Swing Basics encompasses the fundamentals of partnering and swing. We have two main goals in these classes: to get you out dancing, and to give you a solid foundation for future learning. You'll work on swing rhythms, footwork, connection with your partner, and classic vocabulary. You'll learn both 6 and 8 count patterns, master moving together and in opposition, use both closed and open positions, and begin basic turns.
Class topics run on a two month cycle. We recommend taking Swing Basics for four months at a once-a-week pace (or two months twice a week) before considering moving on to a new level. It is normal and encouraged to take class on the same topic more than once. You're building a new skill and learning a new language; it requires time, attention, and repetition. Take it slow!
How Do I Start?
Drop in for a single class on a Tuesday or Friday at 6:30pm, or purchase our special Introductory Offer to kickstart your progress!
Introductory offer - one time only!
4 Swing Basics classes and one admission to the St. Claude Social for $50.
Drop in on a class
Swing Basics run every Tuesday and Friday from 6:30-7:30pm at the Rhythmic Arts Center. Drop in to one this week!
TAKE A COMMUNITY CLASS
Community classes are offered at low cost or for tips. Our Resources page provides an updated list of community classes in and around New Orleans.
What is Swing Dancing?
Swing is a broad term, a genre term, that takes in a fair amount of 20th Century American music and dance. We often use it as a shorthand to mean any social dance done to swing music, including Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, and Collegiate Shag. Some people specialize in a specific swing dance, although it is also common to mix them.
Lindy Hop sits at the head of the swing dance table. It may not be the oldest swing dance, but it looms the largest. Lindy Hop developed in Harlem, New York City in the late 1920s. It was wildly popular for decades and spread across the United States and the world. The dance is characterized by a joy and fervent release that may only be described as infectious. Today, Lindy Hop is again popular and enjoyed by a worldwide community of dancers.
The Charleston was a 1920s American dance craze. But maybe there's a word beyond craze that could describe it better. It is precursor to Lindy Hop and sits near the base of the swing dancing tree. Today, the Charleston is danced as a robust sets of steps with a feeling that is particularly well-suited to a lot of the jazz music we listen to here in the city of New Orleans.