How to Do Basic Swing Dance Steps

Learn how to do basic swing dance steps from dance instructors Aaron Mitchum and Kristina Reese in this ballroom dance tutorial from Howcast.


Up next in How to Ballroom Dance (46 videos)

Wish you could dance like the pros on Dancing with the Stars? In these dance videos, ballroom dance instructors Aaron Mitchum and Kristina Reese teach you how to do the waltz, the foxtrot, the rumba, and the mambo; how to jive dance; and how to swing dance. With their help, you'll soon be owning the dance floor.




Aaron: Hey guys, I'm Aaron. Kristina: And I'm Kristina. Aaron: We're professional ballroom dance instructors coming at you today from New York City, and today we're going to be talking to you about a little dance we call the swing, also what we refer to in the ballroom world as East Coast Swing. So what we're going to be doing is starting taking a look at the basic action. So gentlemen, let's take apart our footwork. What we're doing, guys, is we're always starting with our left leg, and what we're going to be starting this dance with is what we call a link step or a rock step. Taking our left leg and rocking it behind, one, two. And then following this up with a triple step action going side, together, side, and then repeating that with our right leg to our right, side, together side. And then following that up again, rock step, one two three, one two three, rock step. Now Kristina is going to demonstrate the ladies' part. Kristina: Alright. So, ladies, we are going to start with our right foot in the rock step. So we're going to take our right foot and step behind, replace, that's our one, two. And then slide to the right, three and four, five and six. Again, one, two, three and four, five and six. Aaron: Now we're going to talk a little bit about the different hand holds we're going to be using in the swing. For starters we're going to be using a bit of a modified hold here from what we're used to in most of our ballroom dances where gentlemen we're actually going to place our thumb on top of the lady's hand and bring it down to about waist level. Here we're also going to be slightly turned out as this dance has a lot of rotational action that we're going to see right away as we rock step. Now there are several other types of holds as well. We're also going to be using a double hand hold, a single hand hold, and an open position, as well as a handshake hold that you'll see will get us into several more of our advanced patterns. Now let's take a look at that basic action again together, one more time. And, one, two, three and four, five and six. One, two, three and four, five and six. One, two. And now let's try that with music.


  • Aaron Mitchum

    Aaron has been teaching competitive and social Latin American and ballroom dancing for the last 12 years. He passionately works to bring all of his students to a very organic place of discovery through dance, knowing that no matter the individual's level or talent, any goal is achievable. Aaron is a graduate of the prestigious School of Drama at the North Carolina School of the Arts and is frequently on stage and screen. He is available for private and group instruction in New York City by appointment.

  • Kristina Reese

    Kristina Reese is a professional ballroom dancer based in New York City. She has traveled the country teaching, performing and competing. Her DVIDA certifications and dance knowledge along with her enthusiasm and passion for dance combine to create an enjoyable, educational and fun dance experience.