This is a list of all the classes that we are currently offering. Be sure to check back, since this list gets updated every once in a while! 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 six weeks, you will learn 6-count 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.
We recommend taking Swing 1 first, but if you have previous dance experience then talk to the instructors to see where you fit best. During the six weeks, we will be adding 8-count Lindy Hop to your dance repitoire by giving you core 8-count moves.
We recommend taking Swing 1 and 2 first. This class focuses on overlying principles and concepts present in partner dancing, with an emphasis on transitions from 6-count to 8-count dancing. The goal is to help you become a better lead or follow and to increase your own awareness of your body and how it moves and interacts solo and with a partner.
In Swing 3 we introduce you to the Charleston. We work on side-by-side Charleston placing emphasis on timing, kicking, posture, and clear weight shifting.
You must have completed Swing 3 or an equivalent to take this class. This is a continuation of charleston from Swing 3. In 3.5 we will be focusing on hand-to-hand and tandem charleston movements. Emphasis will be placed on good body alignment and connection.
You must have completed Swing 1 and 2 or an equivalent to take this class. Swing 4 will delve into variations of figures covered in Swing 1 and 2, as well as introduce new figures in both 6- and 8-count dance.
West Coast Swing
This is a one-hour West Coast Swing class intended to teach the basics of the dance. Through this series you will learn to dance west coast swing from the basics on up. By the end of the series you should be able to dance the basics (side passes, sugar-push, and whip) and some variations to a whole song with a variety of partners. No prior experience or partner required.
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.
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. Again, 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 two-hour 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.
Blues Open Level
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 Hep Cats!
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?
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. You need you to feel comfortable with swing outs and your 6-count, as well as with Charleston. 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 fashion 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.
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.