Classes

Burlington Westie classes are taught on Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 9pm at the North End Studios. Classes begin on the first Tuesday of the month and continue for four weeks. There are typically three classes each week. Admission covers any combination of classes, and the after class social dancing. Beginners are welcome to come early to watch and/or try intermediate classes.

An example schedule:
schedule

Classes are also listed on our google calendar.

Admission

4 Week Series: $46, Students $32 (8 hours of class, 4+ hours of dancing)
Drop In: $16, Students $11, Social Dancing only $5

April Classes

4 Week Series, Tuesday Evenings April 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th
 
Schedule
7pm Intermediate West Coast Swing – Extending the Fun! with Sara & Ryan
8pm Advanced West Coast Swing – Play Off of Your Partner! with Sara & Ryan
8pm Beginner West Coast Swing – with Lexi and Olivia
9pm After Class Dancing!!!
 
In Intermediate West Coast Swing – Extending your Fun! For the past couple of months we explored pattern families and a bouquet of variations we can draw from to help keep our dances interesting and varied. This month, we will focus on pattern extensions! Extensions add other benefits to our dance such as providing more ways for us to hit breaks in the music, giving us moments to interact and play more with our partner, and can help us change location on the dance floor with style (floorcraft).
 
In Advanced West Coast Swing – Play Off of Your Partner! We will outline and explore some of the many ways we can play off of our partner. West Coast Swing is primarily a Social Dance, so when we’re out on the dance floor a part of our aim as both leaders and followers is to do much more interacting and less marching through patterns. It can be difficult for leaders to “play” in the dance while in the mindset of planning moves, and followers can find it challenging to speak up during a dance for a number of reasons. We will promote the ability of both roles to play more in their dance through a series of fun exercises which, at times, will draw from items we will learn in the preceding Intermediate Class.
 
In Beginner West Coast Swing, Lexi and Olivia are returning to teach you the fundamentals of our dance!
No Partner or experience necessary! Take it again to pick up on the techniques you missed while focusing on your feet and steps. Or try taking it again as the opposite role!
 
4 Week Series
$46, Students $32
 
See you on the dance floor!

May Classes

4 Week Series, Tuesday Evenings May 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd
 
Schedule
7pm Intermediate West Coast Swing – Inserting Technique with Lexi & Ryan
8pm Advanced West Coast Swing – Bring Other Dances Into Your Westie! with Scott Chilstedt and Brad Thompson
8pm Beginner West Coast Swing – Building a Solid Foundation with Lexi and Ryan
9pm After Class Dancing!!!
 
**May has 5 Tuesdays. Stay tuned for the special topic on May 29th!**
 
In Intermediate West Coast Swing – Inserting Technique! Instead of working on a pattern from start to finish, adding bits of technique here and there, we will take the opposite approach to learning this month. We will first focus on the techniques we see as needing the most sprucing up in our community, and inserting them into the various places and patterns where they apply. Worried that you might not know many patterns or know them well enough? Not to worry! We will stick to common patterns and recap them first if need be. We will also add in some variations and styling with their own set of technique for the more experienced dancers, and ask them to try everything out on a greater variety of patterns.
 
In Advanced West Coast Swing this month we are presenting a new and exciting unit of “Bringing Other Dances Into Your Westie”, with special instructors Scott Chilstedt and Brad Thompson alternating weeks between Scott’s Choice and Hip Hop! We’ve all seen a video or live dance of a pro Westie putting Hip Hop, Blues, Shag, or even Zouk into their body movements, attitude, and even into their partner. For this much anticipated unit we are going to have two awesome dancers sharing footwork, body movements, posture and tone adjustments, and specific styling with you to increase the fun, appearance, and diversity in your West Coast Swing Dancing!
 
In Beginner West Coast Swing – Join Lexi and Ryan to build a solid foundation in West Coast Swing so you can confidently enter more challenging classes and get the most out of them! Were you stuck on a particular pattern or point, or couldn’t get the feel of something quite right? We’ll be there to answer your questions and help you feel more comfortable on the dance floor! This class is still first-timer friendly!
 
4 Week Series
$46, Students $32
 
See you on the dance floor!

FAQ

Do I need a partner?
No! Our classes are open to everyone and we rotate partners frequently. You will meet and practice with a wide variety of dancers.

How do I register?
Come to the first class and pay by cash, check (Burlington Westie), or credit card (2.75% fee).

Where do I sign in?
Everyone signs in at the front desk in Studio A.

I missed the first class, can I start the second week?
Yes! You may start a series on the second week or pay the Drop In rate for any class in a series. If you’re starting late or dropping in, it is your responsibility to catch up. Our instructors do not re-teach material from previous weeks if the rest of class is ready to move on.

What should I bring?
Bring clean shoes to dance in and a water bottle. Change into your dance shoes at the studio to keep the soles clean and protect the dance floor from dirt and moisture.

What shoes should I wear?
Dig through your closet for something that is low friction, lightweight, and comfortable. Try spinning on a smooth floor, the more rotation the better. Avoid grippy rubber soles!

High heels feel unstable when dancing West Coast Swing, so most westies wear low chunky heels or flats.

The best place to buy dance shoes is at large weekend events where you can try on dozens of styles. If you just want something to get started, we recommend the old “classic” style TOMS. TOMS are great dance shoes because they’re lightweight, spin great, and only cost $50. You can find them at Journeys in the University Mall. Once you know your size you can also order online. If you have a choice go for lightweight materials.

Am I ready for the Intermediate/Advanced classes?
Class levels define the difficulty of the material, not the level of the students in the class. We allow you to self select class levels, with the caveat that you read and follow the guidelines below. This is what we expect each of our class levels to already know:

Intermediate West Coast Swing – Identify the downbeat and upbeat in the music, and start each pattern on the downbeat with the correct foot
– Understand 6 count and 8 count rhythm patterns, and the difference between a double and a triple
– Connect comfortably in open
– Demonstrate the footwork for a Left Side Pass, Underarm Pass, Push Break, and Whip without a partner
– Dance a Left Side Pass, Underarm Pass, Push Break, and Whip with a partner
Advanced West Coast Swing – All of the Intermediate requirements (Mandatory!)
– Identify and dance on the beat in a wide variety of West Coast Swing music
– Use safe muscle groups and posture when connecting in open and closed
– Comfortable with a majority of the intermediate patterns: Starter Step, Inside Roll, Push Tuck, Passing Tuck, Reverse Whip, Whip with Outside Turn
Intermediate Fusion – Can easily find and stay on the beat
– Connect comfortably in open and closed
– Lead/follow inside and outside turns and rotation
– Comfortable traveling the floor in closed
Advanced Fusion – All of the Intermediate requirements
– Hear and predict music patterns while dancing
– Dance on different multiples of the beat
– Connect comfortably in close embrace
– Share a spin axis smoothly and safely
– Travel the floor in varied connections/positions/directions

Can my partner and I dance together the entire class instead of rotating?
Sure, but we encourage students to rotate. Couples who get the feedback of dancing with a variety of partners learn faster and have more enjoyable social dances together. If you wish to opt out of the rotation, let the instructors know and make it clear to the other students.

I predominantly lead/follow, is it okay if retake the beginner series as a follow/lead?
Yes! We love when our advanced students invest the time to learn the opposite role. It dramatically improves their understanding of the dance and helps us balance out leader/follower ratios. The majority of high-level dancers are fluent in both leading and following.