How do I get started?
The first step is showing up! Find our staff at the door - we're there to get you paid up and are happy to answer any questions you might have. Make sure you've checked that evening's schedule to see what lessons are being taught and whether or not you've met the prerequisites (if any) to jump in. Our 8:00 beginner 6-count lesson on Thursday nights is a great place to start, but week one of any 101 lesson series will start you from the ground up. It's best to arrive a few minutes before the lesson to get acclimated, change your shoes, stash your belongings, grab a beverage, etc.
What classes should I take?
Good question. We offer a bunch of different styles, and we encourage trying out all of them. You can find more info on the specific styles and how the classes are leveled here. Know that if you place yourself in a series for which you are unqualified, you may be asked to move to a different class.
How different are Monday and Thursday classes?
Thursday classes are geared to teaching you what you need to know to have an evening of great social dancing. It's a 45 minute drop in beginner lesson - no experience or partner needed - and it's different every week! Monday classes run in 3 or 4 week progressive series, will advance and refine your skills, give you a broader vocabulary of dance styles and moves, and generally up your dance game! Again, make sure to check what's coming up to make sure you meet the prerequisites if there are any and to see where we are in the series/if you can drop in.
How old do I have to be?
We welcome anyone over 18 years of age to participate. Sometimes we'll be holding an event at a venue that requires attendees to be 21, and we will let you know if/when that is the case. We always ask that anyone under 21 obey Wisconsin law and refrain from consuming alcohol at our events.
Do I need to bring a partner?
No! Swing is a social dance. We rotate partners as part of the lessons to get you accustomed to dancing with different people throughout the night. Both leads and follows should feel comfortable asking anyone to dance. Don't have a partner for the current song? Get your solo dance on. Anything goes!
What do you mean by Lead and Follow?
In social dancing, one of the partners is called the lead (the person who lays out the structure of the dance and often initiates moves) and the other is the follow (the person who responds to and elaborates on what is lead). Both roles are extremely important, require different skills, and work together to create the dance. We encourage everyone to place themselves in the lessons wherever they feel the most comfortable and not choose based on gender. More and more dancers these days are learning both roles and becoming "ambidancestrous," and we think that's awesome -- so choose your role at will or mix it up as the night goes on!
What should I wear?
You'll see all sorts on our social floor on Thursdays. From jeans and t-shirts to cocktail dresses -- remember, it's a physical activity, so whatever you're comfortable wearing is probably fine. Some people like to dress up in vintage/swing style (particularly on band nights), but most keep it pretty casual.
Monday nights tend to be more casual, as there isn't a social afterwards, so wear something you're comfortable moving in.
Know that the room can warm up pretty quickly once everyone is moving, so layers that can be removed are helpful as well as a change of shirt (or two) if you're prone to sweating. Spins and twists can cause skirts to be air born, so a pair of shorts or leggings underneath can be helpful. Sometimes we have costume or theme nights and, while everyone is encouraged to dress up, it's never required to do so.
What about shoes?
You don't need specific or expensive dance shoes to participate. Again, comfort is key. Swing is a fast and energetic dance with lots of spins and turns - very high heels, heavy treads or little ankle support (like sandals/flip flops) can lead to injuries and are not recommended. Any pair of clean, low traction, comfortable shoes will do. Keds or Converse are some easily acquired choices - or any good cobbler can add a suede sole to a pair of shoes for maximum slip. Some venues (our Monday lessons, for example) do not allow street shoes worn on the dance floor, so it's good to have a dedicated pair of shoes for such occasions or plan to dance in socks.
Do you offer private lessons?
CCSwing doesn't offer private lessons directly, but some of our teachers do. Prices vary from teacher to teacher based on their experience, size of group, distance to travel, etc. We're happy to help put you in touch with someone to get private lessons set up. Head over to our private lessons page for more information and to fill out a questionnaire. If you're looking for "tutoring" join us at our office hours when we offer them on Monday nights and you can get some one on one help from piers and teachers. Check the schedule to see when those are coming up.
This was so much fun! Where can I find more dancing!?
All over the world! We try to keep up with lots of the local and regional events and will list them on our calendar when we know of them. Stop by our front table to see what's going on and pick up a flyer or two for some of the bigger workshops and exchanges happening around the country. If you find yourself traveling, a quick internet search will probably turn up the local swing scene. It's a fantastic way to make new friends. Welcome aboard!