What is Swing dancing?
Swing is the name of a genre of dancing, which encompasses several styles – it is not a dance in and of itself. Similar to how Ballroom dancing includes waltz and foxtrot, and Latin dancing includes salsa and bachata, Swing dancing includes many different individual styles. These include Lindy Hop, East Coast, West Coast, Charleston, Balboa, Blues, and more!
Swing dancing is a social and improvised dance. It’s not a set of moves performed in a sequence that you need to prepare ahead of time with a partner. Instead, we all learn the techniques needed for leaders to signal to their followers what their intentions are, whether the partners have danced together before or not. For example, when a leader has their hand on a follower’s back, they use that hand to guide the follower in different ways, depending what move the leader decides to do at any given moment, and the follower pays attention to what the leader is trying to communicate with that hand movement. Dancing in this way is similar to speaking a language: one person speaks, the other person listens and responds.
Partnered swing dancing is role-based, with one person being the lead and the other the follow. People stereotypically associate the lead role with men and the follow role with women, but we don’t subscribe to traditional gender roles, so anyone can be a lead and anyone can be a follow! The lead’s goal is to initiate or suggest moves (for example, initiating an outside turn), and the follow’s goal is to react and respond.
How do I get started?
If you’re starting fresh and have never tried any kind of swing dancing before, you might want to try coming to one of our Monday night social dances and doing a 30-minute Beginner lesson. This is a great way to dip your toes into Swing without a big time commitment or cost. You can find out when our next Monday night dance will be on THIS page.
If you’re ready to take a 6-week set of lessons, to get a solid grasp on the concepts and build on what you learn each week, sign up for our Lindy Hop 1 course on THIS page. Special Bonus – all students currently attending the Lindy Hop 1 course get into each Monday night dance during that 6 weeks FOR FREE!
What should I bring?
There’s no partner or experience required to come out to our lessons and dances. Just wear comfortable clothes and bring a pair of indoor shoes that you can walk and pivot in. We recommend not wearing heels or just bare feet, although socks can be okay. Bring a water bottle too, since we often work up a sweat when dancing, or you purchase bottled water at the studio for $1.00 each. It’s a good idea to show up about 10-15 minutes early to your first class so that you have time to sign in and get ready.