What material does Gottaswing teach?
See our clip on YouTube where Tom and Debra demonstrate the material covered in the Gottaswing beginner series.
In the Gottaswing dictionary of dance, "swing" refers to a type of music, and there are many different dances that can be done to swing music. We teach primarily 6- and 8-count patterns, Jitterbug and Lindy Hop, which many people consider to be the same dance. We emphasize lead and follow skills and socially-leadable steps rather than choreographed routines.
The first night of the beginner class covers some basic 6-count to get everyone started on the dance floor. After that, we cover approximately one new move each week, using 8-count patterns. We cover what we consider to be the basic moves necessary to a Lindy repertoire: a basic Lindy whip, Lindy circle, side-by-side Charleston, a 4-count turn to transition into Back Charleston, Back Charleston, and the exit from Back Charleston into dance position. We move relatively slowly and spend a lot of time reviewing, as we feel it's more important to have a solid basis than to know a lot of moves.
In our intermediate class, we spend the first 20 minutes reviewing the previous week's material and then move on to teach two to four new moves. We presume everyone is familiar with and comfortable dancing the material we cover in the beginner class and do not stop to review the basics.
The beginner series always follows the same curriculum, while the intermediate class always varies. Since the material always changes, students are invited to take as many intermediate series' as they wish; most students seem to stay with us for about a year or longer, and frequently try out all the Gottaswing teachers.
Potential students frequently ask for advice on which level they should register for. The answer is simple: register for whichever level you think you qualify for, but come to class the first night knowing that we'll take the opportunity to evaluate your skill level. To be absolutely safe, come to both the beginner and intermediate classes; you may be bored in one or in over your head in another, but this way you don't miss a night of class. We may recommend you move into the intermediate level, or that you'd benefit from taking our beginner class.
What about a refund?
Two alternatives are available: you can request a 50% refund up through the second night of class, or you can receive a class credit which allows you to take the class another night or location that is more convenient for you. For detailed information, please see our Refund Policy.
What do I wear to class?
Initially, we only recommend that the students wear comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes. We do not recommend high heels or open, strappy shoes such as sandals; basically, think of what shoe you wouldn't mind running in. Every one has their own personal preference, and current favorites are the Bleyer dance shoes carried by www.dancestore.com and white Bass bucks. Some people like a plain sole, and others take them to a shoe repairer and have chrome leather or suede applied to the bottoms. We also recommend loose, comfortable clothing; basically, you'll be running! We don't like blue jeans because they're too restrictive. Many students discover that after they have been dancing for a while that they wish to obtain a more authentic vintage appearance, such as two-tone shoes and Zoot suits.
What if I have to miss a class?
You are welcome to take a make-up class at any of our other locations. If you're in the beginner class, you'll need to consult the session start dates so you can take the class that's closest to yours in the curriculum or Email Debra for assistance. Intermediates are welcome to take their make-up class with their own students, or perhaps take the opportunity to experience another set of teachers.
What if the weather is bad?
If class is cancelled due to inclement weather we will post a message to that effect on the Home page. You may also call our Dance Hotline at 703.359.9882 after 3pm. A cancellation message will be heard only if the class has been canceled. If you don't hear anything special, the class is being held as usual.