4. Do I have to do the whole 6 weeks of a beginner block, or can I just do one or two classes?
You can do as many classes as you like!
So long as you start at the beginning of the 6 week block and do consecutive classes (eg week 1, 2 and 3), it's all good. You can pay for individual classes as you go, so you can just drop in, do one class, and then head off on your international holiday.
We recommend shoes that stay on your feet when you move about (so no thongs or flip flops).
If you're taking a solo dance class, be prepared to get a bit sweaty and to move your whole body. So comfortable shoes and clothes are important. We recommend trousers or jeans that allow a wide range of movement, or a skirt with leggings underneath, and light shoes like Keds or Converse.
But for your first class or two, a hard soled dress shoe will do the job. You'll need a shoe with a slight heel. Soft-soled shoes like sneakers or keds will not be loud enough or hard enough.
If you're coming to a solo dance or tap class, bring a bottle of water and a sweat towel. Just in case. Our lindy hop classes at the PBC are held in a licensed venue, so there's plenty of water (and beer!) available at the bar.
We don’t tolerate any kind of harassment, and will act quickly to put a stop to it.
Our Code of Conduct explains our policies in detail.
We're also a queer-friendly group who welcome same-sex couples.
We try to make our classes as accessible as possible. We have students from the age of 12 to 82, with a range of needs and interests, and we really like it that way.
We really enjoy teaching, so we're happy to repeat instructions, to talk more slowly, to try new ways of explaining and teaching things - just ask.
We teach beginners in 6 week blocks, so you have can meet the fundamentals of lindy hop in a structured way, consolidating your learning as you go.
You can only start a beginners block in weeks 1 or 2. Otherwise it's best to wait a few weeks so you don't miss anything important.
Our beginner classes are a fun, friendly place to meet the basic steps and rhythms of lindy hop and other swing dances. We laugh a lot, and tell a lot of jokes.
Students rotate partners in class, and we like to take time to meet each other, and to laugh and enjoy dancing!
We work at a gentle pace, taking time to correct posture and partnering technique, and to be sure everyone is comfortable with the fundamentals.
We begin each class with a warm up which introduces you to fun, authentic jazz steps, and then break down the key rhythms for that class. The rest of the class is devoted to key steps and moves, and to combining them comfortably. We build social dancing skills into all our classes, allowing students lots of time to figure out how to lead and follow steps, and how to combine them in their own way, and in their own time.
We play only classic swinging jazz music of the 1930s and 40s, and of the modern day. Each class takes time to explore the timing and tempo of swinging jazz, and we look at phrasing and syncopation right from our very first lessons.
Our beginner classes are intended as a basic skills class, perfect for more experienced dancers who want to tidy up their basic rhythms or partner work, as well as for brand new dancers.
Our intermediate classes build on the fundamental lindy hop steps by exploring different exits, different variations, and different timing.
We begin our intermediate classes with a warm up focussing on authentic historic jazz steps, but assume students have a number of jazz steps in their repertoire already. We move at a faster pace in intermediate classes than in beginner classes, and spend more time on independent problem solving and experimentation in class.
We rely on your being able to keep time with the music through bounce (sometimes called pulse), and to begin developing a more nuanced understanding of leading and following.
We teach more complex rhythm and break steps in our intermediate classes, but we often return to the simplest shapes and movements.
To join these classes, you will need to be familiar with the basic rhythms, shapes, and steps of lindy hop (including swing outs, promenades, break steps, charleston, basic solo jazz steps, turns, etc). We cover all these in our beginner classes, over 2 or 3 blocks.
You will also need to have the fundamental social dancing skills we focus on in our beginner classes:
communicating with a partner (how to talk to and work with your partner respectfully and constructively);
- good connection with a partner (nice, relaxed posture and communicating with your partner through touch);
- an ability to keep time on your own, and to dance and communicate particular rhythms (whether you lead or follow);
- counting yourself in (ie starting dancing on your own), and finding the beginning and ending of phrases in the music;
- the ability to shift between rhythms (eg between a swing out and charleston) comfortably;
- moving around the dance floor with a partner safely, avoiding other dancers;
- and many more.
You will need to take our 6 week beginner course at least twice, usually three times before you tackle intermediate classes. We prefer students check with their teachers before beginning the intermediate classes.
Why so strict? We want to be sure everyone has the best learning experience in class. Starting intermediate classes too soon can be disheartening - and we want you to have fun!
Private classes are an opportunity to work on your dancing in a concentrated session tailored just for you. You can take a private class with one or two teachers, alone or with a partner.
We don't recommend taking your first taste of swing dancing in a private class. Our group classes let you experience lindy hop as a social dance - they way it was born. Also group classes are MASSES of fun.
In these classes we can work on whatever you'd like - a specific dance step, an aspect of dance technique, the fundamentals of jazz music, or even social dancing etiquette. Come to the session with a specific question, or ask "What can I do to improve my dancing?" and we can develop a plan for your learning.
We can also teach small group private classes, again by appointment only.
21. I want to learn to dance for my wedding - what do I do?
First of all, come along to one our group classes to see if swing dancing is for you. And because it's fun.
We teach lots of couples to dance for special occasions - from wedding dances on their wedding day, to special surprises for their families or friends. Our private classes are small, low-pressure, and lots of fun. We focus on practical dance skills, and on enjoying the connection with your dance partner.
We are happy to tailor these sessions to your particular needs, and are especially happy to work with same-sex couples.
We don't teach aerials in wedding privates, and we prefer not to choreograph routines. But we can have you relaxed and comfortable on the floor, and give you a few tricks so nonna has plenty of photo opps.