New to Swing Dancing? Here's what you can expect:
How long will it take to learn how to swing dance?
Which class should I take first?
What is Vintage Swing Dancing?
Can teenagers or children attend Strictly Swing's classes and dances?
What is the average age of those attending your classes/dances?
Do I need a dance partner?
What about aerials/air steps?
It depends entirely on the person, what their body is accustomed to doing, and how much they practice. The best piece of advice is to stick with it!
Like all other activities that a person does with their body (sports, martial arts, playing an instrument, etc.), learning how to swing dance is all about muscle memory.
As your body repeats certain patterns of movement, you can think more about dancing and less about what your feet are doing. You just need to gauge your progress as you go, practice, attend dances and other events, and take as many classes as necessary until you build the muscle memory to feel comfortable with your abilities and skill set. It is not uncommon for students to repeat a series or take private lessons until they feel confident executing the material without thinking too much.
Do whatever you feel is best for you, your learning style, and your schedule. Take as long as YOU need and enjoy the process!
No. We rotate partners in class. This gives everyone a chance to dance and learn with dancers of various skill levels. You also don't need a partner for the dances, but if you come for the first time, you may want to come with a friend in case you feel overwhelmed in a room full of new people. Don't worry - swing dancers are nice!
I came with a dance partner. Do we need to rotate?
No. Rotating is not required, but it is highly recommended because you can learn with dancers of various skill levels, which helps you learn faster. If you have poor technique and choose not to rotate, you may compensate for your partner's mistakes and develop bad habits. Social dancing will help develop your lead/follow skills.
Yes. Our classes and dances are family friendly, but we encourage those under 18 to attend with a responsible adult.
We have a wide age range at our classes and dances. Roughly, less than 5% are under 18, about 45% are ages 19-39, another 45% are 40-69, while the remaining 5% is 70+. Our youngest student so far was 8, while the oldest was over 70. The dances are family friendly, and there are often of children dancing, while the rest of the dance floor is a mix of those under 40 and those over 40.
Classes are casual so wear comfortable clothing. Shoes, however, are important. If you have a pair of flat-soled dance shoes, wear those. If not, the less traction you have on your shoes, the better (a lot of people like to dance in Toms or Keds). It's also not uncommon for people to learn how to dance in a pair of socks (easier to do turns and spins). Lindy Hop is more conducive to flats or wedges, and we don't recommend heels for ladies unless they're dancing Balboa. There is no dress code for the dances, but the rule of thumb is that people tend to dress up more for a live band (some come dressed in vintage) and dress nice-casual for DJ'd dances.
Aerials are advanced swing dance moves. Please reserve aerials for Jam Circles and special performances ONLY, and do not use them on the social dance floor.
Any of our beginner classes will be a great start as much of the techniques and moves are transferrable to other styles of swing. Students often start with Lindy Hop and Charleston as these are viewed as the "staples", but if you choose beginner Balboa or Collegiate Shag you will also have a solid grasp of swing dance moves and techniques.