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Learning to dance is fundamentally about learning how to move your body to music and interacting with another human being in partner dancing. Many dancers find it helpful to take classes to build their understanding of the dance as well as their vocabulary.

CURRICULUM TRACKS

Our class syllabus is organized into a Beginners track, a Social Dancers track, a Technical track, an Elective track, and a Balboa track.

BEGINNERS TRACK

The Beginners Track answers the question: “What is Swing Dance?”

Come learn the Lindy Hop! This grandfather of all swing dances is fun, creative, and addicting. Progressive material over the course of the month will get you up and dancing at our weekly parties in no time.

PRE-REQUISITES: No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

FORMAT: There are four months of distinct curriculum mixing 8ct/6ct, 8ct/charleston, 6ct/8ct, and 6ct/charleston. The first rhythm refers to the main focus of instruction, while the second might only be taught in “shapes” rather than a deep dive.

  • Beginning Swing A: 8-count & 6-count
  • Beginning Swing B: 8-count & Charleston
  • Beginning Swing C: 6-count & Charleston
  • Beginning Swing D: 6-count & 8-count

SOCIAL DANCERS TRACK

The Social Dancers Track is a place where dancers with the basic idea of swing dancing come and learn a wide breadth of vocabulary, social dance skills, and perspectives on what constitutes an active, challenged, ever-curious community of dancers who respect each others’ journeys and their own.

These lessons are meant to be taken over and over by (a) providing a bare minimum of required material each month which is customized by instructors through “add-on material”, and (b) offering four months of completely custom content according to each teaching pair’s idea of what is essential to a social dancer.

PRE-REQUISITES: Beginners’ Track or equivalent experience.

FORMAT: Two “vocabulary” months with a minimum of required material will be followed by one “open” month of completely custom material, giving students 8 vocabulary months and 4 open months each year.

Social Dancers - Month A: Kick It With Us

Build or hone your Charleston skills with these fundamental moves: side-by-side basic step, kick-thru Charleston, hand-to-hand Charleston, Charleston turns, kick-up's. Plus, bonus Charleston material hand-picked by our instructors!

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Social Dancers - Month B: Sweet Moves

Take the train to Candyland for sugar pushes and 6-count circles that will delight your senses. We will play with conceptions of stretch and compression and quick turnarounds with custom move selections by our instructors!

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Social Dancers - Month C: Turn of the Swing-tury

Anyone who's done a swingout knows that the "catch" is one our most pivotal moments. Make this moment clear and comfortable by mastering fancy inside and outside turns from the swingout, along with side and forward releases, plus custom content handpicked by our instructors.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Social Dancers - Month D: Flashy Kicks

Kick your usual dancing to the curb! This class will cover tandem Charleston figures, Charleston turns, and putting kick-steps into just about everything. Plus! Custom content handpicked by our instructors.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Social Dancers - Month E: It's All Swing to Me

Many beginners are surprised when they find out that Lindy Hop, and the modern swing dance floor in general, is full of different rhythms, patterns, and even dances, coexisting to the same swinging music. How do these diverse flavors help us express ourselves in jazz? What's the difference between eight-count and six-count? How do we transition well between them? And what does it mean to be "musical" anyway? Answers to all of these and others hand-picked by our instructors!

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Social Dancers - Month F: All About Swingouts

The classic move of Lindy Hop, broken down to its most essential forms, plus fun stylings and footwork variations to spice them up!

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

TECHNICAL TRACK

The Technical Track is designed for students who want to dwell into the nitty gritty details of the dance: partnership, connection, stretch, flow, momentum, micro and macro musicality, the utility of the footwork and its intricacies, the importance of movement. Students must be open to learning “advanced” concepts.

PRE-REQUISITES: Beginners Track or equivalent experience.

FORMAT: Class topics are all teachers’ choice.

Technical - Better Together

When truly delightful moments happen on the dance floor, we think it's magic, but in reality these dancers have worked hard on prioritizing partnership and play through buildable skills. This class explores how connective, attentive partnering can take your dancing to the next level and open up worlds of creativity you never could have accessed alone.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - Consistency

Be prepared to drill! This class will be all about managing your posture and pulse and creating a solid foundation for your dance. This opens up the possibility for more subtle and distinctive leading and following.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - Dynamic Connection / Stretch and Compression

Come add a new dimension to your dancing and connection; tension and compression. From gooey to springy, this additional technique will produce giggle-inducing swingouts, allow you to savor your 7&8, and grant you delicious sugar pushes.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - Flow and Momentum

When everything feels right, leaders and followers feel comfortable playing off each other by directing and redirecting energy and momentum. In this class, we will help you explore this flow and share a few ways to incorporate it into your dancing.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - Get Nerdy With Duration

In this class we'll dig into duration, exploring how we can follow and lead common moves in new relationships to time. We'll focus on clear communication of rhythm and intent, and make our dancing more musical in the process.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - How to Choreo

Choreographing your own routines teaches you to access your creativity and collaborate with the creative visions of your teammates. Our instructors come with tips and tricks and exercises to put your dreams into practice. Come set a goal to perform in our Annual 30-Second Showcase or just come to learn new skills. All levels welcome!

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - Keeping it Grounded

In Lindy Hop, there are 2 physical connections you make during each dance; one is with your partner and the other is with the dance floor. This month we will focus on settling into our footwork and using the ground to our advantage in order to create a stronger partnered connection. From fundamentals like pulse and balance to more advanced movements, expect to be challenged as we take a look at your Lindy Hop from the ground up!

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - New directions for your Lindy Hop

Looking for some new directions or orientations in your Lindy? We will dig into the details of side by side vs tandem vs facing connection with both triples and kick steps. We will discuss classic and unique variations that use these and how to make them feel great!

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - Step-by-Step Communication

Learn what it takes to communicate at the fundamental unit of dance: a single step. This month you'll learn how to tell the difference between single steps and triple steps, have a relaxed and clear frame, and how to use small pieces to build up unique moves. This class will be taught in an everybody leads, everybody follows format.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - Stretch and Compression

Proper stretch and compression should feel gooey and comfortable! Learn to use two of Lindy Hop's unique and powerful tools safely, effectively, and to have fun with your partner.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - Super Secret Ninja Follow

Welcome to the advanced art of following. We will learn to recognize, imitate, and respond to common lead communications. We will cultivate the musculature, balance, and control necessary to carry out any mission. We will become an elite squad of...wait, no, that's a tv series. This is not a switch class; we do not need leads for "balance". Only those willing to dive into the mindset of following should enroll.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Technical - Turns 'n Flow

Get your turns on point! This class will be a *turning* point for your spinning technique! Explore how to maintain the flow of the dance while leading/following patterns that involve turns, and practice nonverbal dance cues that help you and your partner create a smooth, fluid dance together.

PRE-REQUISITES: All 4 months of Beginners Track or equivalent experience. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

ELECTIVE TRACK

The elective category includes class topics that do not quite fit into the other levels such as solo Jazz, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, tap, classic routines (shim-sham, Tranky Doo, the Big Apple), blues… The pre-requisites for a class series vary by topic.

Elective focuses on developing other aspects of a dancer’s knowledge, to make one a more round dancer. Personal body movement through solo Jazz and tap, learning other swing area dances, learning choreography.

Elective - Al & Leon Shim Sham (solo jazz)

The most famous version of the Shim Sham was widely taught by the Ambassador of Swing himself, Frankie Manning. But there are many variations of this popular routine that will stretch your creativity and technical skill! Best of all, it can be done without a partner, and to the same songs as other shim shams, so there are plenty of opportunities to practice on the social dance floor! This month, we'll be decoding the Al Minns and Leon James Shim Sham.

PRE-REQUISITES: Having completed 4 months of Level 1. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Elective - Body Movin'

Like a spoken word poet or hip hop rapper, the true beauty and skill of improvised solo jazz comes not from staid, neutral steps, but from your own, unique FLOW that allows you to choose from a variety of movements at any given moment. This class will encourage you to think about your momentum, body shape, and natural movement to hone your skills as an improvisational solo jazz artist.

PRE-REQUISITES: Minimum completion of 3 months of Level 1. No partner required, just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Elective - California Flight School (PARTNER REQUIRED)

Prepare to soar! Fly with us and learn classic and dynamic airsteps such the Pancake and Lindy Flip. The class progresses from basic concepts of basing and flying, with an emphasis on safety and fun. These are the aerials for the California Routine, so this series integrates seamlessly with the Level 3 California Routine performance class; take both series to learn the ultimate Routine!

Note for those who took the Flight Academy classes last summer: this course will cover different aerials.

PRE-REQUISITES: Partner required, as you'll be working as a team together for the full series. Any combination of guys and gals are fine. Clothing should be comfortable, with no large buckles or other hard objects; bases and flyers should both wear level sole shoes (no heels please). We'll cover more details in the first class. No dance experience needed, but a sense of adventure required:) See you on the tarmac!

Elective - Dean Collins shim-sham (solo jazz)

Want to level up your shim sham? Learn this slidey, smooth, syncopated version by that old-time So-Cal dancer, Dean Collins. You will not only learn a new version to rock on the dance floor, but also investigate variations that you can add independently to your own movement, whether social or solo.

PRE-REQUISITES: Familiarity with the "basic" shim-sham routine and/or experience with solo jazz movement recommended.

Elective - Fluid Movement

Swing dance can be powerful and explosive, or sharp and defined, but by far the most felicitous connection comes from smoothing the edges of your movement until there's little boundary between you and me, follow and lead, your ideas and my ideas. Come and work on creating a solid foundation of movement that will both improve your most basic triple-step and also give you the body awareness to build complex rhythms and patterns of your own.

PRE-REQUISITES: 8-count and 6-count basics, swingout, inside/outside turns, understanding of stretch, compression, relaxed connection, pulse.

Elective - Fundamentals of Tap Dancing

The origins of tap dancing are deeply intertwined with the birth of Lindy Hop. Learning tap dancing is a great way to experiment with new ideas in your social dancing, and explore another genre of black vernacular dance from the swing era. In this class, we’ll build up your tap-dancing vocabulary with foundational steps, rhythms, and shapes, applying and reinforcing the new movements through a fun and simple routine.

PRE-REQUISITES: No previous tap knowledge required. Do not bring tap shoes; comfortable shoes with a hard sole are preferable. Bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Elective - Introduction to Air Steps

Flight Academy, class of 2015! Time to soar from the deck and fly high! In this elective series, you'll be trained from the ground up to be pilots and flyers with super fun, flashy, and safe lifts and aerials for swing or other dances. We'll build from solid fundamentals to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable. Top Gun ain't got nothin' on you all after this series, get ready for some action!

PRE-REQUISITES: Partner required, as you'll be working as a team together for the whole series! Any combination of guys and gals are fine. Clothing should be comfortable, with no large buckles or other hard objects; bases and flyers should both wear level sole shoes (no heels please). No dance experience needed, but a sense of adventure required:) See you on the tarmac!

Elective - Introduction to St. Louis Shag

St. Louis Shag is a rhythmic, high energy swing-era dance that has been rapidly gaining devotees in the modern, global swing dance scene. Originating from the rebellious youth of St. Louis in the 1930’s, it is characterized by a bouncy pulse and quick triple steps. This class will introduce the fundamental technique and shapes of St. Louis Shag, as well as ways to incorporate these movements into other partner dances. Learn more about the history of St. Louis Shag here.

PRE-REQUISITES: Some partnered swing dance experience preferred. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Elective - Jam Steals

Learn to steal like Bonnie and Clyde! This month, Richard and Margot will show you some fun and flashy moves to break into your next steal jam -- burlap bag and stripey tee not required.

PRE-REQUISITES: This series is for intermediate level dancers and above; you'll need to be able to dance a variety of standard 6 & 8 count patterns in both Lindy and Charleston to get the most out of this class. No partner required, just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Elective - Jazz Up your Partnered Basics

They say you must learn to play by yourself before you play with others, so how do you make that jump to partnered playtime? This class will teach you new solo jazz moves for every level of learner and also how to execute them in slick partnered moves. Adding jazz roots to your movement will make any partnered dance more fun, authentic, and playful!

PRE-REQUISITES: Having completed 3 months of Level 2. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes.

Elective - Solo Jazz

Solo jazz is a great way to expand your repertoire of expression in your dancing! Come build on your basic solo steps within a short routine, and work on creativity, rhythm, and personal expression. At the end of the month, you'll have an optional opportunity to perform the routine!

PRE-REQUISITES: None. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Elective - The Shim Sham (solo jazz)

Everybody SHIM SHAM! More popularly known as the tap dancer's anthem, swing dance ambassador, Frankie Manning, is well known for instilling a non-tap version in the lindy hop community. Play a proper song in any dance venue in the world, and you'll see dancers of all levels break apart to perform this iconic solo routine.  We'll cover the ENTIRE ROUTINE in one fun, intensive session.

PRE-REQUISITES: Having completed 3 months of Level 1. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Elective - The Trickeration (solo jazz)

Not just a jazz move, the "Trickeration" solo jazz routine is rhythmically challenging and exciting. The Queen of Swing, Norma Miller, used it to audition candidates for her professional jazz troupe, the Jazz Men, and separate the wheat from the chaff. Come learn a routine that will inspire your musical understanding and quality of movement.

PRE-REQUISITES: Basic solo jazz (like the shim-sham).

Elective - Tranky Doo (solo jazz)

The Tranky Doo, a fun and rhythmic line dance performed often to Ella Fitzgerald's recording of Dipsy Doodle, is the perfect step up from your Shim Sham days. Come learn new solo jazz steps, riff on variations, and learn how this dynamic routine fits many of our favorite songs.

PRE-REQUISITES: None. No partner required, just bring comfy shoes and your enthusiasm!

Elective - Vintage Movement

Celebrate African-American history this month by taking a dive into the vintage dance scene of the early 1900's. Our expert panel of instructors will teach a new dance each week to help you understand the origins and siblings of Lindy Hop at the start of the Jazz Age, including Blues, Charleston, and Solo Jazz.

PRE-REQUISITES: This series is for intermediate level dancers and above; you'll need to be able to dance a variety of standard 6 & 8 count patterns in both Lindy and Charleston to get the most out of this class. No partner required, just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

BALBOA TRACK

Balboa A1 – Pure Bal Foundations

Starting with the chest to chest pure balboa foundation, we'll show you the moves and techniques that make balboa a unique and fun swing dance! We'll cover proper posture and connection, ad-lib steps, and footwork variations, as well as transitions to bal-swing basics. IN THIS CLASS EVERYONE WILL LEARN TO BOTH LEAD AND FOLLOW.

PRE-REQUISITES: 3 months of Level 1 and/or previous Balboa experience recommended. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Balboa A2 – Pure Bal Improvisations (ELEF)

Continuing with Pure Balboa, we'll show you how to play in a secure chest-to-chest connection with serpentines, crosses, hangmans, and advanced footwork styling. We'll also continue with transitions in and out of bal-swing basics. IN THIS CLASS EVERYONE WILL LEARN TO BOTH LEAD AND FOLLOW.

PRE-REQUISITES: Balboa Pure Bal Foundations or familiarity with downhold/uphold rhythms, scoots, paddles, progressives, comearounds, out n ins. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Balboa B1 - Bal-Swing Fundamentals

Learn how the rotational energy of Balboa and Bal-Swing can propel you into the classic moves of the era, including lollies and toss-outs.

PRE-REQUISITES: None. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Balboa B1 - Bal-Swing Fundamentals (ELEF)

Come learn the spins and flow of balboa the ELEF way. Everyone Leads, Everyone Follows is an excellent way to master body movement and build empathy for both roles in the dance and is particularly suited for balboa! Basics, lolly kicks, and out and ins will be broken down for beginners, as well as transitions between all of those. In addition, working through both roles is productive for those who have danced balboa for years.

PRE-REQUISITES: None. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Balboa B2 - Bal-Swing Comes Back Around

Ready to twist? This class will utilize your rotational fundamentals to harness energy between partners and send you back and forth and around again!

PRE-REQUISITES: Bal-Swing Fundamentals, OR must be competent in up-holds, down-holds, ad-lib steps, lollies, tossouts. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Balboa B2 - Bal-Swing Comes Back Around (ELEF)

Ready to twist? This class will utilize your rotational fundamentals to harness energy between partners and send you back and forth and around again! This series is taught the ELEF way, Everyone Leads and Everyone Follows.

PRE-REQUISITES: Bal-Swing Fundamentals, OR must be competent in up-holds, down-holds, ad-lib steps, lollies, tossouts. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Balboa C1 - Out N In Fundamentals

Come learn balboa, or refine your fundamentals in this foundations class that will go through basic rhythms, patterns and connection. We will cover the primary basic steps in balboa, with a particular emphasis on linear bal-swing movements, out and in's, crossovers, and promenade. Come learn the art of walking with a partner, with style!

PRE-REQUISITES: None. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

Balboa C2 - In N Out Secret Menu

In Balboa, the secret menu is where you can really customize what you want from your dance. Using the solid out 'n in fundamentals from the previous class, you will learn to mix in more complexity to your patterns and explore creativity to the music.

PRE-REQUISITES: Balboa C1 or must be comfortable with a pure balboa basic, out n ins, lolly kicks. No partner required; just bring your enthusiasm and comfortable clothes!

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