Get into the swing of it. Swing dancing is a form of dance associated with the 1920s-50s style of jazz music. Designed to be a social dance rather than a discipline such as ballet, a good swing dance session doesn’t have to be taken too seriously – just slip on your dancing shoes, grab a partner and get ready to whirl across the dancefloor.
There are many different forms of swing dance, from the popular Lindy Hop to the Balboa and the unusually named Collegiate Shag. Although these dances differ in style, they all place emphasis on beat and rhythm – so make sure you’re ready to really move with the music. Once you’ve decided which form is right for you, you’ll also need to grab a partner – well, we did say that swing dancing was a social activity.
During a swing class your instructor will talk you through a variety of different steps and moves, as well as teaching you to perform them in time to the music. Don’t like to be thrown in at the deep end? Swing dancing is not for those who are afraid to break a sweat, but there’s no need to worry if you think it might be too fast-paced – the group environment of a session means there will be plenty of people to help you get it right. Phew!
Whether you are looking to try out something new, hoping to burn a few calories whilst having fun or simply in love with the jazz era, swing dancing could be a great new hobby. As it’s such a social activity, attending swing classes is also a great way to meet new people - so polish your best smile and get ready to make some new friends.
The majority of swing dances originated in African American communities, using the rhythm and timing associated with traditional West African music and dance.