Swing Lessons Toronto
When people call for Swing Lessons Toronto or East Coast Swing Lessons, they always ask how our system works. So let me explain it a little, Access Ballroom Studio does not work by Semesters but rather by programs. First, the program is designed for your schedule and your needs. Second, the ABS program is a mixture of private lessons, group lessons and practice parties. The following is an explanation of each of them;
- Privates are where the dance instructor works on the details like your technique, your footwork and your lead/follow skills.
- Groups are there for you to learn dance steps and new dance moves
- Practice Parties are there for you to put into practice what you learned in the privates and the groups.
Below you will see a video of a student dancing east coast swing at one of the dance showcases that we have attended. Now, if you want to see more videos, then click Access Ballroom YouTube Channel
Call at (416) 690-3900 for more information or to set up an appointment for your demo private lesson ($20 if alone or $30 for a couple) or click here to email us for Swing Lessons Toronto
These are the different styles of East Coast Swing that we teach in Swing Lessons Toronto
- Triple Step Swing
- Single Step Swing aka Rock & Roll
- Double Step Swing
The History of Swing
History of swing dates back to the 1920’s, where the black community discovered the Charleston and the Lindy Hop while dancing to contemporary Jazz music
On March 26, 1926, the Savoy Ballroom opened its doors in New York. The Savoy was an immediate success with its block-long dance floor and a raised double bandstand. Nightly dancing attracted most of the best dancers in the New York area. Stimulated by the presence of great dancers and the best black bands made the music at the Savoy mostly Swinging Jazz.
One evening in 1927, following Lindbergh’s flight to Paris, a local dance enthusiast named “Shorty George” Snowden was watching some of the dancing couples. A newspaper reporter asked him what dance they were doing, and it just so happened that there was a newspaper with an article about Lindbergh’s flight sitting on the bench next to them. The title of the article read, “Lindy Hops The Atlantic.” George saw this and, “Lindy Hop”! After that the name just stuck.
In the mid 1930’s, a bouncy six beat variant was named the Jitterbug by the band leader Cab Calloway when he introduced a tune in 1934 entitled “Jitterbug“.
With the discovery of the Lindy Hop and the Jitterbug, the communities began dancing to the contemporary Jazz and Swing music as it was evolving at the time. With Benny Goodman leading the action, dancers soon incorporated tap and jazz steps into their dancing.
In the mid 1930’s, the head bouncer in the New York City Savoy Ballroom decided to start a troupe. Herbert White, formed a Lindy Hop dance troupe called “Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers.” One of the most important members was Frankie Manning. The “Hoppers” were showcased in many films including:
- “A Day at the Races” (1937)
- “Hellzapoppin” (1941)
- “Sugar Hill Masquerade” (1942)
- “Killer Diller” (1948).
In 1938, the Harvest Moon Ball included a Lindy Hop and Jitterbug competition for the first time. It was captured on film and presented for everyone to see in the Paramount and Universal movie newsreels between 1938 and 1951. Dean Collins had also arrived in Hollywood in 1938. He learned to dance the Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy and Swing in New York City.
Dean Collins spent a lot of time in Harlem and the Savoy Ballroom, perfecting his craft and showcasing it.. Between 1941 and 1960, Collins danced in, or helped choreograph over 100 movies. You can find at least a 30 second clip of some of the best California white dancers performing Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy and Swing from his routines. Throughout the 1940’s, the terms Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Lindy, and Swing were used interchangeably by the news media to describe the same style of dancing taking place on the streets, in the night clubs, in contests, and in the movies.
Characteristics of East Coast Swing (taught in our Swing Lessons Toronto)
So to explain East Coast Swing, I must first inform you that there is a contrast between the step in it’s basic form and the count meter of the music. Most swing music has a 4 count basic rhythm which is contrast to the dance which has a 6 count basic step. However, when you become more advanced in your dancing then the 6-count moves of the east coast swing are often combined with 8-count moves from the Charleston, Lindy hop and Balboa.
Depending on the area you are learning it in and instructor, the basic step of all the East Coast Swings will either start with the “rock step” or start with the “side step”. Both cases are correct to use in the social dance communities.
Timing Of the 3 East Coast Swings (taught in our Swing Lessons Toronto)
Explanation; Each comma means that you have to now change foot. Men start with the left foot where as ladies start with the right foot.
- Triple Step Timing of East Coast Swing:(1, and, 2, 3, and, 4, rock, step)
- Double Step Timing of East Coast Swing: (1 2, 3 4, rock, step) aka tap step, tap step, rock, step
- Single Step Timing of East Coast Swing (aka Rock & Roll): (1, 2, rock, step)
All the Swing Styles (not all of them are taught in our Swing Lessons Toronto)
Ballroom West Coast Swing: a style of swing popular in the ballroom dance school organizations and different from the style performed in the California night clubs and Swing dance clubs.
Cajun Swing: a Louisiana Bayou style of Lindy danced to Cajun music.
Carolina Shag: a style of Swing popular in the Carolinas emphasizing the leader’s nimble feet.
Country-Western Swing: a style of Jitterbug popularized during the 1980’s and danced to Country Western music.
DC Hand Dancing: a Washington, DC synthesis of Lindy and Swing.
East Coast Swing: a 6 count style of Lindy popular in the ballroom dance school organizations.
Imperial Swing: a style of Swing popular in St. Louis, Missouri.
Jive: the International Style version of the dance is called Jive, and it is danced competitively in the US and all over the world.
Lindy style is a smoother-looking dance.
Pony Swing: a Country Western style of Cajun Swing.
Push: a style of swing popular in Dallas, Texas, emphasizing moves spinning the follower between dance positions with a rock rhythm break.
Savoy Swing: a style of Swing popular in the New York Savoy Ballroom in the 30’s and 40’s originally danced to Swing music. The Savoy style of swing is a very fast, jumpy, casual-looking style of dancing
Supreme Swing: a style of Swing popular in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
West Coast Swing: a style of Swing emphasizing nimble feet popular in California night clubs in the 30’s and 40’s and voted the California State Dance in 1989.
Whip: a style of Swing popular in Houston, Texas, emphasizing moves spinning the follower between dance positions with a wave rhythm break.
The History of Swing Music
Swing music, also known as just swing, is a style of popular music which was created in the United States. It was dominate during the 1930s and 1940s. The name swing derived from the how you would feel when you hear the music. The emphasis on the off beat made you want to just swing from side to side. Normally, Swing bands would feature soloists who would improvise on the melody. This would be done over the arrangement of course. From 1935 – 1946, bandleaders such as Benny Goodman where dominating popular music in America. This era was known as the “swing era”.
The notable musicians of the “swing era” where Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Woody Herman.
Swing has it’s roots in the 1920 ‘s as large music ensembles began using a new style of written arrangements. This was pioneered by Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines. Swing saw a revival in the late 1950s and 1960s with pop vocalists such as Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.
Typically, a swing big band, has four groups. The rhythm section, saxophones, trombones and trumpets. An example of the ratio in early big bands was normally 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 saxophones, and 1 rhythm section. Electric Guitars had replaced the banjo, and the double bass had replaced the tuba.
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Get crazy and hyper at ABS – Toronto with Swing, East Coast Swing, Double Step Swing, Triple Step Swing, Single Step Swing and Rock & Roll today!
Access Ballroom is located at 276 Main St. (near the Main st subway station). The entrance and the free parking is in the back on Stephenson Ave.
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The Benefits that change your Lifestyle from taking Swing Lessons Toronto
Physically Changing because of Swing Lessons Toronto
Swing is a very fast pace dance. It is a proven that the amount of calories that you burn by swing dancing is very high. You burn 77 calories every 15 minutes and 306 every hour. It is no wonder why this method of exercise guarantees many benefits to your heart. The workout that you get from it is absolutely excellent! You burn calories, raise your endurance, lower your blood sugar level and develop strong muscles.
Mentally Changing because of Swing Lessons Toronto
The Swagger you get when you know you can Swing is evident to all around you. You also seem to just be happier. There is a reason why hyper people seem to be just too happy. Studies have shown that the more you move the more your body sends out endorphins that just make you happy. This is why tricks to relieve stress or get your mind to focus is to get up and move because then the mind tends to follow.
Socially Changing because of Swing Lessons Toronto
You can dance the Swing, alone but it normally requires a partner. The social benefits start with meeting new people to learning to communicate with another person without words. To become one on the dance floor, to feel like you are at the most fantastic party and connect with others on that same level.
The Very Last thing you have to know about Swing Lessons Toronto
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If you need a Swing dance Routine for your Wedding? Then Click Wedding Dance Lessons Toronto and learn more about Access Ballroom Studio ‘s wedding dance packages.