Classes

Thursday Evening & Friday Classes

Classes will be starting on Thursday evening after dinner, including the Beginner Lindy Hop Crash Course. The Thursday evening and Friday morning schedules will include Lindy Hop classes for all levels as well as some other options to choose from. You will not need to select these classes in advance. These classes are included with the Whole Shebang and also with the Thursday Add-On for the Weekend and Extended Weekend.

Optional class selections continue on Friday afternoon. These classes are open to all registration options. Check the detailed Schedule for more information.

Lindy Hop Beginner Crash Course

The Lindy Hop Beginner Crash Course is for anyone attending camp who does not have previous Lindy Hop experience or has a little experience. The focus will be on basic technique including frame and connection, the fundamentals of Lindy Hop such as swing out, lindy circle, side-by-side Charleston, along with other variations, as well as mixing 6 and 8 count basics. This class is ideal for new dancers, those who have learned 6 count Swing, those who have previously taken a few Lindy Hop classes, and anyone wanting to brush up on their basics. The goal will be to acquire good fundamental skills, basic rhythms, and to prepare you to take the Beginner Plus Track.

There will be 6 classes starting on Thursday evening and running through Friday. It is not necessary to register for these specific classes in advance. Anyone attending camp during Thursday and Friday are welcome to attend. The Beginner Lindy Hop Crash Course is included with the Whole Shebang and is also available with the optional Thursday Add-On for the Weekend and Extended Weekend. Do not miss the Beginner Crash Course if you need the preparation for the Beginner Plus Track classes!

Lindy Hop Classes

Classes have always been a main focus with our days at Beantown. From the beginning, Beantown has been a “tracked” camp, and over the years the process has evolved and changed, always with the goal of finding the most ideal method of placing everyone in their best track placement. This year, as we make our transition back into social dancing, we’ll be taking a different approach, hoping to help relieve some of the possible stress which is being felt. Instead of the usual tracks, with the exception of the Beginner Plus Track, the class slots include options for Lindy Hop classes at a variety of levels to self select at camp. In addition, there are a variety of other class options to choose from, including solo Jazz, Balboa, music, and other topics. Classes will include levels they are suited for, and also prerequisites in the descriptions. It’s essential to review all the information to be sure you are attending classes in your appropriate level.

Be sure to check out the Mini-Tracks for Lindy Hop routine options. Select the one at your level only. Always a highlight of the week at Beantown!

Beginner Plus Track (Advanced Beginner)

This track is for those who already have a solid base of fundamentals, including swing out, lindy circle and side-by-side Charleston, and are comfortable executing them while social dancing. The focus will be on refining basics, adding styling and footwork variations, expanding your Lindy Hop repertoire, and bringing musicality into your dancing. The goal will be to take all of the different elements and start to put them together with flow and connection.

If you are a beginner with no prior Lindy Hop experience, or a little bit of experience, there is a Beginner Lindy Hop Crash Course offered on Thursday and Friday which will be needed in preparation to be in the Beginner Plus Track. (Available with the Thursday Add-On for the Weekend and Extended Weekend, and included with the Whole Shebang.)
General Registration Class Level Information
These descriptions are provided to give some guidance with selecting your appropriate class choices. Be sure to check class descriptions and any prerequisites included.
  • Intermediate: You’ve taken classes and workshops, and have been gaining confidence with social dancing. The focus will be on improving all of the elements you are already familiar with, while expanding your repertoire with more challenging combinations. Goals will be to take your dancing to a new level, with a concentration on smooth transitions, good lead-follow skills, learning to dance at a wider range of tempos, and expanding your musicality.
  • Intermediate/Advanced: You’ve likely been Lindy Hop dancing for at least 2 or 3 years, taking more classes and workshops, and traveling to events. You may have gotten into competing or local performances. A big focus has been working on musicality and improvisation, partner connection, as well as tackling some fancy footwork. You enjoy groovin’ to slow tunes, and can still dance in a connected, fluid way when the tempos are fast.
  • Advanced: Dancing Lindy Hop has been a big part of your life for several years, or maybe much longer. You enjoy traveling to dance events, and usually do so on a regular basis. You may be a regular competitor, and possibly do some teaching. Social dancing feels like home, and you are comfortable adjusting to a wide variety of partners, regardless of their experience or ability. You are focused on continually refining your dance skills, your quality of movement, partner connection, and musicality. You like to explore new possibilities and challenges with your dancing.

Mini-Track Classes

Mini-Tracks will run Saturday through Wednesday. Each Mini-Track selection will have 3 to 5 progressive classes, designed to be taken from start to finish. The reason for the different Mini-Tracks is to enable you to make selections which will not overlap on the class schedule. The Variety Pack includes all other class options not in a Mini-Track.

One of the highlights of our week at Beantown has always been the class performances on Wednesday afternoon. This year, Lindy Hop routines at different levels are included with the Mini-Tracks. We encourage everyone to consider doing a routine! Many past campers have been hesitant at times with doing the track performances, and many have expressed how glad they were they had participated. When making your Mini-Track selections, only include the Lindy Hop routine at your level.

Something new this year is the Beginner Plus & Experienced Partners Lindy Hop Routine. Beginner Plus campers will be paired with experienced dancers for this routine. Check out the information with the Mini-Track 3 selection to get details.

If you are in the Beginner Plus Track, select Variety Pack for all the Mini-Tracks. The Beginner Plus routine will be included with the track classes.

Hip Hop Routine with Brandon Barker (All Levels) (Mini-Track 1)

This class is for all levels, with no previous Hip Hop experience required. It will include several essential vocabulary in the style of Hip Hop which come from the old school and new school era of movement and pioneers. The historical context of the dance will be heavily present, and participants are encouraged to take notes and use the knowledge given for further independent research. If you’ve always wanted to try Hip Hop, or refine some of what you’ve previously learned, this will be a fun opportunity to learn some classics, and some history as to where they came from.

The first class for this routine will be on Sunday.

Intermediate Lindy Hop Routine (Int) (Mini-Track 1)

Although there is not an audition for placement, the class instructors will make a determination whether everyone attending has selected their best fit for the routine Mini-Tracks. The best fit will be determined primarily based on the mix of those attending this year in each routine class. It is possible you may be moved to an alternate level.

The first class for this routine will be on Sunday.

Intermediate/Advanced Lindy Hop Routine (Int/Adv) (Mini-Track 2)

Prerequisites for this class are proficiency in 8-count basics (Swingout, Texas Tommy, Outside and Inside Turns, and Lindy Circle), 6-count basics (Tuck Turn, Under Arm Passes, and Send Out), and can execute the common solo jazz moves (Boogie back and forward, Shorty George, Fall off the Log, Suzie Q, etc.).

Although there is not an audition for placement, the class instructors will make a determination whether everyone attending has selected their best fit for the routine Mini-Tracks. The best fit will be determined primarily based on the mix of those attending this year in each routine class. It is possible you may be moved to an alternate level.

The first class for this routine will be on Sunday.

Advanced Lindy Hop Routine (Adv) (Mini-Track 2)

Please check the general registration description for advanced as to if this is the best choice for you.

Although there is not an audition for placement, the class instructors will make a determination whether everyone attending has selected their best fit for the routine Mini-Tracks. The best fit will be determined primarily based on the mix of those attending this year in each routine class. It is possible you may be moved to an alternate level.

The first class for this routine will be on Sunday.

Beginner Plus & Experienced Partners Lindy Hop Routine (Int-Adv) (Mini-Track 3)

This selection is for experienced dancers who would like to participate, pairing with a Beginner Plus camper. Maybe you’ve brought a friend or partner to camp this year who is a beginner. Maybe you would like to try the opposite role from your usual. Or maybe you just want to do if for fun!

The first class for this routine will be on Monday.

Slow Jazz Routine with Ruth Evelyn (Int–Adv) (Mini-Track 3)

Dancing slow well requires attention to detail, control, and movement quality. We’ll work on all of these skills within our own movement expression, culminating in performing a short choreography. If you want to develop your solo dance skills at any tempo, the skills from this class will transfer. Plus, we’ll have fun.

The first class for this routine will be on Saturday.

Jazz Routine with Christian Frommelt (Int–Adv) (Mini-Track 4)

Get ready to groove! This routine will cover a range stylistically from hard-swingin’ Charleston to loose-as-a-goose rubber legs. Challenge yourself with new rhythms and fresh takes on familiar steps.

The first class for this routine will be on Saturday.

Variety Pack (Mini-Track 1-4)

If you are not selecting one of the routine options, choose the Variety Pack. It includes Lindy Hop classes at various levels with different topics, as well as other classes. Specific class selections do not need to be made in advance. Be sure to check out the appropriate experience level and prerequisites when choosing classes to attend!

Topical groups include:

  • Slow Dancing/Blues
  • Movement
  • African Dancing
  • Soul
  • Music
  • Balboa
  • Partner Charleston
  • Solo Jazz
  • Footwork/Rhythm Variations
  • St. Louis Shag
  • Specialty Topics

See the Schedule for specific class choices available each day.

Specialties

In addition to the above, there are other Specialties happening throughout the week. Check the Schedule for times. These are open to everyone and you are welcome to just show up! Check back for new selections to be added.

DJ Summit with Sarah Spoon
These sessions are for everyone who loves Jazz music. Whether you’ve never DJed and want to start a music collection, you DJ locally once in a while and want to share that band you’re really into, or you’re a dedicated DJ who wants to talk about who’s best between Lester Young and Ben Webster, this is the place to be. If you want to talk about music, share with other people as passionate as yourself, or if you just want to listen to people talk about DJing and Jazz music, come hang out with us! Sarah will host each session to direct the conversation and share their passion of music!
Afternoon Stretch with Brandon Barker

Brandon will guide participants through a stretching class that pulls movements and techniques from Yoga practices, focusing on static stretching (moves that are stationary and focus on one specific muscle), and dynamic stretching (movements that have a continuous flow and involve a group of muscles). He will go over the difference between the two, as well as stretches to benefit certain muscles types connected to the body parts we use when we dance.

Please bring your own Yoga mat or towel.

Practice Time with Beantown DJs
An open practice is scheduled most days just before dinner. This will be a good time to meet up with classmates to go over what you have learned in class.
Afternoon Chi with Richard Badu
Loosen up and get better connection with partners through Tai Chi. Richard will be teaching Tai Chi movement for Lindy Hop dancers.
Swing Jams! hosted by Richard Badu
Whether Djamming like Django, blowing like Louis, or newer to Swing music, bring your instruments to camp! There will be jamming opportunities at the Camp Social, the BBQ, two jams facilitated by Richard, and more. Contact Richard if there are tunes you would like to play, to see if there’s a common repertoire to kick off the guided jams.
Board Games with Rob Keder and Mari Foster
Take a little break and join Rob and Mari for a varied selection of board games. A few sessions will be scheduled in the time period before dinner.

Dance Spaces

Most of the dance spaces have a wooden floor, and a change of shoes is requested. The exception is the Black Box, which has a marley-like floor. It would be best to have some shoe choices if possible. Bring cool, comfortable clothes for classes. All dance spaces are air-conditioned.

One of the class spaces, the Aerobics Room, requires either suede (or chrome leather) soled shoes or clean sneakers to be worn. No leather or hard soled shoes.