***There are no in-person lessons happening at this time. We will update this section prior to classes restarting. Below is an example of our pre-covid class format***
Burlington Westie offers three different classes every Tuesday evening between 7pm to 9pm at the North End Studios. Each Class Series usually begins on the first Tuesday of the month and continue for four weeks. There are typically three one-hour lessons during two time slots each night – Foundational, General, and Advanced. Admission covers both time slots and the after class social dancing. The Foundational Lesson for new students doesn’t start until 8pm, but new students are welcome to come early to watch the General Level classes.
Next Series Begins on Tuesday February 4th
Classes are also listed on our google calendar.
4 Week Series: $46, Students $32 (up to 8 hours of classes, up to 8 hours of social dancing)
Drop In: $16, Students $11 (up to 2 one hour long classes, up to 2 hours of social dancing)
Social Dancing only: $5
Getting Started with us in Foundational West Coast Swing Lessons
This is for new to us, and less experienced dancers still getting their bearing.
Learn to Social Dance with us! RSVP on Facebook
4 Week Series, Tuesday Evenings February 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th
8pm Foundational West Coast Swing
9pm After Class Dancing for fun until 11pm
Dancing is fun, active, and a great way to meet new people. Learning more dance will give you greater opportunity and possibility to enjoy music too.
In Foundational West Coast Swing you’ll learn a smooth, modern version of swing which can be danced to a very wide range of music. This class series is appropriate for first time dancers and you do not need to bring your own partner! Returning students will be challenged to show a solid understanding of the fundamental material before being admitted by the instructors to the more challenging classes we offer. Asking questions isn’t just encouraged, but will speed up your learning and comfort while dancing. Come alone or with friends. All are welcome in our community to enjoy the gift of dance.
Students can dance in socks, or soft soled indoor only shoes, or dance shoes. No outdoor or hard shoes permitted.
Arrive early and enter through the doors facing North Winooski Avenue to register/pay/change shoes.
March WCS Main Lesson Series
Fancy Variations and Conversation in the Dance – with Hannah and Ryan
4 Week Series, Tuesday Evenings March 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th
March’s lessons will take the framework we’ve learned from other patterns and apply variations from footwork and timing to rotation and styling.
Leaders will focus the first hour on making meaningful, followable adjustments and doing it with style, some big, some small. While Followers will dial in on responsiveness to and connection through changes, with some styling added on top. Building into the second hour where Followers will be initiating variations, both layered into their own movements and also those compelling leaders to adjust to them. Leaders will be challenged to “follow” the information being fed to them by their Followers and respond in the most appropriate ways to those changes. This will get pretty far into the conversation of the dance. The Advanced lesson will be very advanced.
Advanced students are requested to take the first hour of lessons as well, but not required to take it as the same role.
7pm-8pm General Lesson West Coast Swing
8pm-9pm Advanced West Coast Swing
9pm-11pm After Class Social Dancing
Please see our event page for the Beginner Lessons above the picture. Please share and promote it to friends and fun people alike.
Beginner Classes will run in a different room at the same time as the Advanced Lesson, so you and your friends can all social dance together after class!
The Advanced Lesson often draws on information covered in the General Lesson.
March has a Special 5th Tuesday Two-Hour Lesson
March 31st from 7pm-9pm, social dancing to follow until 11pm.
April Classes begin on April 7th
4 Week Series, Tuesday Evenings April 7th, 14th 21st, and 28th
7pm General Lesson West Coast Swing
8pm Advanced West Coast Swing
8pm Foundational West Coast Swing
9pm After Class Dancing!!!
Foundational West Coast Swing
This class will teach you the basic moves of our dance for the first time, along with how we connect to our partner, and the rhythm we dance to. If this is not your first time taking the series with us, it will also help you polish up what you have previously learned, and build you to full competency of what we consider Foundational to our fun and creative dance style. Sign up for the whole month to save money and learn best!
General West Coast Swing
Experienced Level West Coast Swing
RSVP on Facebook
Admission covers class and social dancing each night!
4 Week Series: $46, Full Time Students $32
Drop In per Evening: $16, Students $11
Social Dancing only: $5/evening
Check out our Flash Mob video that Helmut edited for!
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. Closer to home, you can find all sorts of dance shoes and apparel at Lines Vermont in South Burlington.
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 I 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.