Group lesson led by Dax Hock at the LIndy Loft before the monthly dance
Group lesson led by Dax Hock at the Lindy Loft before the monthly dance

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 hard core, 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 you just want to dabble in Swing dancing. As a bonus, you’ll get to practice what you’ve learned with other people in the class right after, which is invaluable!

Weekly Group Classes

To learn anything more than the basics, you’ll have to graduate from the beginner lessons at the beginning of the dances to something more substantial, like group series classes.  These are usually once a week.

  • Atomic Ballroom (Irvine and Fullerton) has various dance classes throughout the week. This is a great place to learn if you’re in Orange County.
  • DanceSportCA (Long Beach) currently offers swing at 7:30PM with David Stockin. Check their website for the latest.
  • Downtown Dance & Movement (Downtown LA) teaches many forms of dance but has a weekly Swing dance class. Check their site for details.
  • Lindy by the Sea (El Segundo) has several weekly Swing/Lindy Hop class series for absolute beginners on up! Group Swing Dance/Lindy Hop Classes :  Tuesday evening, Intermediate-Advanced with Rusty Frank & Ron Campbell, and Thursday evening, Beginners-Intermediate with Rusty Frank & Ted Stanley.   Every month,  a new Featured Class on Tuesdays, including Charleston, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, etc.  No partner needed! Come and join the fun.
  • LA Jitterbugs (North Hollywood) – These classes are by Steve Sayer and other good instructors. They teach Lindy and Collegiate Shag.
  • Lindy Groove (Pasadena) – Has the Lindy Academy lessons right before the main dance on Thursday.  Taught by Ben and Jasmine, two excellent local dancers/instructors.  Highly recommended!  Check out what they are teaching here!
  • Lindy Loft (Downtown LA)- Group lessons by Dax and Sarah in Downtown LA! You can also check out their Facebook Page. This is a great place to learn if you live or work in Downtown LA!
  • OC Swing Dance Club (Irvine and Placentia) offers group classes throughout the week in Orange County.
  • Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association (Pasadena) has large group classes in Pasadena. Non-intimidating, good for beginners and for meeting people. Lots of classes through out the week. This is where I learned the basics (and so did many other Swing dancers).
  • SOHO Dance (West LA) currently offers beginning swing at 3PM and advanced swing at 4PM every Sunday. Check their site for the latest.
  • Steve Sayer (Burbank) is one of the most popular Swing dance instructors right now. He offers weekly group lessons (as well as privates).
  • Third Street Dance (Mid-City LA) dance studio offering beginner group classes near the Beverly Center.
  • Time2Dance (Inland Empire) – Has weekly East Coast swing and Lindy classes.

Swing Weekends (“Camps”)

If you want to quickly kick up your dancing a notch or two, in one weekend, you should go to a Swing camp.  These are dance “boot camps” packed with excellent classes, contests, and dances. You’ll learn not only from the classes, but from sheer osmosis from all of the great dancers around you. These are also a ton of fun, and you’ll probably make a lot of new friends! Just rest up before going, because they are exhausting.

  • Cal Bal Classic (Pasadena) annual dance weekend in January focusing on Balboa. This always sells out so get your tickets early.
  • Camp Hollywood (Near LAX) happens once a year around the end of August. This is the largest Swing dance camp in Southern California. Highly recommended if you want to get good quickly and have a great time dancing till 4AM!  Don’t miss it!
  • Inspiration Weekend (Fullerton) happens around the end of February and is packed with classes contests, and dances.  It always sells out, so register early!
  • LA Shag Festival (Burbank) This is a newer event focusing on Shag which happens in April. Organized by LA instructor Steve Sayer, I think this will be very popular.

Private Lessons

Okay, if you want to get really good, private lessons are the way to go.  These can improve your dancing in ways that group classes just can’t. Here is a listing of private instructors in the LA/OC area:

  • Allan Toribio (Whittier) is available for private lessons in Balboa and Lindy, and teaches regularly on Mondays in Whittier.
  • Alec Marken (Orange County) offers private Swing dance lessons in the Laguna Hills area
  • Atomic Ballroom (Irvine and Fullerton) offers private lessons in addition to group classes
  • Ben And Sheri (Pasadena) are fun, popular dancers who offer group and private lessons.
  • Barbara and David (West Side, Long Beach) teach at Soho Swing and offer private lessons.
  • Dax and Sarah – (Downtown LA)  run the Lindy Loft in downtown Los Angeles.  They have classes almost every night of the week.  If you work in downtown LA, these would be perfect for you.
  • Essex and Lee (Whittier) – East Coast Swing and Lindy lessons from Essex and Lee of Memories.
  • Jeremy Otth and Laura Keat – Two of my favorite dancers in So. Cal., specializing in authentic Lindy and Balboa. I have personally taken classes from them.
  • Nick Williams (Orange County) – An award-winning dancer from L.A. Great style and choreography.
  • Rusty Frank (West Side – El Segundo) – California Swing Dance Hall of Fame and award-winning dancer offers private as well as group lessons, from basics to choreography.
  • Shesha and Nikki Marvin (Orange County)
  • Steve Grody (Los Angeles) is based in Lincoln Heights close to downtown and offers private lessons.
  • Steve Sayer (Burbank) popular instructor and award-winning dancer offers private lessons in addition to his weekly classes.
  • Time2Dance (Inland Empire) – The folks at Time2Dance also offer private lessons.


Dax and Sara’s Rhythm Juice offers a subscription to some great online videos and courses.

Instructors, please leave a comment below and I will be happy to add you to this list!

What to Avoid

While I like to stay positive, I would avoid dance lessons from the well-known big corporations.  Swing is a street dance, and you’ll learn the most current and frequently-used moves from people who swing dance because they love it.  All of the people and groups I’ve mentioned above have a passion for swing dancing. I see those people out dancing all of the time, and have taken lessons from many of them. They will teach you moves and styling that people are actually doing in the real world today.

Also, avoid taking Swing lessons from folks who don’t primarily teach Swing dancing, such as ballroom dance instructors and salsa teachers.  Those dances are great, but if you want to learn authentic Swing, learn from a true Lindy Hopper. – Brian

Reader Comments

BoWo says:

Hi, does anybody dance in LA the European style of six count swing called Boogie Woogie?

Brian says:

Hi BoWo,

I don’t know of a venue that does Boogie Woogie specifically. Anyone else know?


Brian Shag says:

Steve, Karine, and Chanzie teach LA style Boogie Woogie. It’s lower key and smoother than the European style.

AD818 says:

Oops…I’m trying to find beginner swing classes in the Studio City/Sherman Oaks area???

Brian says:

Hmmm, I don’t know of swing dance lessons in that area. Anyone else know?


Denise Baires says:

Any one know of dance classes in Ontario ca area teaching east cost swing classes ?

Brian Shag says:

The closest place I can think of that teaches Lindy near you would be Metro Swing in Pomona.

AD818 says:

I’m trying to find beginner swim classes in the Studio City Sherman Oaks area

Linda Waldman says:

I’m looking for Swing dancing lessons for myself and 2 kids 11 and 13…. I don’t want the corporate thing an my son (11) likes to do his own thing- not follow someone else’s routine for a show. Is there a place for younger kids to learn the basic moves then go out and have fun?

Brian says:

Hi Linda,

I have seen kids at places like PBDA or Rusty’s Rhythm Club.

Anyone else have any ideas?


Diane says:

Hi! I am having a hard time finding any sort of swing dance classes in Santa Clarita. Would you know of any?

identicon Brian says:

HI Diane,

Sorry, I don’t know of any out there.


C P says:

Ask Pamela & Reuben Sosa who live and teach up there. They also take weekly classes from Steve Sayer, Karine, and Chanzie in North Hollywood.

Denise Watanabe says:

I second the recommendation of Pam and Reuben. We have taken lessons from them for 2 years and they have taught us what is current and fun. Check them out on their FB page Santa Clarita Lindy.

Brian says:

Thanks Denise!

If anyone can give me a link to Pam and Reuben’s classes or lessons, let me know and I’ll post it on this page!


Kasey says:

Doug has moved to Oregon… traitor.

identicon Brian says:

Haha, thanks Kasey. I’ll update this.


Lili says:

I’m looking for beginner lessons in west la for a family member in her 20s. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Her background is ballroom dance, and I want to switch her to lindy. Thanks!

identicon Brian says:

Hi Lili,

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of Swing dance lessons on the West Side. The closest thing is probably Rusty’s in Playa Del Rey: http://rustyfrank.com/lbs-schedule.asp

There are also swing lessons at Third Street Dance near the Beverly Center, but these might go fast enough for her: http://www.thirdstreetdance.com/


Hi Brian. I’ve done a bit of teaching too. For those who might enjoy a getaway in Santa Barbara, I teach a beginning ECS lesson before every First and Third Friday Swing Dance. And I also offer private lessons.

identicon Brian says:

Great, thanks for posting Jonathan!! Everyone, Swing lessons in Santa Barbara!


Sunny says:

Are there any classes of Lindy Hop for beginners in the San Fernando valley?

identicon Brian says:

Hi Sunny,

Joe’s bar supposedly has an intro dance lesson on Tuesdays at 8PM but I’ve never been there for those.

Unfortunately, for real lessons, you’d have to drive to downtown for Lindy Loft, or Pasadena.. When I was learning, I would drive from Santa Monica to Pasadena (PBDA).


identicon Brian says:

Oh, by the way, the classes at Joe’s are probably East Coast Swing, not Lindy Hop. For Lindy you’d probably have to go to the Lindy Loft, PBDA, or Rusty’s in Playa Del Rey.. Sorry nothing closer that I know of.. – Brian

Kay Hwangbo says:

Steve Sayer in North Hollywood sometimes offers Beginning Lindy Hop. His classes move fast, though, so prepare to dedicate yourself!

Hi Brian,

Could you please add me to the instructor list? I am available for private lessons for Balboa and Lindy and teach regularly on Sundays. Let me know what other information you need. Thanks for keeping this resource going!

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