These are the descriptions for all the classes that we offer or have done in the past. If you're interested in something on this list, but don't see it in the schedule, let us know! We might be able to work it into an upcoming session.
If you have never danced before, or want to gain a better understanding of the basic movements, this class is designed for you! In just a few weeks, you will learn 6-count lindy hop swing (also called east coast swing) with plenty of moves to get you through a whole song out on the dance floor. If you have already taken this class, we encourage you to revisit your basics or learn them from the opposite role. For example, if you were a lead, learn how to follow.
During this session, we will work through the fundamentals of 8-count lindy hop swing. The material is built around the "swingout", the cornerstone movement of the lindy hop dance, which transitions the partners between open and closed positions.
This session builds on the previous ones by increasing your repertoire and starting to look at transitions between 6-count and 8-count movements. As we add to your list of moves we bring more focus to the underlying principles of partner dancing such as connection, momentum, and timing. Swing 3 will help you become a better lead or follow and begin increasing your own awareness of your body and how it moves and interacts solo and with a partner.
Swing 4 sessions are intermediate/advanced level topics that may vary depending on the particular session and the needs of the students in that class. We will generally delve into movement variations and combinations, mixing lindy hop and charleston, and more advanced understanding of connection and body dynamics.
Charleston 1 uses the partner dancing skills you learnt in Swing 1 to introduce you to a different style of swing dancing: partnered charleston. We work on side-by-side charleston, placing emphasis on timing, kicking, posture, and clear weight shifting. This session will give you a good selection of movements, to help you get through those faster songs where lindy hop might not be as comfortable.
This session is a continuation of Charleston 1. We will be focusing on hand-to-hand and tandem charleston movements, opening the door to many different directions and combinations, while continuing to work on good body alignment, compression, and stretch.
Refine your ability to express yourself through dance - without a partner! In this class, we'll explore some iconic solo moves from the jazz era that inspired solo choreographies and partner dancing alike.
In this class, we explore more of the world of 8-count lindy hop - beyond the swingout. We will build off of what you learned in Swing 1 and 2 to add a little more oomph and variety to your dance.
This class allows us to grow and play with our ability to dance either/both lindy hop roles: lead and follow. We will be trying out lots of fun moves and techniques for switching from one role to another during the dance by "stealing the lead/follow". Best for you to be comfortable in the basics of both roles to attend!
Lindy Hop Advanced Topics
This class is geared towards those who have been dancing for at least 1 year and are trying to push ahead their movements and technique. We won't necessarily cover the same material each time, but will be focusing on lindy hop concepts and moves that are more challenging.
Tricks & Dips
An introductory class to dips and simple aerials in lindy hop. No partners needed. In this class we will go over the basics of a variety of different dips and tricks, establishing the foundational principles for how these moves work and how to do them safely. We will introduce the roles of base, flyer, spotter, and discuss the responsibilities of each. There will be an emphasis on accessibility, safety, and clear consent. Come out and learn some fancy moves and flashy ways to end your dances!
This class will be more physically demanding than our regular dance classes. If you find the physical requirements of Swing 1/2 challenging, or you are still working on maintaining good connection in a swingout, this may not be the class for you. However, we encourage people of all body types and levels of physical ability to try this class. This is an introductory level class, and no experience in tricks is required. The moves we will work on are very safe, and we will cover variations to make them as accessible as possible!
West Coast Swing
WCS Solo Movement
Line dancing is a popular and effective way to train west coast swing footwork, balance and styling skills. In this class, we will primarily work through choreography for popular line dances that you see on the social floor. While there is no prerequisite, this is a fast-paced class that is best suited to those with some dance experience.
Strap on your shoes and get ready to have fun! West Coast Swing is an improvisational partner dance that you can break out to just about any musical genre. Before the six-week series is over, you will be up and dancing with different partners, even if it’s your first time taking a class. This is a one-hour West Coast Swing class intended to teach the basics of the dance.
Not needed: a partner, any experience, confidence -- we supply all three!
This is a one-hour West Coast Swing class intended to expand on the basics of the dance. Through this series you will be able to add some variety to your dancing. Along with learning some variations you will also work on some of the connection that makes this dance so enjoyable to do. You must have completed Level 1 with knowledge of the WCS basics and some variations. No partner required.
This is a one-hour West Coast Swing class intended to expand on the basics of the dance. In this series you will begin to work on musicality and communication. The steps and patterns you will learn in this series will allow for some freedom of movement and develop connection with your partner. You must have completed Level 2 or the Open Level class, with knowledge of the WCS basics and some variations.
WCS Open Level
This is a West Coast Swing class that will focus on the fundamental movement skills of the dance. Through this series you will learn how to properly lead movement and connection through stretch, tension, compression, and leverage. Spinning, the differences between turning and being turned, and the use of pivots and chaine turns will also be covered. This is not a steps- or patterns-based class, and is suitable for dancers of all levels (including new beginners with no prior experience). No partner required.
This is an intermediate-level West Coast Swing class intended to focus on the fundamental partnership skills of the dance and introduce more advanced styling and technique. Through this series you will learn how to properly connect through stretch, tension, compression, pressure, and torque. You will also learn mirrored and parallel turns, one-footed spins, as well as how to spin in a stationary vs traveling position with the use of intermediate-level dancer techniques that involve core and contra-body movement. Intermediate-level patterns and anchor variations will also be covered.
You must have completed WCS Level 2 with some knowledge of the WCS basics and some variations. No partner required.
There is no member retake rate available for this class, as content is tailored to the students enrolled in the class and changes each offering.
This is a one-hour West Coast Swing class intended to focus on introducing musicality to your dancing and adapting your movements to different styles of music. Through this series you will be exposed to different elements of musicality, such as modifying the basics steps, quality of movement, and hitting breaks in the music. You must have completed Level 2 with knowledge of the WCS basics and variations. No partner required.
This is a NEW intermediate-level class designed to highlight blues styling within West Coast Swing. Throughout the session you will learn how to incorporate the swung rhythm and pulse, as well as traditional blues footwork and patterns. Distinguishing styling differences between blues, contemporary, and pop WCS musicality will also be explored.
You must have completed WCS Level 2 with some knowledge of the WCS basics and some variations. No partner required.
There is no member retake rate available for this class at this time.
WCS Int Footwork & Styling
WCS Int Patterns
This course is designed to introduce you to - and immerse you in - the playfully creative art and diverse aesthetics of blues dancing. No experience necessary, no partner required: this series is for anyone who wants to get into the blues! During this lesson series, students will develop the basics of the blues dance in its two main genres: the rhythmic, party-dance "juke-joint" style; and its smoother, sophisticated son, "ballroom". Fundamental concepts such as posture, pulse, and partnership will be addressed, followed by featured stylistic elements such as turns, lunges, footwork patterns, and jukin' grooves. Attention will also be paid to concepts such as partner connection, dance-as-conversation, and musicality. With blues music being a predecessor and major influence to much of the popular music of the last 60 years, you will find yourself able to apply the skills learned in this series to dancing far beyond the floor at Hepcats!
Started learning a bit of blues dancing and want to learn more, expand your repertoire, and try some new challenges? This class is for you! Open to anyone who has taken a beginner blues session, including Hepcat's "blues open level" or "blues all welcome" sessions. We'll continue to build on fundamental concepts and explore new movements and patterns.
This class starts to push your dancing further by building on existing concepts and adding some new ideas to think about. Geared towards dancers who have already taken several blues class sessions, or been dancing blues for more than 6 months.
This class welcomes new dancers into the simple joys of juke-joint blues, a gritty and intensely rhythmic genre of dance, grand-daddy to later styles like funk, hip-hop and even swing. In Jukin' 1, students will be introduced to fundamentals of jukin' blues including pulse, posture and partnership. We'll then build on these fundamentals by adding flavour with classic blues "grooves" like the slow drag and the fishtail and work them in to rhythmic turns. Students will also explore ways to dance with partners in a variety of positions including closed, open, breakaway, and promenade. Tie your shoes on tight cuz this class is fixin' to knock your socks off!
Taking off from where Jukin' 1 finished, students will peel back the layers of the deceptively simple juke-joint styles and have a taste of the rich subtlety and rhythmic diversity that they offer. After an introduction to the close embrace position, students will be treated to topics such as isolations and solo movement, groove steps and jig steps, and the importance of patience. This is where the blues gets deep and the deep won't want nothin' but the blues.
In an era when Swing was king, a moderate tempo blues was a welcome opportunity for dancers to slow down, catch their breath... and maybe take someone else's breath away with some smooth and stylish moves! In this class, students will learn how the blues dance fundamentals of pulse, posture and partnership are adapted for a style of dance that walks and strolls rather than rocks and rolls. Step variations and turns will be explored and students will use these to navigate the dance floor with confidence. Students will also experiment with a versatile form of dip: the lunge. Come on out and see what all the fuss is about!
Continuing on from Ballroomin' 1, students will broaden their horizons with an introduction to the close embrace position - ballroom style! Floorcraft techniques, such as tackin' and donuts, will have dancers cruising the floor with fluidity and finesse. Students will also experiment with connection techniques to signal and prepare for weight-sharing and some tango-inspired footwork. Need we say more?
Ballroom Blues (Intermediate)
Delve into the cool rhythms and flowing lines of ballroom blues! This class will focus largely on floorcraft footwork and turns with momentum in the closed and close embrace positions. Other features include the Slow Drag as well as off-track patterns and cross-systems. Skill requirements: some exposure to ballroom styles of blues; comfortable with pulsing during walks of two-count and one-count steps.
Choreography Level 1
In this class we get you up to speed with some of the standard choreographies you see all the time at Hepcats. Makes it way easier to jump in next time the songs play at the next dance you attend!
Shim Sham The Shim Sham Shimmy has a long history as a choreographed dance sequence, starting as a common tap routine from the 1920's and 1930's, and evolving into the sequence of solo jazz steps that is danced by swing dancers today. The Shim Sham is very accessible to dancers of all levels and includes many foundational solo movements like boogie back, tacky annie, and kick-ball-change.
Doin' the Jive Doin’ the Jive is a line dance choreography created by Mike Faltesek, an international dance instructor and musician intent on spreading the love of good old fashioned swing music and dancing to as many people as possible.
Mama Stew The Mama Stew routine is fast and furious and will challenge you to really get up to speed!
The Shim Sham Shimmy has a long history as a choreographed dance sequence, starting as a common tap routine from the 1920's and 1930's, and evolving into the sequence of solo jazz steps that is danced by swing dancers today. The Shim Sham is very accessible to dancers of all levels and includes many foundational solo movements like boogie back, tacky annie, and kick-ball-change.
The routine can be done to several different songs, often Benny Goodman's "Stompin' At The Savoy", or Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra's "The Shim Sham Song".
Swing Out to Victory
Swing Out to Victory is an annual fund raiser for the Canadian War Plane Heritage Museum in Hamilton. Every year dancers from the area gather to dance and perform. Requires Swing 2 or equivalent experience (familiarity with 6 and 8 count patterns, swingouts). No partner required to sign up, we will see who is interested the first day. This class runs leading up to Swing out to Victory, in November.
Dream of You
This class is open to anyone, no previous experience necessary. Dream of You is a choreography from the iconic film Dancing in the Rain.
Doin' the Jive
This class is open to anyone, no previous experience necessary. Doin’ the Jive is a line dance choreography created by Mike Faltesek, an international dance instructor and musician intent on spreading the love of good old fashioned swing music and dancing to as many people as possible.
This class is open to anyone, no previous experience necessary. Jitterbug Stroll is a line dance choreographed by Ryan Francois, an international choreography most notably known for his work on So You Think You Can Dance.
The Big Apple
This class is open to anyone, no previous experience necessary. The Big Apple is one of those classic choreographies danced around the globe.
Inspired by the Rueda de Casino, a particular type of Salsa round dance, the Rueda is a "called" dance. Pairs of dancers form a circle, with dance figures called out by one person. Most figures involve the swapping of partners, where the partners move around the circle to the next partner. The combination of elaborate dance combinations and constant movement of partners create a visually spectacular effect. You need to feel comfortable with swing outs and Swing 2 content.
Ballin' the Jack
This choreography is inspired by another choreography taught at dance camp by Evita Arce. It is a partnered choreography that builds off the concepts from Swing 1 and 2.
he Black Bottom is a dance which became popular across the Continent in the 1920s. Billy Pierce was an African American choreographer and dancer who has been credited with the invention of the Black Bottom dance. It was danced both solo and in partnership. This particular choreography was created by the Dance Jubilee Troupe in the 1950s to demonstrate the key elements of the dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTR6xBeC2xA. It is a fast-paced and energetic dance.
Tap Dancing - Beginner
DJing Swing music is its own skill set. Typically developing after a few years of going to dances, listening to tons of music, and accumulating your own collection of favourites. That said, it is a process that can be put on fast forward if you want it to. This class will help you get started cataloging and categorizing your music library, adding to it, and teaching you how to pick the order you play songs in.
Impact Movement Studios
A full body HITT class to bust every inch of your body. This class is a mix of cardio and toning all in one, no equipment required.
Move your body in new and exciting ways to find your bliss in an all-level vinyasa style yoga class.