When considering which class level is for you, please bear in mind that “experience” and “skill” are two distinct words. “Experience” refers to the amount of exposure you have had to something and “Skill” refers to your ability to do something well. Please choose your level based on your skill, not merely on your amount of experience.
It takes time to learn Lindy Hop and become a good dancer, and you never stop learning, so don’t be in too much of a rush – dancing feels the best when both you and your partner have strong, solid basics, not just flashy footwork! Everyone is different, but practicing and returning to Fundamentals helps dancers of all levels – and helps us all to enjoy our dancing and get the most out of our classes and the evening.
If you feel in any doubt about which level is for you, please feel free to ask anyone with an ‘Orange Label’.
Fundamentals (8-beat) & Fundamentals (6-beat/Charleston)
You’re brand sparkly new to swing dance and the ‘Lindy Hop’ and no previous dance experience is necessary. Our ‘Fundamentals’ classes will take you through two terms of progressive teaching which will cover the basic steps, rhythms and moves to make you into a good Lindy Hop social dancer. This class is followed by our social dance practice time – stay, try our your new moves, and ask people to dance!
If you have a natural knack for the dance (and only if!), we recommend a minimum of two terms of ‘Fundamentals’ before you also join our ‘Technique and Core Moves’ class (which is earlier on the same night, and you can attend both at no extra charge).
Technique and Core Moves
This class is aimed at all dancers who are comfortable with the basic footwork and have a (growing) repertoire of moves. ‘Technique and Core Moves’ classes will expand that repertoire, focusing on the techniques that will refine your dancing and improve your ability to connect with both your partner and the music. Because this class will cover things like musicality and body awareness as well as ‘Core Moves,’ we recommend this level for anyone who attends classes and social dances regularly!
For dancers who have just completed a few terms of ‘Fundamentals’ and are ready for ‘Technique,’ we would really appreciate you also continuing the ‘Fundamentals’ class, as it will benefit your own dancing (muscle memory is your friend!) and practicing with more experienced dancers (you!) helps out our newest members. Both classes are on the same night at different times and you can attend both at no extra charge.
For dancers who are keen to join our ‘Advanced’ class, our ‘Technique’ class is a useful tool to build and hone your skills as a dancer (and to warm up for the ‘Advanced’ class, which runs immediately after!).
Advanced Styling and Improvisation
Now you want to take it to the next level and refine your techniques as well as expand on the moves you know. You are ready for a challenge! Be prepared to spend a lot of time working on areas such as momentum, pulse, lead/follow connection, rhythm and musicality, as well as improvisation. You have the experience, versatility and skills to dance with anyone at most tempos, and you understand musical phrasing and lead/follow techniques.
Because this class will focus on refining and deconstructing elements of the dance, as well as integrating more challenging variations, dancers should come to ‘Advanced Styling and Improvisation’ feeling confident with: Swing Out/ Lindy Turn/ Lindy Circle/ Texas Tommy/ Basic Jazz Steps/ Changes in Rhythm/ Basic Tandem/ Smooth Changes Between Lindy Hop Rhythms/ Turning.
If you’re not sure whether this is the right level for you, try dancing to our ‘test’ songs below with a partner who is also ready for, or considering, ‘Advanced’ classes. Your dance should be varied, and over the two songs you will hopefully experiment with closed position, open position and a mixture of 8beat, 6beat and Charleston rhythms.
Be honest with yourself (and check with your partner); You are ready to give this level a try if:
- you kept dancing throughout both songs (and didn’t have to stop)
- you kept moving comfortably with lindy footwork throughout both songs; if you perhaps lost
- your footwork once or twice, you were able to recover gracefully and keep dancing you didn’t have much trouble staying on the tempo throughout both songs
- you pulled off most of your moves (and if perhaps one move didn’t go quite to plan you adapted it while still looking after your partner)
- your transitions between “moves” and rhythms were smooth and comfortable for both of you.