New to swing dancing? Here's what you need to know to get started!
Swing dancing is a category, not a single dance. Similar to how ballroom includes waltz and foxtrot, and latin includes salsa and bachata, swing includes many different styles. We offer many of these at our studio.
If you're starting fresh and are interested in taking lessons, we have 6-week series in several styles that have beginner-level options:
- Swing 1 (lindy hop)
- West coast swing 1
If you're looking for help deciding you can read our description of swing dancing styles, or email us if we can help. To get started you can see lessons in our studio calendar, or view our upcoming sessions.
If you're not ready to jump into lessons yet, come out to a dance instead to try things out! All our dances are preceded by a drop-in beginner lesson included in the ticket price. This is a great way to get your feet wet with one style or another. Just check out our studio calendar to see what's coming up. Our regular dances include:
- Our weekly swing / lindy hop dance: Monday Night Swing
- Our monthly west coast swing dance, 1 Saturday a month
- Our monthly blues dance, 1 Saturday a month
What to expect
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 to wear heels or to use bare feet, although socks can be ok). There's no formal attired needed or expected. Bring a water bottle too if you want! It's a good idea to show up about 10 minutes early to your first class so that you have time to sign in and get ready.
Partnered swing dancing is role-based, with one person being the lead and the other the follow. People stereotypically associate the lead with a male partner and follow with a female partner, however this doesn't need to be the case at all. 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.
Swing dancing is a social and improvised dance. It's not based on set sequences that you need to prepare ahead of time with a partner. Rather, we learn the physical communication needed to allow partners to improvise together along with the music, whether the partners have danced together before or not. Typically dancers will do this by combining familiar moves (turns, passes, etc) in whatever order and combination they feel like in the moment. Dancing in this way is similar to speaking a language: if two people know English they can communicate with each other even if they've never met before, if some of the words they know are different, or if they have different accents.