GROUP LESSONS are the best way to learn "Leading & Following" because we change partners just like we're at a party or social dance. The result - faster learning and more fun !!
CHECK OUT THE LESSONS BELOW in all levels of Swing at CT, NJ and PA locations near you. Hopefully, there are some lessons at a good time and place for you, your family ( YES, kids are welcome too), and your friends. Adults, motivated kids, singles, couples, ALL ages are welcome !!
EXPERIENCE-WISE, if you're just starting out with swing dancing AND a "never-ever" partner at "touch" dancing, it's best to take BEGINNING JITTERBUG. I believe that it's the easiest to pick up quickly and you probably already have some of the necessary up-tempo music for practicing and dancing. If you have had experience with touch dancing (like the various forms of Ballroom dancing) and especially if you have taken dance lessons in Ballroom, Country Western, Jazz, Ballet, Tap, etc. before, you probably can start with any Beginning class in the styles that I teach.
HUSTLE, LINDY HOP, RETRO SWING, and WEST COAST SWING are best taken after you know how to do some Basic Ballroom or Jitterbug dancing and feel comfortable moving around the floor (both leaders and followers) in a certain number of music beats. It takes "never, ever dancers" a while to get used to the idea of thinking about dancing as moving within a certain number of beats of music in a certain way, i.e., "learning HOW to learn how to dance".
BEYOND THE BEGINNER LEVEL, you'll get the most out of my Intermediate level classes if you know Beginner material cold or have danced it socially for six months to a year. Plus, you can take these intermediate classes over and over to add more and more to your repertoire !
NO PARTNERS ARE NECESSARY because we rotate partners. ALL AGES ARE WELCOME- Singles, Couples, Fathers, Daughters, Mothers, Sons, and all party animals! GUYS (or "LEADS") are especially encouraged to attend.
To get on my FREE MAILING LIST for all my group classes, field trips to local dances or special events, call Jim 1.860.716.5635 (9am-9pm) with your address or e-mail it to Jim@SwingOn.com.
a quick comparison...
All the dance styles below are "partner dances" where you actually get to touch your partner and work as a team ! Ballroom "Buffet" may include different styles of Swing, Waltz, Hustle, or Salsa/Mambo. Swing Dance "Buffet" includes just the major styles of Swing Dancing. In alphabetical order:
HUSTLE basic step is three beat counts and a fast paced dance invented in the 70's, refined for today, and done to music with a continuous beat as heard in most nightclubs.
JITTERBUG is the somewhat bouncy type of swing dancing to 6 beats of music that became popular during the "American Bandstand" era and now is done to music from the 30's to the present.
LINDY HOP is the aerobic dancing done in 8 beats of music you've seen in movies of the 30's and 40's complete with the clothes style and Big Band music of that era.
LINE DANCING can range from the "Electric Slide" at weddings to hundreds of dances for individuals (no partners needed) done to Country-Western music.
MERENGUE consists eight simple walking steps done to 8 beats using a latin hip motion and done to latin music of a faster tempo.
RETRO SWING is the active and free-wheeling blend of Jitterbug & Lindy Hop you see in TV Commercials or movies. It's done to 6 or 8 counts of up-tempo music.
SALSA (or some call it Mambo) a sexy dance using three steps to 4 beats of slow to fast latin music.
WALTZ is the smooth and flowing dance most associate with wedding parties, Fred & Ginger (or other romantic encounters) done in waltz time (1-2-3, repeat).
WEST COAST SWING is the smooth, sensual and theatrical form of Swing Dancing imported from the West Coast, done to 6 or 8 counts of Rhythm & Blues from all eras.
In summary, Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, Merengue and Retro Swing are done in circular patterns while West Coast Swing and Hustle are done with the Follower in a "slot" or "track". Waltz and Salsa can be done in forward and back, side to side or circular patterns roughly in place. Waltz can also progress counter-clockwise around the dance floor.
a more in-depth contrast...
Many Hustle styles came and went since the 1970's. Today's modern and most widespread form of Hustle has evolved into the fast-paced and sexy dance with a basic step to three beats of music. The best swing music has a "syncopated" beat; a downbeat and a backbeat. The best Hustle songs have EVERY beat (all or mostly) equally accentuated. What makes Hustle easy to pick up is that many of your Jitterbug figures can be adapted to a Hustle rhythm. What make Hustle challenging is that you only have 3 beats to execute your figures and that the Leader must think quickly on his feet to plan figures to lead. You and your partner (or one you will meet there) will be able to walk into practically any Club and look totally cool dancing to the latest club mixes. CHECK OUT MY CLASS LOCATOR below for a convenient day & location near you !
Some people call this "Jive", "East Coast Swing", "Bop", "Swing". We call it Jitterbug, the EASIEST of all the regional swing dance styles to pick up quickly - 4 steps, 6 beats. You can use single, double, or triple steps. We use two single steps to start and a "rock step" over 6 beats of music- slow, slow, quick, quick. (See the Short Jitterbug Lesson on Track 6.) Jitterbug is the ultimate party dance because you can use it to dance to all up-tempo music from the 1930's to the present ! If you are a "never ever" partner touch dancer or new to Swing Dancing, Jitterbug is the best place to start your swing dance journey and become the Life of the Party ! CHECK OUT MY CLASS LOCATOR below for a convenient day & location near you !
Some people call this "Lindy" or "Swing". We call it Lindy Hop, the original swing dance done in New York City in the 1930's and 40's. We do it to eight (or sometimes 6) beats of (generally) Big Band music from the 1930's, 40's, 50's. Most of today's regional swing dance styles have evolved from Lindy Hop. Modern Lindy Hop is popular with energetic dancers of all ages and is seen in today's movies (A League of Their Own, The Mask, Malcolm X, Swing Kids, Swingers, etc.), music videos on MTV, VH-1, VH-2 (Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Review, Squirrel Nut Zippers, etc.) and of course The Gap "Khakis" TV commercial !! Unless one of my Lindy Hop classes is named something like "Aerials", "Air Steps", "Dramatic Steps", etc., we probably will not do any risky moves off the dance floor. But it IS aerobic, with some kicks and spins and jumps plus a lot of good clean exuberant FUN ! CHECK OUT MY CLASS LOCATOR below for a convenient day & location near you !
I use this term to refer to today's evolving style among younger Swing Dancers. As I teach it, it becomes a FUN blend of Jitterbug and Lindy Hop - both 6-count and 8-count figures ! For instance, we do some of the 6-count arm slides and free spins from Jitterbug and some of the 6 or 8-count kicks, hops, lifts, freestyle moves away from your partner, and "mini-aerials" (when one or two feet of a partner are off the ground even a little !) typical of Lindy Hop. Retro Swing / Lindy is especially popular in movies (A League of Their Own, The Mask, Malcolm X, Swing Kids, Swingers, etc.), music videos on MTV, VH-1, VH-2 (Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Review, Squirrel Nut Zippers, etc.) and of course The Gap "Khakis" TV commercial !! Unless one of my classes is specifically named something like "Aerials", "Air Steps", "Dramatic Steps", etc., we probably will NOT do anything that most people can't do. CHECK OUT MY CLASS LOCATOR below for a convenient day & location near you !
SALSA / MAMBO
Done to four counts of music with any latin feel, Salsa takes on a really sexy look, even with only a little "Cuban-hip" motion ! The beat is Quick-Quick-Slow and you'll easily feel like you have been transported to an island paradise as we get caught up in the mood. CHECK OUT MY CLASS LOCATOR below for a convenient day & location near you !
For that floating-across-the-floor feeling, try Waltzing ! We use the traditional three step basic (Slow-Quick-Quick) done to three beats of music in waltz time. there is an abundance of music available, both instrumental and vocal, historic (classical) or popular in many styles like Big Band, Cajun, Country Western, and Popular. We start in place - then move it around the dance floor. CHECK OUT MY CLASS LOCATOR below for a convenient day & location near you !
WEST COAST SWING
If you already Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, Retro Swing, or Hustle, now's the time for you to "graduate" to West Coast Swing ! Imported from the west coast in the late 80's, West Coast Swing is one of the hottest swing dances today among Swing Dancers, Country Western Dancers, and Ballroom Dancers. We use a lot of Rhythm & Blues, Blues, or slow Rock 'n Roll and dance in six and eight beat patterns. What most distinguishes West Coast Swing is the smooth, sensual, and sophisticated styling and the slotted nature of the dance (the Follower stays in a track or slot as she passes the Leader back and forth) ! CHECK OUT MY CLASS LOCATOR below for a convenient day & location near you !
in CT: Pick a day to dance !!!
on Mondays --> see WATERTOWN & WILLIMANTIC, CT
on Tuesdays --> see WEST HARTFORD, CT
on Wednesdays --> see WOLCOTT, HEBRON & WEST HARTFORD, CT
on Thursdays --> see WEST HARTFORD, CT
on Fridays --> none scheduled
on Saturdays --> none scheduled
in NJ & PA: see the organizations listed in this link...