Rhythm City Productions

Intro to Swing

This is my first time taking dance lessons...

Dance Lessons 101

Here are some things it’s helpful to know before your first dance class. You can also check out our FAQ page for more useful information.

Swing

a style of Jazz music, originating in the 1930s with the Big Bands of the Harlem Ballrooms, characterized by a swinging, or syncopated rhythm. Also, dances that are performed to this music. Lindy hop is the original partnered Swing dance, and many dances have evolved out of it, as the music has changed, and as the dances have moved around to different geographic regions and picked up different influences. Jitterbug, Jive, Rock & Roll, Boogie Woogie, West Coast Swing are all off-shoots of Lindy hop. At Rhythm City, we are devoted to Lindy hop and related Vintage Jazz dances, such as group solo dances that were performed socially at ballrooms in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, and continue to be studied and danced today, worldwide.

Lead

the member of a partnered dance who determines the moves danced at any given time. Usually, leads are men, but this is not always the case, and men may lead or follow at any dance setting. The lead initiates the momentum, direction, and flow of the movement of the dance.

Follow

the member of a partnered dance who waits for the direction of the lead, and then executes the move or movement that has been led. Usually, follows are women, but this is not always the case, and women may lead or follow in any dance setting. The follow dances the moves determined by the lead, but may do so in his or her own particular way, using his or her own style and flair.

Rotation

what happens in most dance classes, where leads and follows change partners every few times we try a move, so that every follow dances with every lead. This is the best way to improve your connection (lead and follow) skills, as you learn a lot from how different partners lead or follow, and how different partners respond to your execution of a move.

About half of the people registering for Swing 1 classes sign up alone; some sign up with a friend who dances the same role (i.e., two follows signing up together), and some sign up with a partner. Whether you come alone or with a friend or partner, we recommend rotating in every class to avoid picking up and cementing the habits you develop dancing with just one person.

We advocate rotating in our beginner classes, because it is a helpful learning tool, and because it helps to establish and nurture a community of positive students sharing in a group learning environment. Our priority is a community of Swing dancers who mix, mingle, and participate in a joyful dance scene. We do recognize that not everyone takes classes for that reason, however, and if you registered with a partner with whom you would prefer to stay throughout the class, you may do so.

For questions about levels, history of the dance, what to wear, and what music to get, see our FAQ page.

Posted in: This is my first time taking dance lessons...

Registration for fall classes opens in early August. Space is limited, so check back soon!

Beginning Swing Lessons are designed to get you out on the dance floor and having fun immediately. The Thursday Swing 1 class is followed by the weekly swing dance, Rhythm City Strut. It's free for Swing 1 and 2 students!

Each series is 4 weeks of 1 hr classes.

Cost:

  • $48 for one series
  • $80 for two series
  • $120 for all three.

Duo Deal: sign up for one series with a friend and pay $80 together.

Note: We advocate rotating in our beginner classes, because it is a helpful learning tool, and because it helps to establish and nurture a community of positive students sharing in a group learning environment. Our priority is a community of Swing dancers who mix, mingle, and participate in a joyful dance scene. We do recognize that not everyone takes classes for that reason, however, so if you prefer not to rotate, you may register for the Saturday classes and register with a partner with whom you would prefer to stay throughout the class. See also Dance Lessons 101 link above for more discussion of the benefits of mixing in social dance settings.

Swing 1: Intro to 6-count

We start with an introduction to partner dance technique and 6-count swing dance basic steps, and we put them together so you can enjoy the dance and the music with any partner! No partner required to register.

Swing 1

    • Thursdays 8-9pm at St Michaels Hall, 2474 Prince Edward Street
      • August 7 to 28
      • September 4 to 25
      • October 2 to 23
      • October 30 to November 20
      • November 27 to December 18
    • Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm at the Ukrainian Hall, 154 East 10th Avenue
      • August 6 to 27
    • Saturdays 6-7pm at the Ukrainian Hall, 154 East 10th Avenue
      • September 6 to 27
      • October 4 to 25
      • November 1 to 22
      • November 29 to December 20

Swing 2: Charleston & Swinging out

We introduce 8-count basic steps and patterns, as well as Charleston basics and variations. You'll be kicking and swinging out like it's 1939!

Swing 2

    • Thursdays 7-8pm at St Michaels Hall, 2474 Prince Edward Street
      • August 7 to 28
      • September 4 to 25
      • October 2 to 23
      • October 30 to November 20
      • November 27 to December 18
    • Wednesdays 7:30-8:30pm at the Ukrainian Hall, 154 East 10th Avenue
      • August 6 to 27
    • Saturdays 6-7pm at the Ukrainian Hall, 154 East 10th Avenue
      • September 6 to 27
      • October 4 to 25
      • November 1 to 22
      • November 29 to December 20

Swing 3: Beyond the Basics

We add on some more moves, but mostly we play with what we've got, reviewing, putting it all together, and exploring transition possibilities, so you've got more than a bunch of moves; you've got a dance!

Swing 3

  • Thursdays, 8-9pm at the Ukrainian Hall, 154 East 10th Avenue 
    • August 7 to 28