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.

Click here for Montpelier 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 social dancing)
Drop In: $16, Students $11 (up to 2 one hour long classes, 1+ hours of social dancing)
Social Dancing only: $5

March Classes

4 Week Series, Tuesday Evenings March 12th, 19th, 26th and April 2nd! (due to a snow day)

Schedule
7pm Intermediate West Coast Swing: Whip It Good, Enhance!
8pm Experienced West Coast Swing: Whip It Good, Move Beyond!
8pm Foundational West Coast Swing: With Lexi & Alison
9pm After Class Dancing!!!

Intermediate West Coast Swing: Whip It Good, Enhance! for the first hour will be broken down into musicality, extensions, and accents in types of whips you are mostly familiar with already.

Experienced Level West Coast Swing: Whip It Good, Move Beyond! for the second, harder hour will focus on more whip variations that we seldom, if ever, teach. This format will also allow for followers who catch on to the new whips faster can continue working on the accents, footwork variations, and technique they’ve learned in the previous hour.

Foundational West Coast Swing will teach you the basic moves of our dance for the first time, or polish them up if you’re taking this unit with us again. Sign up for the whole month to save money and learn best!

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Check out our Flash Mob video that Helmut edited for us from last year!

April Classes (begin April 9th, continue 16th, 23rd, 30th)
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.