Do I need to have a partner?

No. We rotate often in classes so a partner is not required. If you do have a partner it can be very helpful for practicing outisde of class and at social dances.

Do I have to rotate in class?

No, but it is highly encouraged. Especially if you and your partner are both beginners you will learn faster by feeling different dance connections & rotating with more experienced dancers. If you choose not to rotate just inform your instructor before class begins.

Where can I find cool dance shoes & clothes?

San Diego is home to many cool vintage & thrift stores. Places like Buffalo Exchange & Flashbacks have some great clothes.
Check out our LINKS page (coming soon) to find some online resources as well.

Secrets from the dancers:

Often you hear "if I knew then what I know now" - so here is a top 10 (plus 2) of those for Swing Dancing:

1 - Ask questions in class, if you have a question chances are someont else has it as well.

2 - Ask better dancers to dance - it's scary, but it's the best way to understand the feel of the dance.

3 - Just because someone looks good, it does not mean they feel good - flailing, dynamic dancing has it's time and place but the best dancers are ones where you have a good connection with your partner.

4 - Connection, connection, connection - work with a local professional to understand this concept and seek out classes that focus on 'quality of movement' vs moves.

5 - Learn the Shim Sham and other classic routines - as you start to improve and travel you will realize that many other communities perform these classic dances. It's always fun to join in so be sure to find classes for this. Also, all the moves/figures in solo & partner routines are fantastic resources for your social dancing.

6 - Take a private lesson early and often. Group classes are fun and social but the trick is to do a private lesson so you can focus on YOUR dancing. Then, get a checkup once a month or every few months to be sure you are continuing to develop.

7 - Practice, practice, practice - listen to Swing music often and get those rhythms solid that you learn in class. The more you dance, the better you become. Many attend class once a week and get frustrated when they are not getting the moves. Teachers expect you to go out and dance and work on what is taught.

8 - You get what you pay for - there are a lot of people that claim to teach this dance as well as all those free lessons on Youtube. Be careful with the information you get from super discount lessons or venues promoting FREE lessons. Look up the teachers and see what they know about Swing Era dancing.

9 - Competing can help, but it's not everything. joining comps is fun and challenging and usually makes you practice a bit more (see #7). Be careful of your ego as we have seen many dancers 'win' a comp or two and then snub newer dancers because they feel so cool for winning. Have a great attitude winning or losing about social dancing.

10 - Travel if you can. Getting a different perspective on the dance is always helpful. If your local classes are good, they will prepare you to be able to dance in any. community with any level of dancer

10+ - as you progress, REMEMBER what it was like for you as a BEGINNER. Take time to give back to your community and dance with new dancers. If/when you feel you are 'better' than anyone else in the room you have lost the true spirit of this dance. Local communities suffer greatly from the 'cool kid clique' or the 'secret group' mentality

10++ - become a great SWING DANCER - this means you understand Lindy, Charleston, Balboa, Blues, Shag, & Jazz Movement as well as a bit of Fox Trot, Waltz, Mambo & Tango - YES, all those dances influenced the Swing Era and the original dancers could do it all. Sure, you can focus on one dance and say "I'm a blues dancer or a balboa dancer", yet there is a bigger world out there and we want to develop a SWING DANCE community