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FAQ

Swing Patrol – fun and friendly dance classes

What is Swing?
Swing is a sound AND a dance! Swing music comes under the overall music umbrella of jazz. Swing has that wonderful driving rhythm that you may remember from the golden oldies that your parents or grandparents played for you.

Swing dancing suits swing music. It can be upbeat and flashy or slow and sensual. Whatever the pace, the dancing is always an expression of the music. Chances are you are reading this page because a friend told you about swing dancing. They will be able to tell you more about the great steps and styling we teach and how it is hard to swing without grinning.

What do we teach?
We specialise in Lindy Hop, a dance done to big band sounds. Lindy hop developed in African American communities in New York in the 1920s, but soon spread to mainstream America, and Hollywood.

But we don’t stop with the lindy hop! Swing Patrol dancers are fans of a range of other great swing-era dances such as Balboa, Collegiate Shag, St Louis Shag, charleston, black bottom, solo jazz, blues… almost too many to name!

Where do we teach?
Sydney, Melbourne and London!

When can I start?
You can join in at any week in a Level 1 class. There is no need to book or register – just turn up. Level 1(Beginner) classes are like pieces of Lego, and over time all the building blocks come together.

Attend Level 1 classes until you’ve really got it under your belt (about 3-4 months). If you miss a few it won’t matter, as you will be learning a new piece of “swing Lego” each week that no one else knows either. The only classes which cannot be attended on a casual basis are the specialised courses we run throughout the year. Note that all classes go for an hour.

Do I need a Partner?
Absolutely not! We change partners frequently throughout the lesson, so everyone gets the chance to dance with different people, for a taste of lead & follow social swing dancing. So bringing a partner is not necessary. We do ask people to join in the rotation and dance with everyone. It can be beneficial to the learning experience to feel what it’s like to lead or follow a move with a variety of people, of different sizes, strengths, abilities etc. Not only is it lots of fun, dancing with lots of people accelerates your learning hugely. Of course, the key focus of any Swing Patrol class is having fun and enjoying yourself, so if you’re really not keen to change partners, it’s a good idea to mention it to the teachers so they can accommodate.

What if I miss a week?
Attendance is on a casual basis. If you miss a class it doesn’t matter at all. If you miss a few weeks, don’t feel concerned. We understand everyone works at their own pace as they can.

What is the average age group?
We have all ages of people learning and enjoying dancing: swing dancing is for everyone. The age range across the classes is 18-78yrs!

What do I wear?
Anything comfortable that you can move around in. Some dancers come straight from work, others make a night of it, dressing up in vintage fashion. Lots of our students wear casual gear and runners, but we recommend shoes that you let you pivot, and will stay on your feet. As long as you are comfortable, it’s ok by us!

Where do you guys go swing dancing?
You can see a list of Swing Patrol’s regular social dancing events on the Socials page. There are many one-off events like balls, live music events and huge weekend events too, so keep an eye on the Events/Festivals page for details.

Where can I buy swing music?
We recommend looking online for good swing. There are plenty of modern bands cranking out excellent dance music, and of course you can’t go wrong with an orginal recording from the swing era.

Current bands include Gordon Webster, Tuba Skinny, Glenn Crytzer, Careless Lovers, George Gee, Campus Five, Mora’s Modern Rhythmists, Rhythm Junkies… there are almost too many to name!

If you’re thinking old school, keep an eye out for Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Sidney Bechet, Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie, and of course, Duke Ellington!

Of course if you hear us play something in class you like, just come up and ask us what it is!