Come and join us on the dance floor
We teach Lindy Hop classes and other swing dances of the Jazz age. For us that means Lindy Hop, Charleston, and Solo Jazz. Each of these has a special place in the history and development of Swing Dancing. We teach that as well.
Our classes have structure that focus on technique to discover the joy of dance. Our aim is to make you smile and love what you are doing because then you will learn more.
Dates, Times & Address
Swing Dance Summertown operates as a not for profit club. We run classes on a Wednesday evening at:
Cherwell School South Site
Marston Ferry Road,
3 Words app Location ///visual.liability.music
You can also find a map on our Contact Us Page
If you use Google Maps just enter “Swing Dance Summertown” and that will give you directions
Our Winter term class dates will be announced soon. Our classes run every Wednesday evening during term time.
Classes start at 7:30pm and run through until approximately 10:20pm. Our Winter Term of classes starts on 10th January 2024 and continue through to 27th March 2024.
We operate a 2 tier system for members and non members. Membership for a year costs £30. It entitles everyone to a special members rate for classes. The members rate for classes is £6 per evening. Members also receive discount on social dance events. Membership runs from the first week of the term you join and runs until the first week of the corresponding term the following year. Terms run for Autumn, Winter and Summer each year and roughly correspond to the School and College terms.
Non members can come along to a class and will receive a special offer. They pay £10 for their first class but also receive a voucher so that their second class is free. That means someone can try a class out for 2 lessons without committing to membership. After that each class will cost £10 but everyone has the option of becoming a member and enjoying the reduced rates above.
In reality, it makes sense for everyone to become a member if they are planning on attending more than a handful of classes in a year. The more classes you attend the cheaper and better membership is. We worked it out that if you attend every class in a year as a member it will cost you £6.83 which makes it one of the cheapest dance classes in Oxford.
You can pay at the door using a contactless card or cash.
Lindy Hop & Charleston Beginner Classes
Everyone has to start somewhere, and Beginner classes is where most people start their dance journey with us. This is also the most daunting part for people who have never danced before. We understand that and so we take the first classes very slowly at the beginning of each term. Even if you have two left feet we are going to get you bouncing with the rhythm, and we think you are going to love it. We design all the classes with the aim that this is fun and that is one of our primary goals for you as you learn.
As the term moves on we gradually build your confidence up as you learn how to partner a dance. Initially we want you to pick your preferred role in order to become comfortable either Leading or Following.
Over the weeks, it builds up into a conversation without words between partners as you learn to communicate on the dance floor. For everyone there is a moment when it clicks, and when that moment happens you will feel an incredible sense of achievement as you are ready to take the next step.
Not everyone is ready to move onto Improver level classes after only one term of beginner classes. In fact most people do 2 or more rounds of the beginner classes before moving on. There is however a point where a novice dancer becomes comfortable with the role they are dancing, and has the technique firmly attached to their sense of rhythm. That’s when you are ready to take the Improver classes.
This is also where we start to explore the ‘other’ role as a lead or follow. The more you know about one, the better you will be with the other. That’s why everyone explores both. On the one hand we teach you how to lead your partner and give clear signals. On the other you learn how to interpret those signals and complete the shapes that were initiated by your partner. As you experience one, you improve in the other. Some of our dancers also decide to go back to Beginners in order to learn the other role from scratch and give themselves a head start in Improver classes.
Here you learn some more shapes and moves. It’s also where you start to add some variation, moving from 6 count to 8 count step patterns whilst getting your triple step firmly set into the beat. You will also find that you can handle music that is a bit faster. All the hard work you put into the earlier classes start to pay you back many times over in these classes. Its still structured and we make sure that everyone is moving at a comfortable pace but you will also find your skills on the dance floor developing.
Dancers pick their moment for the intermediate classes and it isn’t uncommon for people to move between Improver and Intermediate classes. By now you have been introduced to both roles on the dance floor, and switching between step patterns. You will now move onto more complex shapes as you master The Swing Out and other ‘cool moves’. This is also where you will learn variations on these moves to give you a thorough dance vocabulary on the dance floor, and take you and your partner to new levels.
We also teach how to switch between roles in the intermediate classes. You might not be ready for this straight away and we have workshops to help you along but ultimately our aim is to take you to a level where you can dance with absolutely anyone and settle into each other’s abilities on the dance floor. Sometimes leading, sometimes switching to follow within the dance whilst safe in the knowledge that the flawless technique you have developed will see you through.
Did you know there is an ABC of Jazz steps? Well there is, and the solo Jazz classes begin by taking you through the alphabet. As this vocabulary builds up we introduce you to some simple routines like the Shim Sham. As your stamina builds up we can then take on some more complex and faster routines like Mama’s Stew, among others.
The Solo Jazz classes will also give you a way to transition and improvise your way through the different steps so you can spontaneously create a brand new Jazz dance that is unique to you. This skill comes in very handy when you get to the Intermediate classes and so it provides you with a foundation that becomes more useful, the longer you dance. It’s also a great way to get and maintain fitness.
Finding us for Lindy Hop Classes
If you are approaching along Marston Ferry Road from Headington & Marston and heading towards the Banbury Road junction, the turning is on the left.
If you are approaching from Banbury Road take the turning for Marston Ferry Road and the entrance will be a right turn into the school.
In both cases you will cross a cycle path so please take care. There is a map on our website for reference.
There is lots of free parking in the car park as well as places to store & secure your bicycle. Head to the middle entrance next to the secure bicycle parking. We will be there to welcome and direct you.
Apparently there is an issue using the postcode with Sat Nav that directs you wrongly. It is due to a shared postcode. If you are using Sat Nav please ensure you enter “Cherwell School South Site” on Marston Ferry Road rather than the postcode. If you follow the directions above, you won’t go wrong.
Please refer to our Covid 19 Policy and how it relates to classes and social dances for all dancers
Get in touch if you have questions
Why not drop us a line if you have questions, or check out the list of class dates and just come along.