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You Should Be Dancing
Photograph: Courtesy John Abbott

The best swing dancing classes in NYC

Lindy Hop your way to these swing dancing classes, and you’ll be a pro at the jitterbug, collegiate shag and Balboa

Written by
Tolly Wright

Have you ever heard amazing jazz in New York and felt inspired to tap your feet? Do you wish that ballroom dancing included more crazy lifts, high kicks and flips? Well, swing dancing is one of the most fun—and fast-paced—social dances! No former training or experience is necessary to learn at these dance classes, so grab your sneakers and get dipping. Oh, and don’t forget that it’s a great workout, too.

RECOMMENDED: The best classes in NYC

The best swing dancing classes

  • Dance
  • Contemporary and experimental
  • Gowanus

Bring your deodorant when you get down with these Kings County kings of swing at their Gowanus and Williamsburg locations. Each four-week session zeroes in on just one of the basic swing dances—the Lindy Hop (six or eight count), the Charleston and the Balboa—giving dancers a chance to really learn the step patterns and perfect their breakaways. After you master the moves, step into fancy footwork and flashy spins in Level II, and jitterbugs of all levels are encouraged to come out and strut their stuff at Friday night dances.

  • Dance
  • Ballroom and Latin
  • Boerum Hill

Get connected with both East and West Coast styles of swing at this ballroom, Latin and swing studio in Brooklyn. Beginners and intermediates can choose between East Coast’s traditional single and triple-step moves in six and eight counts or West Coast Swing, which applies the stylish turns, dips and spins to contemporary pop, blues and R&B tunes. Lovebirds interested in swinging (the dance definition) should sign up for the couples-only TGI Fridays workshops to learn to Lindy Hop and Charleston.

  • Things to do
  • Literary events
  • Upper West Side
  • price 3 of 4

With nearly 20 years of experience as a jitterbug, Spencer Weisbond is prepared to help even the most inexperienced students learn how to do the East Coast Swing. Over six sessions, Weisbond teaches a routine that utilizes techniques and partnership skills. Dancers who want to keep with it will eventually learn to correctly Lindy Hop with an eight count at the intermediate level. For extra practice, head to the Swing Remix parties, which include a workshop and a dance party with live bands and DJs.

  • Comedy
  • Astoria

For the past few years, Astoria’s premier comedy and culture venue Q.E.D has made a name for itself with its variety of affordable adult education courses, and the drop-in swing dance classes are no exception. Perfect for anybody who’s afraid they have two left feet, the no-commitment $15 workshop covers the basic steps of the Lindy Hop. If you think you’ve got the swing of the six count (pun intended), check out the advanced beginners class.

  • Dance
  • Ballroom and Latin
  • Midtown West

Tony Fraser and Jaime Shannon are two top-notch competitive and professional dancers who bring years of experience when they co-instruct students in Lindy Hop and collegiate shag on the first  three Mondays of every month. Teaching together since 2010, the pair specializes in fast-tempo jitterbug with plenty of aerials and other tricks that require partners to work together closely. Check their Facebook page frequently to learn about their special workshops, too.

  • Dance
  • Ballroom and Latin
  • Midtown West

As one of New York’s biggest and best dance studios, You Should Be Dancing! offers a multitude of swing class options. Not only does it offer beginner, advanced-beginner and intermediate courses spanning multiple days, but there are also intensives in specific styles like Balboa or collegiate shag, one of the more popular styles on the swing dancing circuit. It also offers crash courses (one-day workshops) in West Coast swing and specific maneuvers like dips, tricks and pretzels. Students can get their double kicks—a sentiment and a swing step—at the free practice sessions on Tuesdays or at the studio’s open parties ($10, $8 for students).

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