Class timetablelaura.h.knight@gmail.com

Save money with a class card

A 10 class card offers you a great way to save cash on your swing dance classes! Simply present your card at any Swing Patrol venue and a circle gets filled in for each class you do. They are convenient and cheaper than paying as you go.

  • A great gift
  • Valid for any London Swing Patrol dance class (does not include courses)
  • Valid for 12 months and transferrable
  • Can be shared between two people

Find out more


Which level am I?

Our handy little guide explains all…

LEVEL 1

This is the class for you if you have never danced before or if you have done some dancing but have never done a swing dance class.

Two primary rhythms are covered in these classes:

  • Charleston (both side-by-side and tandem) and
  • 6 beat Lindy Hop.

Lots of different combinations are covered each week and all taught at a beginner level. With lots of revision and combinations these classes are huge fun. Someone who has never danced before would expect to remain in a beginners class for at least 3 or 4 months. These classes are all about sharing some fun steps to fabulous music, starting to touch on the skill in controlling your body and the connection with your partner, which can sometimes feel weird and kooky at this stage.

If you have done solo dancing before (jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, etc) but not partner dancing, the steps will be easier and you’ll sometimes be able to fast track to other classes once you have the basic rhythms. If you have done other partner dances before (ballroom, latin, R&R) it’s a matter of picking up the basic steps and styling (which can be quite different!) and further developing and applying your partner dance knowledge.

8 beat Lindy Hop is sometimes taught in these classes also, as a transition into the Level 2 classes. Alternatively, you can check out the current ‘Learn to Dance in a Day’ workshops that have a session on the 8 beat Lindy Hop from scratch.

LEVEL 2

In general for these classes you need to know the basic swing rhythms taught in Level 1:

  • 6 Beat Lindy Hop (kicks/pump and triple steps)
  • Charleston (Side-by-side and tandem)
  • and the basics of 8 beat Lindy Hop (swing outs!)

These are the classes where you start to really learn and integrate the 8 beat Lindy Hop. This is the mainstay of material for this level of class, building simple moves, variations and combinations as well as developing your skills of lead-follow and fine tuning body control and technique for the dance. You’ll start combining Charleston, 6 beat and 8 beat Lindy basics together and will be venturing out onto the social dance floor regularly. Your head will spin with all the combinations then one day the flow will “click”!

These classes will continue to provide classic moves and solid technique even if you’ve been swing dancing for some time. It’s a great idea to continue with Level 2 classes even if also progressing to Level 3.

LEVEL 3

There are no technical requirements for this level other than being confident in all your basic swing rhythms, and having a good basic technique. The description below is an example of what a level 3 dancer would be like!

You know the basic swing rhythms without having to think about them and can lead/follow the transitions between them all in the one dance. You will have been dancing on the social floor for a while, and can easily dance with leads/follows of any level. Lead/follow skills are refined, smooth and confident, and connection through your body to your partner lets you lead and follow new or improvised steps. You should always be in control of your own body (and your partner if leading), and surprises are starting to flow. You’re thinking beyond the steps to the styling, musicality and feel, and are ready to really develop HOW you dance; the technique that makes the good dancers look good. This is the level where you’re trying things outside the box, while building solid foundations so even the most basic of steps feel great.

LEVEL 4

Aimed at what is called the “lost group” of London. We have had many emails from experienced swing dancers seeking a class that caters for them.

This class will assume you have been through the “moves” phase and want to work on all the great technical issues such as pulse, stretch, connection and movement. The class will of course still be about having fun but will have quality dancing in the class where dancers of a similar standard can be pushed.  Many of our trainee teachers will be in class, troupe members and social dancing who really love being pushed. You have probably danced at least a few years and been to international swing festivals and learnt from a range of different teachers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I wear?

We recommend anything comfortable that you can move around in. We would also suggest wearing layers as it can get quite hot swing dancing.

For footwear, we recommend flat shoes or plimsolls; high heels can be very difficult to swing dance in! Keds are the footwear of choice for all our instructors as they offer a comfortable and stylish collection to suit all. Click here to purchase yours. We recommend shoes with hard-leather or suede soles for dancing Balboa in. Most people come straight from work and do not bother changing. As long as you are comfortable and can move freely.

Do I need a partner?

Absolutely not! We rotate the class right through the lesson, so bringing a partner is not necessary.

When can I start?

You can join in at any time. There is no need to book or register — just turn up.

Level 1 (Beginner Swing Dance) classes are like pieces of Lego and over time all the building blocks come together. Attend one of these 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 dance classes which cannot be attended on a casual basis are the specialised workshops we run throughout the year which need to be pre-booked. We have a big range of workshops and are aimed at a variety of different levels.

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 and you feel concerned, you may like to book yourself in for a one-on-one private lesson. Please speak to your teachers about private classes or email info@swingpatol.co.uk

What do you teach?

We mainly teach Lindy Hop, a dance done to big band sounds. Lindy Hop is an African American dance which developed at the Savoy Ballroom in New York in the 1920s.

We also have two weekly Blues dancing classes — check out the Sin City Blues page for a description of Blues dancing.

While “Lindy Hop” is the flagship of most swing dancing, we will also introduce you to a range of other great swing dances such as Balboa, Collegiate Shag and 1920s solo and partnered Charleston.

What is the average age group?

We have all ages of people learning and enjoying swing dancing. Basically high 20s / early 30s seems to be the average age, but swing dancing is for everyone. The age range across the classes is 18-78yrs!

Where do you all go swing dancing?

There are swing dance events all around town and each week groups of swing dancers can be found at a variety of social dancing venues around town. Check out our social dancing page for our regulars dance nights. There are many one-off events like balls and random dance happenings, so keep an eye on the front page for details. We also regularly update our Facebook page with dance news.

What exactly is 'Swing'?

If you have watched “Swing Kids”, “Swingers” or “Malcolm X” you will know what swing is. Swing is a sound AND a dance.

Swing music comes under the overall music umbrella of jazz and even though there is a lot of great modern swing played these days it all has that wonderful upbeat swinging dotted or “galloping” rhythm that you may remember from “In the Mood” or any other Glenn Miller golden oldie that your parents or grandparents played for you!

Swing dancing is a style of dance that suits swing music. Swing dancing can be upbeat and flashy or slow and sensual. Whatever the pace, the dancing is always an expression of the music that it relates to!

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 that is taught in swing dancing and how it is hard to swing without grinning.