SPRING 2019 : Course Calendar

FAQ : Swing Dancing Questions

Social Dancing Questions

Swing Dancing Answers

  • ✭ Do you teach Lindy Hop in the Swing Course?
  • Yes, back at Dancing on King in the 1990s Gabby started teaching his Sinful Sunday Swing classes that focused primairly on the later swing styles (which contrary to what many people think already have tons of stylized moves of Lindy Hop origins). When fellow Swing Teacher Lisa Jacobs left for Vancouver, Gabby expanded his classes to include Lindy Hop along side various deviations and styles of the later swings.

    If you are looking for a "pure" Lindy Hop class, this is not the Swing course for you. However all students who come to the Swing Dance classes at studios1.ca learn both the fundamentals and a large vocabulary of Lindy Hop moves.

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  • Do we learn aerials in the Swing Course like we see on your poster?
  • There has been much conversation about the acrobatics in Swing Dance styles. When most people think of Swing the lifts and dips tend to be what first comes to mind. In Dance Hall etiquette most of the acrobatics are discouraged due to the size of the dance floor not being able to comfortably accommodate such activities. Also, many dance studios discourage more advanced dancers experimenting (terrorfying) on novice students who aren't aprropriately prepared nor accustom to such physicality. It must be noted that there is a significant difference between springs/jumps/dips versus flips and wild kicks(which for some places would include Lindy Charlestons).

    Gabby's Swing Dance classes only comprise of social (leadable and followable) moves. The advance levels courses include some leadable jumps, springs and dips taught with the knowledge of when to or not to excute them. As in the Blue Dress Swing Dance poster where Gabby and Karen are dancing the leadable Bunny Hop (Lindy Hop) from Close to Open it must be noted that it is just a flamboyant display of a rather innocuous spring to open position (that takes up less room than an Around The World rotation of the Chareslton in Tandem).

    Gabby does not teach choreographic patterns in these courses.

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  • Do you teach Jive in the Swing Classes?
  • The original forms of jive are very much part of the Jitterbug dance styles of the 1930s. Many of these moves and ideas are taught in our Swing Dance classes.

    We do not teach the English Ballroom dance also called Jive.

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  • Do you teach triple step or single step?
  • All of our Swing Dance Classes, Beginner through to Advanced Levels are taught with primairly triple step footwork.

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  • What is Jitterbug?
  • It is sometimes complicated to answer the question of Jitterbug as it has come to mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people in a lot of different places.

    The term "jitterbug" seems to be used to describe a person who is dancing as opposed to the style of dance they are doing, mostly as a descriptive form of the frenetic and stylish ways the dancers were moving. With the popularity of the Swing Dance styles through out the 20th century phrases and jargon came into the popular consciousness so it was very common to see the terms change.  "NO JITTERBUG" signs were posted in many places indicating that many people believed it was a dance style.

    Our classes are an ecclectic array of multiple swing dance styles that take to heart the notion of Jitterbug both as a dancer term and a dance style. 

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Social Dancing Answers

  • ✭ What is the proper footwear for social dancing?
  • The short answer is anything you are comfortable in. All of the Social Dances have their own quirks and the various historic periods have had their influence on the clothing and footwear that are deemed acceptable. Typically suede bottom shoes or ones with very little treds are prefered to allow the dancers to push and slide their feet on the floor, though this is not always appropriate when trying to dance in a nightclub or outdoors.

    Some women prefer higher heeled shoes similar to what one sees on TV or in Ballroom Dancing as the foot in the relevé (on the ball of the foot) position which they are in for turning also creates a long desired aesthetic line of the leg. It is good ettiquette to make sure the heels are capped as they can cause serious damage to wooden and vinyl floors. With their working class roots the Swing and Latin dances outside of the Ballroom and Nightclub styles tended to be dance with shorter 1.5" heels shoe such as Mary Janes.

    The Oxford style of shoe is often the most all round shoe for men with the slight heel height assisting with support. Court shoes or running  are popular with later Swing styles especially when the treds of the shoe are worn down.

    Please do not wear street shoes in the studio.

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  • ✭ What is the best clothing for the Social Dance classes?
  • We encourage you to wear clothing you feel comfortable moving in. The Beginner levels tend to not be as energetic as the more Advanced levels but it varies from student to student. Layered clothing is typically a wise choice.

    Many students wear business casual or jeans the classes, while some prefer sweat pants. We just ask you to use discretion and wear socially apropriate clothing as well as refraining from chosing possibly offensive T-shirts.

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  • ✭ Where can I go dancing in Hamilton Ontario?
  • We have just recently relocated to Hamilton, Ontario so we have not had a chance to explore the options yet. Once we finally get a moment we will add a dance venue page in our information section for places to dance in Hamilton.

    We try to offer a FREE class every second Friday of the Month. These classes are themetic but often have a practice night for you to dance at after. Please check our schedule for details.

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  • Must I switch partners?
  • We will not force you to switch partners however we heavily endorse that you do, both to put the social into dancing as well as it is important for you to practice on your own not relying on your partner. If you are uncomfortable with switching partners please let the instructor know early on the first class.

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  • Why don't you use the name I know for that move?
  • Contrary to what most people think, social dance is folk dancing meaning that it is heavily influenced by regional preferences, musical and cultural trends, as well constantly changing.

    Similar to higher education, for over a century, some organized dance-centric institutions have, in addition to protecting the organization's intellectual property and fiscal purposes, gone to great lengths to codify and standardized various danceforms to aid students with course syllubus and competition frameworks.

    This approach has greately protected many of the social dance forms we have today by keeping them in our consciousness and popular culture, albeit often at the expense of the dance style that through historically socio-economic and racial intolerance is almost unrecognizable from the indigenious original form. see Foxtrot.

    At studios1.ca we encourage our students to focus primairly on what the move requries the partners to do and why you are dancing it and let you call it what ever you need to to remember it.

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  • Do I need a partner to take a social dance class?
  • No. Both the Leader and the Follower roles are taught in the Social Dance classes independant of each other. We change partners through out the class.

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Could not find the answer to your questions? Please contact the office.