What to Expect When You Go Swing Dancing

Swing is one of the most popular styles of dance that our students request to learn. Swing is one of the go-to up-tempo dances whether you are going to a reception, on a cruise or enjoying some good old Rock N’ Roll. When you go to take your show on the road out swing dancing there are a couple of things you can do ahead of time to prepare for a great night out.

1) What kind of Swing Club is it? In your area you will probably have events dedicated to a specific “type” of swing like East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop or Country Swing. Here are some tips to know for each environment!

East Coast Swing- You will probably be dancing mainly to rock and roll music. Think of the great 1980s music on the radio. In order to save energy to dance the night away, occasionally slowing down your triple time swing to double time swing will give you a little extra stamina.

West Coast Swing- While most West Coast Swings played in the studio may be played to a slower tempo for a real groovy feel, there will probably be many faster paced songs played when you go out. Practice staying in your “slot” during a practice party or busy lesson time to make sure you can keep control to one of these faster songs.

Lindy Hop- Often, these dances may have a hosted live band! Which means full-length songs and possible encores! Phew! That’s a lot of dancing. Bring a water bottle and a hand towel in case you tend to sweat. You may also want to investigate the average age of the event. Sometimes these swing clubs will curve either younger or older. Some of these big band favorites are also perfect for a foxtrot or quickstep if you want to navigate around the outside of the crowd.

Country Swing- Country Swing is great to take a break from the faster Two-Steps that you might dance at your local country dance spot. Pick a spot on the floor in the middle so that you do not slow down the rest of the traffic.

2) Practice Small Rocksteps- It is easy to get a little carried away with the fun music and our rockstep can get a little crazy. Make sure that you keep your feet under your body so that you don’t disrupt your neighbor’s dance.

3) To Bring Your Dance Shoes, or Not Bring your Dance Shoes? It depends on whether the event is indoors or outdoors. If it is outdoors, you are probably best to leave your dance shoes at home. The elements can take a toll on your shoes soles. If the event is indoors, then go for it, but you probably don’t want to bring a pristine pair of competition shoes. Bring an older pair that are still comfortable on your feet so that if they get a little dirty you won’t mind.

Happy Dancing!


Arthur Murray Scottsdale is currently open and accepting new students for lessons during COVID-19.