Do I need a partner?
Nope! Just a positive attitude and a willingness to learn! During class, you will have the opportunity to rotate and switch partners. We do this so that you learn some of the skills needed to social dance with multiple people, not just one partner, once class has ended. Plus, you get to make more new friends this way!
What is swing dancing?
Swing dancing comes from the Black community and jazz culture of Harlem, New York during the early 20th century. Specifically, the dance known as Lindy Hop was danced to Big Band swing music. During its heyday in the 1930s, Lindy Hop’s popularity reached ballrooms all across the U.S., becoming one of the first true American art forms, and even traversed its way across the Atlantic Ocean.
Lindy Hop, like many other dances rooted in African American heritage, was born out of an era fraught with racial oppression and hatred committed against Black bodies and the Black community. For many African Americans at the time, Black-owned ballrooms were safe places to express and celebrate freedom of movement. The music and dance culture of this era would later give rise to the Civil Rights Movement.
This dance is not static. Lindy Hop continues to change and evolve with the culture and dancers of today, while striving to uphold respectful ties to the way it was authentically danced by its original creators.
Why do you teach both roles?
We teach both the lead and follow roles, starting Day 1 of your very-first-ever swing dance lesson, so that everybody has the ability and choice to switch between leading and following. Dancing both roles is an important part of our values and philosophy because it:
- Creates an even power dynamic between genders
- Includes trans folx/nonbinary folx/queer folks
- Places equal value in leading and following: Leaders aren’t over-emphasized, and there is less pressure on them to “make the dance happen”; Followers are given more say and creative direction in the partnership
- Allows everyone to dance with everyone; Folx can more easily make friends with whomever regardless of gender
- Increases everybody’s skill level faster; Having empathy for and understanding the technique of the opposite role allows you to execute yours better
What should I bring to my first class?
Bring a water bottle and wear clothes that are easy to move in. If you have long hair, we recommend wearing your hair up – it’s not totally necessary, but if you’re twirling fast, you wouldn’t want to inadvertently surprise your partner with whiplash! We try our best to provide light refreshments at our events, but go ahead and bring an extra snack if you plan on dancing every song and sweating off dinner.
What kind of shoes should I wear?
Wear comfortable shoes that have a flat, smooth sole and are easy to slide around in. You can find some awesome knock-off brand name sneakers at Target or Payless Shoe Store. Some dancers like to wear shoes with suede or leather soles – they’re not necessary, but you may find them helpful the more you go out dancing.
Can I reserve my spot in class ahead of time? Can I pay for a group in advance?
Yes! We have a PayPal button on our website that handles all that jazz (pardon the pun) under the ‘Classes’ tab. Keep in mind the sooner you register before the dance, the more likely you’ll be able to attend the lesson before it fills up. We cap our lessons at 20 participants in order to provide the best learning experience for everybody involved!
Do you offer any discounts or special offers?
We sure do! Check it out:
- 25% off total admission for groups of 5 or more
- Free admission for kids ages 12 and under
- 50% off admission if you bring a store-bought snack to our dance
- Some discounts are available for folks who pre-pay via our website
In addition, we always encourage you to join our volunteer team, or reach out to us with your offers and ideas for work-trade opportunities! We believe that swing dance can and should be accessible to everybody, regardless of economic status and privilege.
What happened to that other dance on Saturday – Blues and Swing at Old Town Yoga?
Sadly, Blues and Swing at Old Town Yoga (OTY) discontinued in September 2016. We’re friends with the organizers, however, we are not the same people who hosted that dance. Fort Collins Swing Dance LLC is a separate entity, founded in November 2016. Our dances now run every week on Saturdays. For updates and more information about the dance organization, Blues and Swing, you can visit their website here.