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Swing dancing is a big deal in the St Louis area. Convergence Dance and Body Center has been helping to develop quality dancers with quality Swing dance lessons in the St Louis area for over twenty years. Whether you want to dance West Coast Swing, or Triple-time and Lindy Hop… we have the diversity in private dance lessons and group lessons to help you get where you want with your dancing. Our staff has been teaching swing dance lessons at charity events, for Lindy Hop St. Louis, and has helped students compete and win at dance competitions across the country. We offer group lessons once per week and private lessons on most days. Call 314-324-0887 today to talk about what style of Swing dance lessons bests suits your goals and to book a lesson!
Below is a brief description on the various forms of swing that you will hear about and see when you go out dancing!
January 6th to February 24th
Description: Ready for some fun? Come learn some basic swing in a comfortable and relaxed environment. This class will teach you solid basics and easy to understand principles to prepare you for most social dance occasions or to help you prepare for a more specialized form of swing. We will explore some of the popular styles of swing so you can choose the music and moves you like best. It is all about individual expression and improvisation but you have to start with the basics, right?
These classes will focus on the fundamentals of partner dancing and begin with easy 6 and 8 count patterns to get you dancing and having fun right away. The best part???? No partner required
When: Mondays from 6:00pm - 6:55pm
Instructor(s): Liz Schwarzkopf
Intro to Ballroom
Sept 10th - Sept 15th
Description: No matter what reason you are learning for, this is the class for you! We do a sampling of 3 dances over 6 weeks. These dances should get you smoothly through any social dance situation. It will take you from the crowded dance floor with basic rhumba to the expansive ballroom at the Casa Loma Ballroom. The dances we generally begin with are Foxtrot, Swing, and Rumba. If there is a dance you just have to learn, tell the instructor and we will do our best to incorporate it!
The classes are fun and we try to make it as easy and painless as possible for those of you who might be a bit reluctant, we promise!
*If you are a full time student, 26 or younger you can get a 20% student discount by calling 314-324-0887 to register. Please bring your drivers license and student ID to the first class.
The history of ballroom dancing is rich with stories of how dances were developed as well as amazing music, elegant attire, beautiful dresses and amazing ballroom dancing venues. From Speakeasy’s to the Savoy Ballroom, there is always a sense of excitement and elegance connected to ballroom dancing. Exploring the world of ballroom dancing is wonderful and exciting. It’s fun to challenge yourself to learn something new and interesting with others who share the same curiosity. Come and experience the fun to be had dancing Foxtrot and Swing or the beauty of the Slow Waltz. There are also the Latin dances of Salsa, Cha Cha and Rhumba that will get you dancing to the more rhythmic music. The dances are also more flexible than you might think in the types of music they can be danced to, It is very possible that your favorite song is a Rhumba or Swing!
Born on the streets of Harlem and associated with the Savoy Ballroom in the late 1920s, the Lindy Hop is known as the original swing dance and would probably be best described as “partnered jazz dancing”. The dance has no “hop” in it, on the contrary, it is smooth and solid with a constant rhythmic 8-count pulse that you “feel in your bones”. As a performance art, Lindy Hop may involve ensemble dancing, choreographed routines, and acrobatic air steps.
The name “Lindy Hop” was inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic solo airplane hop in 1927. Over the years the dance evolved into different forms and styles in different regions of the country. In the 1980’s it was given new life as young dancers connected with and learned from the original dancers.
The core of Lindy Hop is improvisation – you play, you improvise, you syncopate. Still, the dance does have a structure with some basic steps, patterns and moves, which serve as the basis for innovation. It is mostly characterized by a breakaway move, known as the “Swing-Out”, where the lead sends the follow out of closed position and allows both of them to improvise solo steps. Unlike most ballroom dances, where the dancers float or glide on the floor, Lindy Hop is danced “into the floor” – it uses a “pulse” that drives and connects the dancers. Depending on the music, Lindy Hop can be fast and energetic or smooth and groovy.
Lindy Hop is mostly danced to swing, blues, and jazz music, but is not limited to these styles. Although Lindy Hop is a partnered dance it offers a lot of room for individual expression within the partnership. Both lead and follow constantly communicate with each other through connection, movement, timing, harmony, and musicality. It is said that good Lindy Hop dancing is a perfect balance between structure and freedom.
Originated in 1935 at the Pavilion at Balboa Island in Southern California, when crowded ballrooms forced dancers to shorten their steps. Balboa is a fast, 8-count dance where partners are basically glued together and perform fast footwork but not much whole-body movement. Can be comfortably danced to very fast music.
Another popular variation of this dance is known as Bal-Swing (or Swing-Bal), which includes different variations, moves and patterns.
A swing style which has its roots in the European 6-count style and is comparable to the US East Coast style. Boogie Woogie is famous for its fast, smooth and tricky footwork. In Competitions Boogie Woogie is danced to original music of the late 40ies and 50ies with emphasis on an improvised interpretation of the music without a fixed choreography.
East Coast Swing
A descendant of Lindy Hop/Jitterbug swing. Mostly 6 count rhythms.
West Coast Swing (also known as Whip or Push)
A slower swing dance done to rhythm and blues music which can also be danced to disco, house, rock, and country and western. This dance stays in a “slot” which means that the follower travels back and forth on a straight line. The steps usually have 6, 8, 10, or 12 counts and offer a great deal of customization and stylistic variation. In Texas, there is a version of West Coast Swing called Whip (it’s called Push in Dallas) that is popular.
Native to St. Louis. So called because it was nurtured in the Imperial Dance Club on Florissant Street in St. Louis. It is a variant of East Coast Swing with a six-count step which includes eight-count steps similar to the Lindy. A mix of East Coast and West Coast Swing.
Originated in the South and has been known as the “Flea Hop” at times, the Shag was popular in the early 1920’s with the college students. Shag has three main categories: single, double, and triple. These are determined by the amount of kicks or hops in the dance (for example, Balboa can be considered as Single Time Shag). All the existing styles (St. Louis Shag, Collegiate Shag, Carolina Shag, etc.) fall under the single, double or triple categories. Shag can be six-count or eight count and is usually danced in closed position to fast swing music primarily fast Ragtime-Jazz.