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How to Swing Dance

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


  • 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.
  • TIP: Open position means standing and facing your partner, maintaining some space between the two of you, and holding one or both hands.
  • 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!
  • FACT: The swing dance known as the Lindy Hop derived its name from Charles Lindbergh's famed solo flight (or "hop") across the Atlantic.

You Will Need

  • A dance partner
  • A sense of humor
  • Endurance

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