Modern swing dancing is fun, sexy, exciting, silly, romantic, wild, energetic, passionate, and, with the right teachers, easy enough that YOU can do it!
What We do Here at SwingCville
SwingCville is a group that specializes in Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, Charleston, Balboa, and Blues. You also might have heard the term “Jitterbug” before – that’s the same thing as Lindy Hop or East Coast Swing. These are all dances from the 1920’s through the 1940’s. We (mostly) listen to traditional swing and jazz music from the same era. We hold weekly and monthly lessons and dances, plus a few special yearly events. If that all sounds like fun to you, you’re in the right place!
If you’re not familiar with these dance styles, check out our About Swing Dancing page, which includes videos and history of each dance style.
If you want to see what our lessons are like, check out the video recaps on our Lesson Archive.
I’m Ready to Get Started!
We recommend the following schedule to help get you on the floor and having fun as soon as possible:
- Swing 101 Lessons – Swing 101 lessons run from 8:00-8:45pm every Wednesday. We usually teach basic 6-count swing. Following lessons, we have 75 minutes of social dancing from 8:45-10:00pm. For the first 15 minutes of social dancing (8:45-9:00), all of the evening’s instructors will be available for Q&A. The absolute best way to learn to dance is to get on the floor and rock out! It’s also a great time to get to know your fellow dancers. Cats Corner is only $5/week, which covers both the 101 lesson and the social dance. For more information, visit our Cats Corner page.
- The Cville Savoy Social Dance – Our famous 4th Saturday dance has been going strong since 2009. Named after the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, NY, this dance offers two hours of social dancing. We often invite dancers from Richmond, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, and other nearby dance scenes. The Savoy beginner lesson runs from 7:30-8:30pm. This lesson does not build on any of our other lessons — it’s a ground-up class for novices. Just looking for a taste of swing dancing to see if it’s something you’re interested in? Or did you do it years ago and just need a quick refresher? This is the lesson for you! No experience or partner required.The dance runs from 8:30-10:30pm, and we like to hit the town together once we close up shop. Light refreshments are provided at the dance. The Savoy is only $10 (including the beginner lesson). For more information, visit our Cville Savoy page!
- Cat’s Corner Lessons – After you’ve been through a few 101 lessons and spent time social dancing, you’re ready for one of our Cat’s Corner lesson series. Students register for four weeks of lessons and instructors build on concepts week to week throughout the month. This offers students a chance to explore concepts more advanced than those covered in 101. Each month we start a new lesson series with a new topic. For more information and to see this year’s Cat’s Corner schedule, visit our Cats Corner page!
- Do I need a partner?
- No! Most people come without a partner. Lindy Hop is a social dance and the expectation is that everyone dances with everyone. In our lessons, we rotate partners every few minutes so students can meet everyone and practice dancing with different partners. We encourage dancing with as many partners as possible to improve your skills!
- Do you do Jitterbug? Or West Coast? Or Lindy? Or…
- Here are SwingCville, we do the dances that were popular in the 1920’s-40’s, namely Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, 6-Count Swing, and Blues. Jitterbug is an older word that basically means the same thing as 6-Count and/or Lindy Hop, so yes, we do that! West Coast Swing is a dance that came after the swing era, and we don’t usually do that here at SwingCville. If you are interested in West Coast Swing, you might be looking for our friends at the similarly named Charlottesville Swing Dance Society.
- What should I wear?
- Wear something comfortable that you can move in! Some people get gussied up with a light dress or a shirt and tie, while some people show up in jeans and a t-shirt. Just remember that you will be dancing with other people, so make sure that your shirt is clean, and pack an extra (or two) in case it gets hot. Wear comfortable, flat-soled shoes. You do not need to go out and purchase new dance shoes, but we do recommend that beginners stay away from high heels or soles with a lot of tread. On the rare occasions that we have a band playing for the Cville Savoy, semiformal-ish attire is suggested.
- Do I need dance shoes?
- No! While you can go out and buy swing dance shoes (we recommend www.dancestore.com or The Hip Joint downtown), it is not necessary. Try to wear comfortable shoes with a smooth leather or suede sole. Sneakers and sandals will hinder your dancing. If you don’t have leather-soled shoes, a cheap alternative is to stick duct tape on the bottom of an old pair of sneakers or canvas shoes.
- What about dance ettiquette?
- SwingCville is meant to be a safe and fun learning environment, so please be respectful of your fellow dancers. Familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct before coming for the first time. Don’t complain about others’ abilities and don’t correct others while on the social dance floor. Say “thank you” after a dance, especially if it’s a good one! Wear clean clothes and deodorant, and bring an extra shirt or two. Don’t hog the whole dance floor, and try not to bump into other dancers. But if you do, be sure to apologize.
- What is your aerial policy?
- Lifts, drops, and aerials are not permitted at SwingCville unless it is part of a performance or jam with a partner with whom you have practiced those moves. Failure to adhere to this rule could result in banning.
If you have more questions about getting started, feel free to Contact Us.