Your First Class
Swing dancing is a high-energy activity that is done in close proximity to lots of other people. When coming to a group class or social, there are a few things you can do to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your dance partners.
Wear comfortable clothes that you can move easily in.
In general, anything that doesn't constrict your movement or cause you to trip will be good. Ladies, if you choose to wear skirts that flare when you turn, be sure to wear something underneath! Slips and shorts are a swing-dancing lady's best friends.
Bring extra shirts if you think you'll sweat through one.
Seriously, there's no shame in this. It happens all the time in swing! If you do sweat a lot, try experimenting with different fabrics. Plain cotton shirts will last about fifteen minutes in a crowded social before your dance partners start getting squeamish.
Wear comfortable shoes that you can slide easily in.
Anything that doesn't have a lot of traction will be good. Leather-soled shoes, suede-soled dance shoes, or even worn down sneakers work well. Most ladies dance Lindy/Charleston in Keds-like sneakers and Balboa in lower block heels, which offer much more stability than your typical three-inch stilletos. Please do not wear your strappy Latin ballroom shoes to swing dance class! Although they're gorgeous, they won't provide your feet with the support they'll need.
Bring a dedicated pair of shoes to dance in.
To protect the floors, we'll ask that you change out of your street shoes in the lobby before entering the studio.
Bring whatever else you need to stay focused.
A towel, a hand fan, breath mints, a water bottle, a book for handwritten notes, a smartphone to video the lesson...all are most definitely allowed in the studio!
Also known as "Jitterbug," "Bop," or just "Lindy," this American-bred partner dance originated in Harlem and has been danced in New York since 1927. It is strongly influenced by both Charleston and tap, and is danced in a circular pattern as opposed to the slot pattern found in West Coast Swing. Lindy Hop curriculum includes both six- and eight-count triple-, double-, and single-rhythm footwork, 30s style Charleston and variations, and era-specific jazz movements. It can be danced to all tempos of music, from big band swing to 50's rock n' roll. The dance itself can be wild and spontaneous with frenzied kicks and body movements, or it can be cool and sophisticated. At the advanced level, Lindy can be done with aerial (overhead) steps, jumps, dips, and other tricks, all of which are choreographed and practiced intensively.
Balboa merges the finesse and grace of ballroom dancing with the style and spirit of swing dancing. Created in the overcrowded ballrooms of 1930's California, Balboa is often danced in closed position, called "pure balboa". Even the turns and open position patterns, called "bal-swing", feature smaller, more elegant movements as compared to balboa's more famous swing cousin, Lindy Hop. This makes balboa a perfect addition to your dance repertoire for faster music, although balboa is traditionally danced at all tempos.
A style of Swing Lindy which isn't bouncy like the "Jitterbug", but is more relaxed and subtle. Smooth Swing plays with syncopated rhythms and footwork in 6 & 8 count triple and single rhythm footwork. It does not include Charlestons or break away jazz movements as in Lindy Hop. It is a style that is danced to any tempo swing music, but without hopping.
Dean Collins Style / Hollywood Style
This dance resembles the eight count patterns of Lindy Hop, but focuses more on counter balance and whip technique. It tends to resemble a rubber band kind of movement. Known to many as the "missing link" between early Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing, this style of swing was the first to form the dance slot, which was created for the purpose of filming dancers in the 1930's and 40's.
East Coast Swing
A style term used by some to characterize swing dancing strictly comprised of six count patterns (called simply Swing/Lindy in our curriculum). Knowledge of six count patterns is a prerequisite for all styles of swing dancing. We teach these basic, critical movements at the Basic and Advanced Basic level of our Swing/Lindy program. Social swing dancing ultimately combines these fundamental patterns with 8-count movements.
This is an eight count type of swing executed through upward movement, almost hopping. There are versions of single time and double time Collegiate Shag.
The Charleston dance can be danced solo, with a partner, or in a group. While there are many variations on the dance, the basic steps involve kicking the legs and swinging the arms. The Charleston is done with large, loose motions in four basic steps. The arms also play a large role in the Charleston and move in the opposite direction to the legs.
Be considerate of your fellow dancers' senses. Deodorant, good breathe and moderate fragrances are necessary.
Once the music starts, practice has begun. Please remain silent as you warm up. This time is for listening practice.
After practice has begun, please do not enter or leave the room until the music change-over.
During the teacher demonstrations and explanations, please remain still and attentive. Questions and practice times will be designated by the teacher.
Please understand that in intermediate and advanced practice, senior practitioners will stand in the front of the room closest to the teacher. Senior practitioners have been chosen by the teacher as examples.
Please be conscious of, and courteous to, your fellow students, especially those behind you. Do not stand directly in front of a fellow student if possible, and be sensitive to the amount of space available.
Please wear comfortable clothing and please do not wear street shoes for practice.
Please introduce yourself when working with a partner and thank them after rotation is called.
Please feel free to laugh at the teacher's silly jokes.
General Liability Release
Any form of dancing can be strenuous on one's body and requires a level of mobility. It is important that participants understand the nature of our classes and are capable of participating in the activity.
Below is our Release of Liability. Please read the below. You will be required to sign a hard copy of this release upon entry into your first lesson, group session, social event, workshop, et al with LI Swing Syndicate.
General Waiver of Liability
I hereby release, indemnify and hold harmless Long Island Swing Syndicate, LLC, (“Company”), its owners, members, advisors, and all employees and agents of these parties from all liabilities, suits, claims and/or demands of any kind or nature, legal or financial, whether caused in any way by the negligence or not, arising from the participation in or observation of any Company activity for injuries to any person or property, whether on or off the premises. The Participant named below does voluntarily participate in any and all Company activities and that the student/participant and I understand that certain risks are inherent to and from participation and involvement with Company and in its various formal and informal activities. These activities include but are not limited to dance and other physically strenuous exercise and related workouts and performances. I agree to assume full responsibility for and risks, injuries, or damages that might occur as a result of participating in activities sponsored by the Company. The Company is not responsible for any lost or stolen property, at any time. Anyone found to be violating any of the rules, codes of conduct, or found to be disruptive to either another individual or group may be asked to leave the premises or off-site location at any time and be refused reentrance without any full or partial refund.
As the Participant or parent/legal guardian of the Participant named below, I request and authorize that in my absence the participant be admitted to any hospital or medical facility for diagnosis and treatment even if I have not been contacted prior to admission. I request and authorize physicians, dentists, and staff, duly licensed as Doctors of Medicine/Osteopathy or Doctors of Dentistry or other such licensed technicians or nurses, to perform any diagnostic procedures, treatment procedures, operative procedures and x-ray treatment of the Participant named below. I have not been given any guarantee as to the results of examination or treatment. I hereby authorize Long Island Swing Syndicate, LLC, its owners, members, and all employees and agents of these parties to act for the Participant named below according to their best judgment in providing or arranging for emergency care in any emergency circumstance requiring medical attention.
I hereby understand and am fully aware that the Participant named below may be participating in Long Island Swing Syndicate, LLC, (“Company”) activities in which I and/or the Participant named below may be photographed or videotaped from time to time. All photographs, videotapes, and other recordings of images of Company activities is Company property (“Property”), regardless of place, type, timing, or length of performance or the kind technology relied upon to capture or record the activity. I hereby irrevocably grant to Company perpetually, exclusively, and for all media throughout the world (including print, non theatrical, home video, DVD, CD-ROM, internet and any other electronic medium presently in existence or invented in the future), the right to use and incorporate (alone or together with other materials), in whole or in part, photographs, sound bites or video footage taken as a result of participation in Company activities. I hereby agree that I will not bring or consent to others bringing claim or action against the Company on the grounds that anything contained in the Property, or in the advertising and publicity used in connection herewith, is defamatory, reflects adversely on me or the Participant named below, violates any other right whatsoever, including, without limitation, rights of privacy and publicity. I hereby release the Company, its owners, members, and all employees and agents of these parties from and against any and all claims, demands, actions, causes of actions, suits, costs, expenses, liabilities, and damages whatsoever that I may hereafter have against the Company in connection with the Property. This agreement shall not obligate the Company to use the Property or to use any of the rights granted hereunder, or to prepare, produce, exhibit, distribute or exploit the Property. The Company shall have the right to assign its rights hereunder, without my consent, in whole or in part, to any person, firm, corporation or organization.
By purchasing and participating in any Long Island Swing Syndicate activity, you agree to hereby forever release, discharge, acquit, and forgive Long Island Swing Syndicate, LLC, from any and all claims, actions, suits, demands, agreements, and each of them, if more than one, liabilities, judgments, and proceedings both at law and in equity arising from the beginning of time to the date of these presents.
This release shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties, their successors, assigns and personal representatives.