My Name is Matthew
I've been teaching people to dance for 15 years. Here's some of what I've learned about Swing, a playful and rhythmic dance.
I'm gonna get deep into swing on this page, so if all you're looking for is information about private swing lessons or swing group classes in Chicago, click one of the buttons below. If you're interested in learning more about what make swing the coolest dance ever, read below.
At Ballroom Dance Chicago, we teach the traditional swing styles, like Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing and Jitterbug, but we also teach a handful of swing styles that fit beautifully to music you'd actually hear out at an event or wedding
If you were stuck on a deserted island and only had one dance you could dance for the rest of your life, what would it be? You already know my answer by the title of this page: swing. But really, what would you choose?
Waltz and Salsa are my favorite dances on a day-to-day basis, but I wouldn't choose either of them because they're stuck to their given musical styles: waltz is in 3/4 timing, which means you can only dance it to 3/4 timed music and Salsa is danced to Salsa music. Both very limiting. Sure you can dance either of these dance styles to any music by simply changing the technique and timing, but then you wouldn't be dancing Waltz or Salsa. You'd be creating totally different dance styles. And that doesn't work with this exercise: what we're talking about here is choosing one. So I can't possibly choose Waltz or Salsa - my all time favorite dances - because I'd be stuck with that choice and that music.
And if there's anything I like more than dancing, it's music. So I need some variety.
I say I'd choose swing because it's the most versatile dance style and also the most joyous (and if you're stranded on an island, you probably need as much joy as you can get). Swing is a dance style that has stayed very traditional in some ways - you still get people who dress up like they're from the 20s and 30s who only dance swing to music from that era. But you also get people who put on Pharrell's latest hit and dance swing to that - albeit very differently than those 1920s Lindy Hoppers. In the end, swing is a social dance, danced to the music of the time. Yes, the very heart of swing is to dance to whatever's on the radio. And the very heart of swing is to express the music AND oneself. So that means that the dance changes with the music and your mood, which is pretty cool. And that every changing nature of swing is why I choose swing.
At Ballroom Dance Chicago, we teach the traditional swing styles, like Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing and Jitterbug, but we also teach a handful of swing styles that fit beautifully to music you'd actually hear out at an event or wedding or at your local bar that's playing tunes on the jukebox (wait, do they still make those?). And for those of you who are curious: I've actually developed a type of swing for 3/4 timed music (who needs the waltz?).
So if you're new to swing, let me give you a place to start learning: take a look at the below video for a tutorial on the basic swing step. If you're a swing veteran and want fresh skills, we don't yet have a video for you, but my staff and I would be really happy to help you elevate your dancing in a private lesson. Either way, contact us today to schedule a complimentary Swing consultation. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. And if you need help, make sure to click one of the following buttons.