How to Swing Dance

Learn the basics of the big-band era, and get ready for a jazzy night on the town!

You will need

  • A dance partner
  • A sense of humor
  • Endurance

Step 1 Count out the rhythm Get used to the rhythm you’ll be dancing to by counting it out loud. The beat for basic swing dancing sounds like this: 1 a 2, 1 a 2, 1 2, 1 a 2, 1 a 2, 1 2.

Step 2 Stand in open position Swing is traditionally danced by a man-and-woman team. Decide who’ll be your gent and who’ll be your lady. Stand facing each other in open position.

Step 3 Think of yourselves as mirrors You and your partner will always be dancing the same steps on the opposite feet. Basically, you’ll be each other’s mirror image.

Step 4 Step to one side On the first “1 a 2,” the man does a left-right-left step to his left side. The woman steps right-left-right to her right.

Step 5 Step to the other side On the second “1 a 2,” the man does a right-left-right step to his right, back to starting position. The woman steps left-right-left to her left.

Step 6 Step away On the “1,” the man steps back and away on his left foot, while the woman does the same on her right foot.

Step 7 Step back On the “2,” both partners shift their weight to the other foot.

Step 8 Practice the sequence Throw on an old swing hit, and practice until you know the sequence by heart.

Step 9 Step lively Swing is a fun, upbeat dance, so keep up that energy, and have a blast!