How do I get started?

The best way to get started is to show up the 1st Wednesday of the month at 7:30 PM and take our Swing I lesson. It'll be in either Lindy Hop or Charleston, but we will start from absolute zero and teach you the basics. Then stay for our social dance at 8:30 PM to practice what you've learned - it's free with the lesson. If you like it, come the next week! If not, thanks for trying us out! Note, sometimes holidays mess up our schedule, so check our calendar if it's around holiday time.

I'm just here for the dance. How much is it?

If you're coming to the dance only, it starts around 8:30 PM and admission is $4.

Isn't swing dancing, like, for old folks?

No! Most of us are in our 20's and 30's, although all ages are certainly welcome.

Can I learn that thing where the girl gets thrown up in the air?

That thing is called an aerial and because it requires a well-trusted dance partner as well as technique and coordination.... no, we won't teach them. We also discourage aerials at our social dances because getting kicked in the head or dropped on the floor is not a fun evening for anyone involved. If we see anything scary-looking going on we will ask you to stop. It's not personal, we just don't want to see anyone get hurt.

Do I need to know what I'm doing?

Heck no! Each month we start from absolute zero, so even if you've never had a dance lesson in your life you will be able to pick up basic steps and basic partner movement.

What happens at the 7:30 lesson?

The 7:30 lesson is our beginner swing series, which we call Swing I. It's designed for people with zero experience, or people who haven't danced in a while. In the first lesson we teach you basic steps, show you basic partner movement, and give you a couple of combinations that build on the basic step. We rotate partners throughout class so you are not dancing with the same person for the whole hour. Cost is $8 per lesson or $25 for the 4-week series.

Can someone show me the basics at the dance?

Yes, if you show up before 9PM we would be happy to give you a shortened version of our beginner lesson. It's enough to get started if you've never danced before. Please tell either the front desk or the DJ before 9PM if you need the short lesson.

Please understand that our volunteers are also there to enjoy some social dancing so please show up before 9PM if you need the short lesson.

What happens if I don't get it right away?

Don't worry! The class will be repeated in two months and you can take it over again at a discount. Most people feel a lot more comfortable after taking the Swing I (Lindy or Charleston) class at least twice.

What if I've done some dancing before? Can I skip Swing I?

That depends on what kind of dancing and how long ago you did it. We try to keep our lessons "current", i.e. keeping up with the trends in national swing dancing, so our Swing I content may be very different from what you learned before or even from what we taught a couple years ago. We will consider each dancer on a case-by-case basis, so just come talk to one of our teachers and we can discuss it further.

Do I need a partner for class?

No partner is needed because we rotate throughout class. You are welcome to bring a partner but we will still recommend that you rotate with the rest of class.

I'm single - is it weird if I show up by myself?

Absolutely not! We rotate you through class so it's easy to meet new people to dance with. And there's actually a lot less pressure than most social gatherings because everyone dances with everyone.

I'm not single but my wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend won't come with me. Is it weird if I show up by myself?

Absolutely not! A lot of us are in relationships with non-dancers so that's actually pretty normal. We rotate you through class so you will meet other people to dance with, and everyone dances with everyone... so no need to be concerned about coming out to dance by yourself.

Can kids come?

Kids are certainly welcome, with adult supervision. It's pretty common for our regulars to bring their kids (even babies!) with them. Just watch them or make sure that someone is always watching them. We don't want anyone to get squashed on the dance floor!

What kind of shoes should I wear?

Any type of flat, comfortable shoe is acceptable. Ladies, we don't recommend heels for class. If you absolutely must wear heels, please bring a flat pair of shoes just in case they aren't working.

How should I dress?

For lessons, wear something comfortable that allows you to move. Wednesday nights are casual, but keep in mind that dancing all night can be sweaty business so you might want to bring one or two extra shirts.

What is SwingOutDayton?

See About Us.

Do I have to be a member?

No, SwingOutDayton does not have memberships at this time. All our events are open to the public.

When does SwingOutDayton hold events?

Our lessons and dances are on Wednesday nights. Special events are advertised separately.

What is Swing Dancing?

Swing Dancing can refer to lots of different types of dances by different names, we consider it to include:

  • Lindy Hop
  • East Coast Swing
  • Collegiate Shag
  • Charleston
  • Balboa
  • Swing-specific line dances such as Whitey's Big Apple and the Shim Sham

What does SwingOutDayton teach?

  • Lindy Hop
  • East Coast Swing
  • Collegiate Shag
  • Charleston
  • Balboa
  • Some swing-specific line dances such as Whitey's Big Apple and the Shim Sham

What kind of music do you play?

We generally play vintage 30's and 40's jazz, but we also throw in contemporary jazz, Motown, 50's and 60's rock 'n roll, and sometimes fun stuff that doesn't fall into any of those categories.

Any other tips?

Yes, Peter Strom of Uptown Swing put together an awesome must-read for new folks going out dancing for the first time. It details general rules of the road and dance etiquette. You can find it here.


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