What is Swing?

Swing Dance incorporates a whole list of different dance styles that have one thing in common; they are all danced to the Swing style of Jazz music developed in the 1920s – 1940’s.  During this time there are hundreds of different dance styles and now only a few remain.  The most common of which are Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balba and Collegate Shag.

Swing Dancing is danced “socially” this means that it is not choreographed and is a lead-follow dance.  This means that it gives the dancers a great deal of space for improvisation and fun.  It allows you to dance with and meet lots of new people.


Strictly speaking, traditional Charleston is not a Swing dance and developed in the roaring 20’s evolving from African-American dances.  From then it evolved through the 1930’s and you’ll often see Lindy Hoppers incorporating Charleston moves within there dancing.  It can be danced both solo and partnered.

Lindy Hop

Invented in New York and developed out of the Charleston, sometimes called “Jitterbug” by those who do not dance.  It was one of the most influential dances of the 20th century as it is the ancestor to a huge number of later dances such as jive, rock-n-roll and even break-dancing.  Lindy Hop is best known for the iconic move the “Swing Out” and spectacular aerials.


As the dance floor became increasing more crowed Balbo was Californias solution.  Danced in a close embrace Balbo which quick footwork.  It is a great dance for keeping your heart rate down to the quicker tempo songs.

Collegiate Shag

Another close embrace dance to quick tempo music.  The most noticeable difference to the other dance styles is that it is danced high on the balls of the feet with a very pronounced bounce.

Currently, 6th Steet Swing only offers dance lessons in Lindy Hop and Charleston.