Frequently Asked Questions
What is swing dancing?
We consider "swing dancing" an umbrella term for different dances done to swing/jazz music from the 1920s-1940s. This includes Lindy hop, east coast swing, Charleston, solo jazz, balboa, and others.
Do I need to have any dance experience?
Our beginner lessons are geared towards people who have never danced before, but we try to add in a few extras for those with some experience, too. If you want to learn, come to the lesson and practice on the dance floor. We were all brand new once!
Do I need to come with a partner?
No need to bring a partner. In the beginner lesson, we change partners often to working on dancing with different people, and we encourage you to do that at the dance, too!
What if I don't want to dance?
Dancing isn't required; if you want to grab a drink and enjoy the live music, that's great!
What should I wear to dance at Uptown Swing?
Something comfortable that you can move in. Wear shoes that are comfortable, will stay on your feet, and aren't too heavy or sticky. If you're wearing a skirt or dress, try spinning in front of a mirror first to see if you'd be more comfortable with a pair of shorts or a slip underneath.
Do you teach lessons?
We teach a beginner partnered swing dance lesson before every Uptown Swing event. We have a vintage jazz dance troupe called the Uptown Lowdown, which performs original choreography in a 1920s chorus girl style. We also offer weekly classes to learn classic, swing-era solo jazz routines. See our Classes page for more information. We also occasionally offer more intensive dance workshops.
Where else can I go swing dancing? Where else can I take classes?
There are many wonderful teachers and venues for swing dancing in the Hudson Valley! Here are a few to look into:
Hudson Valley Community Dance - regional non-profit supporting a variety of social dances, including swing dances to live music and monthly workshops
Got2Lindy Dance Studios - regular lessons, performance troupes, and social swing dances in Kingston, Highland, and Newburgh
Hudson Valley Dance Depot - dance studio in LaGrangeville offering regular lessons in swing, tap, and ballroom, along with social dances
Swing with Emily Vanston - Emily has been sharing the joy of swing dance for 18+ years, and would love to share it with you. Private lessons, classes, and more.
Unison Arts 3rd Friday Swing Dance - monthly social dance with live music in New Paltz
Where can I get music?
Support the musicians who have played at Uptown Swing and buy their albums! We love Rhino Records and Rocket Number Nine in Kingston, especially for their used records. For free downloads of older recordings, check out Jazz On-Line.