The Most Common Beginner Swing Dancing Mistakes

Any veteran swing dancer can spot the “newbies” right away by some tell-tale signs.  Avoid these bad habits and your dancing will look better immediately and more people will want to dance with you.  Here are the top mistakes that beginner swing dancers make. 1. Taking Huge Steps This is probably the most obvious sign of a beginner- someone who is taking huge steps from side to side and/or on the rock-step.  Experienced dancers take small steps!  It looks better and is much more graceful and smooth.  Plus, you’ll bump into fewer people on the dance floor and expend less…

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Top Ten Most Influential Vintage Swing Dance Clips

Groovie Moovie

The style of swing dancing we do in Southern California has been strongly influenced by  great performers who danced in old movies. Here are my picks for the top ten vintage clips that have influenced swing dancing LA/OC the most. Special thanks to video historian John Cooper for helping compiling this list! #1 GROOVIE MOOVIE (1944) Groovie Moovie is my pick for L.A./O.C.’s most influential vintage swing clip. It is credited by many as the inspiration behind the revival of Hollywood Style Swing dancing in Southern California. #2 HELLZAPOPPIN (1941) Certainly anywhere but in Southern California, this famous clip featuring…

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Swing Dance Lessons in Los Angeles and Orange County

Jeremy and Laura

Los Angeles and Orange County have some of the best swing instructors in the world. Many Swing venues offer beginner East Coast Swing classes before the main dancing starts. If you are interested in going further, you can enroll in a class series, usually held weekly. If you are really hardcore, arrange for a private lesson from some of the outstanding teachers below. Venues with Beginner Lessons Before the Main Dance These are good to get a quick, casual introduction to Swing dancing, usually East Coast Swing (although they sometimes teach Balboa). These are usually very beginner-friendly and non-intimidating if…

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The Best Local Bands to Swing Dance To

The California Feetwarmers at Union Station

Southern California has some great bands to swing dance to, from authentic 20’s and 30’s bands, to big bands, to jump blues and rockabilly bands.  We are spoiled!  Currently, it seems that 20’s/30’s Gypsy Jazz/Dixieland Jazz is all the rage (just look at the number of bands in that genre). Of the bands in this category, the California Feetwarmers (see photo above) seem to have some of the most devoted followers (and for good reason – they are excellent). There are probably a lot of great bands missing from this list, simply because I haven’t got a chance to see…

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Beginners, Read This First!


Swing dancing is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things I’ve discovered in my life. Maybe you were out and saw some swing dancers at a restaurant, bar, or other event. Or, maybe someone took you to a Swing venue and you want to learn more. Whatever the reason, you’d like to learn how to Swing dance!  But, it can be intimidating and hard to know where to start. I hope I can help here. Amount of Time Required The first thing you should know is that learning to do any kind of dance will take time and dedication. If…

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Top Ten Tips to Becoming a Great Swing Dancer

Paladino's Lounge

Are you a beginner, eager to do the cool moves you see everyone else doing, but you only know three moves? Here’s my advice to beginner swing dancers on how to get good fast: 1. Go social dancing as often as possible! Just taking a lesson once a week won’t cut it. You’ll forget everything you learned before the next lesson. When I started I was a total fanatic and went swing dancing four or five times a week. OK, maybe you don’t have to be that insane, but you should go out at least twice or three times a…

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The Entire History of Swing Dancing in a Six-Minute Routine

The delightful routine performed by Andrew Thigpen and Karen Turman at the International Lindy Hop Championships in 2010 is chock full of homages to everything from Hellzapoppin, Buck Privates, and Goovie Moovie to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Gap ad, bad East Coast swing dancers, and even popular dancers within our swing community. It’s basically a six-minute history of swing dancing!