- $25 for a swing social sampler ($40 value)
The Friday-night classes will be held December 4 and 11, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Swing: A Free-Spirited, Ever-Evolving Style
This deal introduces you to the jazzy, fast-paced moves of swing. Check out Groupon’s study to learn what sets the style apart from other dances.
The Lindy Hop. The jitterbug. East Coast swing. West Coast swing. All of these styles fall under the umbrella of swing dance, and all feature one signature move: the swingout. Defying the decorum of traditional ballroom dance, which dictates that couples should almost never break contact, the swingout lets dancers drop their partner’s hand and face outward to kick, twist, and jump in the air. Though it does incorporate some of the sweeping, graceful patterns of dances such as the tango, swing is almost a celebration of a lack of rules, allowing hoofers to ignore rigid steps, proper posture, or even gravity. The jitterbug, in particular, is famous for its acrobatic feats in which dancers fly around shoulders or soar above heads—all in time with the swinging beats of jazz.
In fact, the jitterbug is notable for a different reason: though it has a different name, it’s exactly the same dance as the original version of swing, the Lindy Hop, which emerged in Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom in the mid-1920s. Started as a playful fusion of ballroom steps and modern crazes such as the Charleston, the Lindy soon became an international phenomenon thanks to vivacious spirit of the Savoy’s amateur dancers, who kept the dance alive by constantly one-upping each other’s moves. By the ’30s, the best of these dancers formed Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, a dance troupe that performed around the world and appeared in several Hollywood pictures to liven up the immobile marble statue known as Gary Cooper. Everywhere they went, the Hoppers planted the seeds of swing that would blossom into such styles such as the Carolina shag (still the official state dance of South Carolina), jive (a European style that emerged during WWII), and West Coast swing (a slower style that smoothed out Lindy’s rapid pulses). Despite the different established styles, the improvisational nature of swing means that its acolytes will always pioneer new moves, losing themselves in wild abandon as long as the music plays.