you to explore the city’s most intriguing spots dedicated to sustainability, circular economy, and 2nd-hand shopping. Ghent is a green city at its core!

Your journey will be guided by locals passionate about sustainability. They will share their knowledge, way of life and Ghent’s eco-conscious hotspots. During the city tour we will offer a drink and a bite.

What to bring:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Enthusiasm for sustainability and learning

Caring for your partner and for the music

with Juliette Venou-Lemitres (she/her) & Andrei Osipov (he/him)

Thu 28 Dec 10:30 – 11:30 @ Danspunt

counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

In this class, we will explore the different ways in which we can dance cozy and relaxed, with full care and consideration of and to both the music and our partner. We will focus on being subtle and nuanced in our dancing to make our partner feel good, connected and inventive. Join us in this, perhaps and potentially, upside-down experience!

Intro Tap Dance

with TJ (she/her)

Thu 28 Dec 11:45 – 12:45 @ Expeditie

counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

We’ll learn a few key steps to help us dance and play with a simple rhythmic combination.

Being the first of the jazz dances, all moving and rhythm making will be done a cappella and in relation to standard Jazz and blues musical concepts.

No prior experience or special requirements. Come with comfortable clothes that you can move your legs in. The best non-tap shoes would be hard soled (so you can hear yourself) and with no grip so that you are able to slide or glide on the floor easily. But if all you have is socks – acceptable as well!

The main requirement is the desire to share and play with rhythms!


with Briana Ashley Stuart (she/her)

Thu 28 Dec 11:45 – 12:45 @ Danspunt

counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Stepping is a dynamic and rhythmic dance style characterized by intricate footwork, handclaps, and body percussion. It often involves a group of performers creating synchronized, percussive sounds through coordinated movements. Stepping is not just a dance; it’s a form of artistic expression, often tied to African-American student organizations and cultural events.

Briana, a talented artist, choreographer, and entrepreneur, hails from America but has found her creative home in Brussels. She takes immense pride in her membership with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, one of the distinguished fraternities and sororities dedicated to the art of stepping. Briana is excited to introduce us to the captivating and rhythmical world of stepping.

Exploring Groove in Partnership

with Sep Vermeersch (he/him)

Thu 28 Dec 13:00 – 14:00 @ Expeditie

counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Somewhere in the contemporary education of Lindy Hop and other jazz dances we got stuck in the limiting narrative of bounce. So, what more could there be? Maybe groove? Let’s explore together what unique ways we all have to move our body in close relationship to what moves us: the music! We work on our individual relationship to groove and how to play with it partnered up.

Lindy Hop: Nyam dat Flava

with Trisha Sewell (she/her) & Ron (he/him)

Thu 28 Dec 14:15 – 16:15 @ Danspunt

counts as 2 Pick ‘n’ Mix hours

This will be a Lindyhop explosion of spicy technique, flavoursome connections, and seasoned total-body movement, ensuring that you understand the process for building upon your fundamentals to keep your dancing energetic, exciting, and full of aroma. You will leave with dynamic rhythmic variations with a facety surprise.

topical talks

Underrepresentation in the jazz dance world

multiple speakers, moderated by Briana Ashley Stuart (she/her)

Thu 28 Dec 14:30 – 16:15 @ Danspunt

! counts as only 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Representation is one of the most powerful dynamics in any space, community or movement. We invite different folks who will share what is the impact of that on feeling welcome or being interested to join a space or community. The guests will speak from a perspective being an elder, a person of color, disabled or/and queer. Hey What is important and what can we do?

Friday December 29th


with TJ (she/her)

Fri 29 Dec, 11:45 – 12:45 @ Wisper music studio

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Whether you sing jazz, play it with an instrument or dance it, you are sharing a journey. It may be your personal journey, the story behind a melody or simply a funny moment in time.

Though improvisation is not a requirement for that journey, it is the ultimate tool for creative freedom on this journey. Have you ever gotten close to a musician as they were improvising and heard them singing along with their solo? Even in your favorite jazz recordings! Or maybe you’ve heard tap dancers scatting out the rhythms their feet create? The voice has always been an important part of the jazz journey helping to transmit emotions, intentions and nuances.

In this session we will connect our voices and movement, explore some of the possibilities within that relationship, and bring our discoveries together to play with a jazz standard creating new jazz journeys to share.

No previous experience is required and you don’t even have to have a great singing voice – BUT – you should be ready to sing and be silly with and in front of other people and wear comfortable clothes (avoid skirts or restrictive jeans, etc). No specific footwear required.

Mindful Cleansing Shot

with Kat Tartary (she/her)

Fri 29 Dec, 10:30 – 11:30 @ Wisper Theater

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Prepare for a rejuvenating experience that combines energizing and soothing elements. Through invigorating breathing exercises, we’ll activate your nervous system, and we’ll playfully explore your mind through guided meditations.

This morning shot is a cognitive and emotional cleanse, purging any unnecessary baggage from your system, leaving you ready to start 2024 as fresh as a cucumber.

Arrive with an appetite, as your stomach will dance some techno!

Stretching in Duo’s

with Juliette Venou-Lemitres (she/her)

Fri 29 Dec, 11:45 – 12:45 @ Wisper Theater

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Duo Stretch Class, an hour-long session that will teach you how to go deeper into your stretching with the help of a partner while focusing on your self-awareness. Experiencing both sides will also enable you learn how to read your partner’s body and facilitate the stretching. A moment to explore together while relaxing our bodies !

Upside Down yoga

with Aurélien Faravelon (he/him – they/them)

Fri 29 Dec, 14:15 – 15:15 @ Wisper Theater

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

In this dynamic yoga class, you will move, challenge your balance and maybe even get upside down! You will practice in a safe and fun environment. This class is open to everybody, the posture adapts to the body, not the other way around 🙂

Shiatsu for dancers

with Julien Mondon (he/him)

Fri 29 Dec, 14:15 – 16:15 @ Doxtudio studio 2

Counts as 2 Pick ‘n’ Mix hours

Julien is a Shiatsu practitioner and accompanies dancers at festivals. He will provide you with massage and stretching protocols in pairs. You will learn self-massage movements and simple interventions on your partner. Join this class with a partner.


Fri 29 Dec, 13:00 – 16:00 @ Rhino Boulder Gym, or join the group leaving together at meeting point (TBA)

! counts as only 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Are you ready to take your festival experience to new heights? Join us for some boulder climbing that will challenge your strength, balance, and problem-solving skills. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a beginner looking to try something new, this work-out promises a challenge for everyone.

You will get instructions from an experienced climber and it is possible to rent climbing shoes at the venue.

What to bring:

  • Sports clothing
  • Towel

Shoe rental is included.

Please make sure to be in time. Those arriving late will not be able to join due to safety measures.

Location info:

Rhino Boulder Gym (Kaarderijstraat 69, 9000 Gent)

Bus 17 or 18 (from Dampoort towards Drongen Heilighuisdreef) to ‘Gent Geitstraat’ Or 3 (from Dampoort towards Mariakerke Post) to ‘Gent Seghersplein’.

Find your Blues Voice (couple class)

with Lotte Dijkstra (she/her) & Wouter Vervloet (he/him)

Fri 29 Dec, 10:30 – 12:45 @ Expeditie

Counts as 2 Pick ‘n’ Mix hours

In this class, we will focus on listening to blues rhythms and how you would dance differently to different styles of blues. It is hard to do it justice in a 1 hour class, so we made it a double one! You will dance with a partner.

Eccentric Funk

with Popping Danys (he/him)

Fri 29 Dec, 10:30 – 11:30 @ Danspunt

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Before there were Popping and Locking, there was Funkthe whole Funk, and nothing but the Funk! So let’s throw the technic away and get unconventionally  and unapologetically Funky!

Floorwork together in rhythm (coupled class)

with TBA

Fri 29 Dec, 11:45 – 12:45 @ Danspunt

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Experience another way to feel like flying and being lifted by your partner, a way to be in rhythm together and learning from each other while dancing. You will dance with a partner.

Pre-Swing era jazz dances

with Alexia Legoueix (she/her) & Sep Vermeersch (he/him)

Fri 29 Dec, 13:00 – 14:00 @ Expeditie

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

In order to have a more rich understanding or our contemporary Lindy Hop and jazz dancing, it makes sense to peek at what was there before. What elements can we find that were present before Swingjazz and Lindy Hop arose? In this short taster of Pre-Swing era jazz dances we’ll go trough some fun and challenging inspiration from one step dances, peabody, break-away, eccentric dancing and early charleston elements. Musically we’ll dive into the exiting styles of rag time and hot jazz music.

Soulful Funky Swing

with Popping Danys (he/him)

Fri 29 Dec, 13:00 – 14:00 @ Danspunt

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

What does the word “swing” mean outside of the swing dances? And how does that translate within the evolution from Soul Music to Funk Music? We’ll explore these questions in the workshop.

Pimp your switch

with Rein Robberecht (she/her) and Johanna Schwerzler (she/her)

Fri 29 Dec, 14:15 – 15:15 @ Expeditie

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Take a bath in the world of switch dancing. For those who dance both roles regularly. We’ll focus on comfort and communication in both roles, and exchange on switch moves to make your dance more flowy and exciting. Ready to dive?

Improvision – the playful dancer

with Trisha Sewell (she/her)

Fri 29 Dec, 14:15 – 15:15 @ Danspunt

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Understanding how to tune your body movements to the melody. A facilitated step-by-step and guaranteed process for dancers who wish to engage in creating movement that feels comfortable within the body. The class will focus on the ability to move freely without having to learn any choreography or steps. So, the stress of thinking that you must execute jazz steps in the ‘right’ way is relieved.  You will explore movement patterns that are uniquely yours to express. There are no rules or judgements. So, as a dancer, you will be more engaged and connected to the music, which will increase enjoyment in the dance for both you and your partner.

topical talks

Working amongst white people on white privilege and fragility – yet to be confirmed


Fri 29 Dec 13:00 – 16:00 @ Wisper music studio

! counts as only 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

A session for people that wants to dive deeper, for white people – process to listen and to do introspection.

Saturday December 30th

Embracing the unexpected – a clowning journey into improvisation

with Andreas Maier (he/him)

Sat 30 Dec 14:15 – 16:15 @ Wisper Theater

Counts as 2 Pick ‘n’ Mix hours

Improvisation is not just a skill, it is a liberating mindset. Together we enter the realm of the fool within and unleash our chaotic creativity. Coming from a place of vulnerability and welcoming the unknown, we create shared moments of laughter, failure, joy and togetherness. We celebrate our humanity and share authentic, mesmerising versions of ourselves.

Suitable for everyone, including those who consider themselves ‘shy’ or ‘not very creative’.

Handling earthquakes: Dynamical stability in moving and landing

with Niels Van Santen (he/him)

Sat 30 Dec 11:45 – 12:45 @ Wisper theater

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

To handle the known but often also unanticipated impacts of dance and life, we need to be stable but not too much so as to become rigid. Finding this balance between softness, reactivity, tension and stiffness is not an easy task. In this workshop, inspired by the practice of dance, parkour and Fighting Monkey, we will use tasks and games blending balance, stability, impact management and coordination in order to get acquainted with these different qualities.

Soft flow

with Aurélien Faravelon (he/him – they/them)

Sat 30 Dec 13:00 – 14:00 @ Wisper theater

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Let’s take some time to unwind and breathe through a soft flow which will help you release your body and let go of all the unnecessary tensions. This class is open to everybody. To make it extra comfy, you can take your favorite hoodie and a scarf or yoga strap.

Colours of your journey

with Kat Tartary (she/her) & Juls Sobrón (she/her)

Sat 30 Dec 14:15 – 16:15 @ Wisper beeldend

Counts as 2 Pick ‘n’ Mix hours

Join us for a transformative and inspiring workshop where you’ll embark on a profound exploration of your emotional landscape. Reflect on the vibrant colours of 2023 and sculpt your intentions for 2024. This art-therapy will help to unlock your artistic potential and uncover new depths within yourself.

Please wear short-sleeved clothes you’re comfortable getting paint. And if you feel experimental, you can take home a unique, up-cycled wardrobe piece as a special bonus.

Swim & Sauna

guided by Frederik (he/him)

Sat 30 Dec, 12:30 – 16:00 @ Lago Gent or join the group leaving together at meeting point (TBA)

! Counts as only 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Prepare to unwind and rejuvenate amidst the festival’s bustling. Join us in Ghent’s biggest swimming paradise and spa. What better combination of swinging at night and swimming and body relaxation during the day.

At Lago you will find 3 waterslides, a wave pool, outdoor pool, water & air massages, 3 sauna’s, olympic sports bad and much more.

What to bring:

  • swimwear
  • towel(s)
  • Flip-flops or comfortable pool shoes
  • Valid ID (no driving licence)

Location info:

Lago Gent

address: Victor Braeckmanlaan 180, 9040 Gent

Bus 17 or 18 (from Dampoort towards Oostakker) to ‘Sint Amandsberg-Jef Crickstraat’ Or 38, 39, 70, 76, 77 to ‘Sint-Amandsberg Dienstencentrum’

Everybody Leads Everybody Follows / Introduction (couple class)

with Rein Robberecht (she/her) & Johanna Schwerzler (she/her)

Sat 30 Dec, 10:30 – 11:30 @ Expeditie

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Expose yourself to the world of Everybody Leads Everybody Follows. Do you want to try to dance the other role – but never had the opportunity? This is it! For everyone curious about what a new role can bring to your dancing. We will explore basic concepts and most of all, dance a lot!

African Dance

with Belo Fanck (he/him)

Sat 30 Dec, 11:45 – 12:45 @ Expeditie

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Belo Fanck, composer, interpreter, choreographer and dancer of Angolan nationality will introduce you to a dance full of expression.

Dance is an ancestral art that occupies a predominant place in the culture of many countries on the African continent. A genuine means of bodily expression, it enables dancers to dance to frenzied rhythms that convey a sense of energy. Every region, every country, every ethnic group has its own dances and rhythms, handed down from generation to generation. Beyond its artistic dimension, African dance also has a social and spiritual character.

Join Belo in this workshop to explore a mix of different rhythms and styles, Jazz, Funk, Kuduro, Kwaito, Samba….

“Danse Sauvage”: Josephine Baker’s Black Bottom

with Natalya Borisenko (she/her)

Sat 30 Dec, 13:00 – 14:00 @ Expeditie

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

The routine inspired by her famous performances in Europe from 1925 to 1927. In this class, we explore African American heritage in dance, delve into Josephine’s life and personality, and learn the movements while seeking our own unique personal dance expression. It’s an energetic class with eccentric vibes.

Lovers Rock (solo club)

with Trisha Sewell (she/her)

Sat 30 Dec, 13:00 – 14:00 @ Danspunt

Counts as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

Lovers Rock – the sound of a Black British Blues experience. Come celebrate an expressive art form created by a vibrant and energetic Jamaican immigrant culture when disengaged from its hostile environment. You will be introduced to the sensual sounds of romantic ballads. Here you will explore how to move your body to a soundtrack of hopes and dreams. Be prepared to feel liberated, connect with a spiritual nakedness and permit yourself to break free from any inhibitions!

Dancing with all bodies

with Michael Ghysels (he/him) and Sep Vermeersch (he/him)

Sat 30 Dec, 14:15 – 16:15 @ Danspunt

Counts as 2 Pick ‘n’ Mix hours

In this workshop Michael & Sep will invite you to explore how to dance with ‘all bodies’. Together we’ll explore tricks and tips to be able to share a beautiful exchange between two people that have different needs or have limits we maybe don’t know about. Expect tricks and tips, technical practice, working on attitude and communication. A great workshop to become more versatile and create a more welcoming space for different bodies.

topical talks

Building Connections

Led by Kelly Isaac with multiple facilitators

Sat 30 Dec 14:30 – 16:15 @ Wisper music studio

! counts as only 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour

This Topical Talk will focus on our participants of the African diaspora/ African descent. We’d like to expand on our journey of finding our identity and voice within ourselves and how we can bring that to the Lindy hop community.

Fast Answers to your Questions

I did not add (enough) Pick ‘n’ Mix hours, what to do?

No worries, you can add (more) Pick ‘n’ Mix hours to your pass or ticket at €14 per hour. Access your account through the registration page.


How many hours should I add?

The full Pick ‘n’ Mix program with details about the timing is below. Have a look so you don’t double book yourself. Here’s a guideline:

  • up tot 3 hours in total is ideal for people who take tracks or just want to chill out
  • up to 7 hours is recommended for Festival pass holders. This will complement your program nicely
  • 8 to 10 hours = warrior zone! For those with tons of energy


Do I need to select the activities I want to do when buying the hours now?

Nope. At the festival, you will be able to sign up for a specific activity the night before.

This way, we avoid overcrowded activities and maintain the balance between leader and followers for dance-related workshops.

For now, it’s just a matter of how many hours you’d like. The program (subject to change) can help you make that decision.


Are all activities counted as Pick ‘n’ Mix ‘hours’?

Most activities take 1 or 2 hours, for which you pay Pick ‘n’ Mix hours accordingly.

However, we have an exception for the following activities:

  • Topical Talks last 1,5 hours or longer, but we count these as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour
  • Ghent Exploration activities last an afternoon (often between 1 and 4pm, depending on the activity), but we counts these as 1 Pick ‘n’ Mix hour