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Swing Dance, Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing

OUT to Dance offers fun swing, lindy hop, and West Coast Swing dance classes at West Roxbury School of Dance: See our current dance class schedules for everyone here. (Or look for our LGBT classes here.)

Swing Dance

Swing, also known as East Coast swing, lindy, lindy hop, jitterbug, or rock and roll, is one of the hottest, most popular of all partner dances. Its simple structure and footwork along with playful moves and styling make it well-loved for its forgiving and fun-loving nature; swing is danced to slow, medium, or fast tempo jazz, blues, or rock and roll, and is frequently played at every imaginable social event. The origins of swing began in the 1920's with the Charleston, tap dancing, and some now obsolete partner dances like the Breakaway. Soon it evolved into Lindy Hop, (named for Charles Lindberg's transatlantic flight) and exploded in Harlem at the Savoy Ballroom in the late 1920s and 30s. Swing dancing is the best drug-free mood elevator known to humankind.

Learn more about the Swing Dance

Lindy Hop

Lindy hop is an African American vernacular dance which evolved in Harlem, New York, United States in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It is frequently described as either a jazz dance (in reference to its close relationship with the development of jazz music, particularly swing - lindy hop was developed to jazz music, and in its turn helped evolve jazz music in response to the dance) or as a street dance, a term which means much the same as vernacular dance. It is a member of the swing dance family. Lindy hop is an organic fusion of many of the dances which preceded it and were popular during its development, but is predominantly based on jazz, tap, breakaway and the charleston.

Lindy hop combines elements of both solo and partnered dancing in its marrying of the movements and improvisation of African dances with the formal 8-count structure of European partner dances. This is most clearly illustrated in its foundational step the swingout. Here, the European partner dancing format was adapted to allow men and women to dance together in closed position (a practice usually forbidden in African dances), and yet also to improvise 'alone' in open position without disturbing the structure and flow of the dance.

Learn more about the Lindy Hop

West Coast Swing

The “other swing”; west coast swing is the soulful, slinky, bluesy descendent of east coast swing and lindy hop. The official dance of California, W est Coast Swing is a truly funky “slotted” dance where the follower travels back and forth along a shoulder width rectangle, called the slot, with respect to the leader. The leader is more stationary but will move in and out of the slot depending on the pattern led. You'll need to see it or do it to appreciate its sexiness! (Various reasons have been given for the slotted style. One reason is that when all followers dance in lines, club owners could pack many more dancers onto the floor. Another reason was that in Hollywood, film makers wanted dancers to stay in the same plane, to avoid going in and out of focus.) Although West coast swing originated in the 50's and 60's, it's currently danced to a huge selection of contemporary popular music, from blues to R'n'B to soul to country to disco to hip hop.

Learn more about West Coast Swing

"I can't imagine maintaining a bad mood while swing dancing; I could walk into your swing class in a funk, and leave with a grin, guaranteed." Brian W., Wellesley, MA

When joining our dance classes or private dance lessons, note that our OUT to Dance studio locations, West Roxbury and Roslindale, are within twenty minutes of downtown Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Brighton, Allston, Brookline, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Norwood, Needham, Westwood, Milton and Quincy; and within 25 to 35 minutes of Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Wellesley, Natick, Waltham, Braintree, Brockton, Stoughton, Canton, Foxboro, Weymouth and surrounding towns. We are also less than an hour from Providence, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Swing and Lindy Dance 1

We frequently run really fun swing dance classes at West Roxbury School of Dance; see our current class schedule under Classes for Everyone. Or look for our LGBT classes here.

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