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 optional 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 has been added 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, and those who have previously taken a few Lindy Hop classes. The goal will be to acquire good fundamental skills and to prepare you to take the Red 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 Lindy Hop track classes!

Lindy Hop Track Classes

Beantown has always been a “tracked” camp and over the years the process has evolved and changed with the goal of finding the most ideal method for determining track placement. The idea of tracks is to put together dancers with similar experience, skills and focus on how to grow and improve. Lindy Hop Track classes will start on Saturday morning and make up approximately half of all the classes offered between then through to the last day of classes on Wednesday. There will be seven different Lindy Hop tracks covering a wide range of experience.

When registering, everyone will be asked to select either the Red Track (Advanced Beginner), the Yellow Track (Intermediate) or the Track Placement for the five additional tracks. In addition, a questionnaire is included with registration to provide some guidance as to approximate level for each individual. Track Placement on Friday afternoon will be used to determine the group assignments for the five higher level tracks. There will always be some range within each group. Every year can be a little different on the levels of the tracks as they are based on who attends.

Once at camp, anyone wishing to switch to a lower track can simply ask to be moved. Anyone with other concerns about their track can speak to the instructors at the Lindy Hop Track Questions session on Saturday afternoon. Please note that it is the camp instructors who ultimately determine final Lindy Hop Track assignment!

You can only take the Lindy Hop Track classes for your designated level, however there is a wide range of other class choices for you to decide among during the non-track periods.

Red 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 Red Track. (Available as an optional add-on for the Weekend and Extended Weekend and included with the Whole Shebang.)
Yellow Track (Intermediate)
For this track, you have already taken a lot of classes and workshops and social dance frequently. The focus will be on improving all of the elements that you are already familiar with while expanding your repertoire with more challenging combinations. The goal will be to take your dancing to a new level with a concentration on smooth transitions, good lead-follow skills, learning to dance at both slow and fast tempos and expanding your musicality.
Track Placement (5 Tracks)
The five additional tracks will be sorted using a track placement process. Every year there is a different set of campers, and it is those who attend which ultimately characterizes the groupings for each track. The track placement session will be used to determine which individuals fit best together into the various groups. It will be important to attend at the designated time in order to be given a track assignment. The intention is to create groupings providing the best experience for all campers. The session will involve dancing with other campers in rotating groups. Track assignments will be given out on Friday evening. Anyone with questions about their assignment should attend the Track Placement Questions session on Saturday afternoon.

Mini-Track Classes

Mini-Tracks will meet starting Friday afternoon through Wednesday. To help determine class room assignments, everyone will be asked to make their selections on the registration form, which also provides information on which Mini-Tracks run at the same time.

Regardless of your Mini-Track selection, you will be free to take any optional classes you would like within your experience level. Some of the Mini-Tracks are designed in a progressive format and each class will be aimed at those who are attending the entire series. For all other optional classes, check the class description for experience requirements, if any.

Swing Music Ensemble with Michael Gamble and Gordon Webster (Mini-Track 2)

Students will participate in a small-to-medium sized swing combo, coached in playing the songs and instrument techniques of the ’30s/’40s idiom. Prior to camp you will be sent songs and materials to start looking at. During camp you will rehearse as a group, receiving both group and individual feedback. There will be four scheduled sessions, with the option of adding unsupervised rehearsals. The grand finale will be performing for other Beantown campers!

There will be one spot per position for the following: Drums, Bass, Piano, Rhythm Guitar, Lead/Soloing Guitar, Trumpet, Trombone, Clarinet, Saxophone, Vocalist. Nonstandard instruments will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If the ensemble fills and there are additional interested musicians, a second ensemble may be added.

Prerequisite: Able to read single-note lines on a staff (even if it requires some thought/working-through). Able to play the chromatic scale, and major and minor scales somewhat comfortably, at least in the keys of C, G, F, B♭, and E♭. Have a general idea of what to do with common basic Jazz chord symbols like C7, C-7, Cdim, etc. If already comfortable improvising on your instrument, great! If not, know that everyone will be encouraged to improvise at least a little at camp.

The first session will be on Saturday.

Jazz Routine with LaTasha (Int–Adv) (Mini-Track 1)
Groove. Rhythm. Pizzazz… this routine will have it all. You don’t need to be a gymnast, aerialist, capoeirista or fitness champion, but you will feel just as powerful once you’ve learned and performed it! Class will be rhythmically engaging, stylistically inspiring and so fun you may forget you’re challenging yourself. Come prepared with two eights of your own Jazz expression that is able to travel, and be sure to hydrate! The first class for this routine will be on Saturday.
Eric’s Hip Hop Combo (Int–Adv) (Mini-Track 2)
Every year Eric dazzles us with the expression and creativity he brings. If you’ve taken classes with him in the past, you’ve experienced what an amazing instructor he is! His style is more Urban Contemporary than what may come to mind as Hip Hop. This will be an opportunity to stretch yourself and work more intensely on your individual dance skills. Classes are non-partner and will be aimed at intermediate to advanced dancers. The first class for this routine will be on Saturday.
St. Louis Shag Routine with Jenny & Christian (All Levels) (Mini-Track 2)
This new, original routine will include lots of classic St. Louis Shag steps and patterns, as well as some playful and musical inventions of their own, inspired by the music. Learning choreography is a great way to practice new ways of moving! You can expect high-energy, uptempo movement. The first class for this routine will be on Saturday.
Balboa Routine with Sylvia & Javier (Int/Adv–Adv) (Mini-Track 3)
For experienced Balboa enthusiasts, learn a short Bal/Balswing routine. With this dynamic duo on board, you know it will be fun! The first class for this routine will be on Sunday.
Teacher Training with Evita & Michael (Mini-Track 1)
Learn how to be a better teacher, become more clear and structured in your presentation, find out how to prioritize and focus, and develop your community into a better social dancing family. Requirements for attending: You should have a need and an interest in teaching swing dance to your community. It’s necessary to have at least an Intermediate level of dance experience in order to teach Beginners. No partner needed. Please bring a notebook and pen. The first class will be on Friday.
DJ Summit with Jonathan (Mini-Track 3)
This track is for everyone who loves Jazz music. Whether you’ve never DJ’ed 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 DJ’ing and Jazz music, come hang out with us! Jonathan will be there to direct the conversation and share his passion of music! The first meeting will be on Sunday.
Variety Pack (Mini-Track 1, 2 & 3)

If your preference is for a wide variety, optional classes will also be offered during the Mini-Track time slots. Selections do not need to be made in advance, and the classes are open to all at the appropriate experience level.

Topical groups include:

  • Slow Dancing/Blues
  • Movement
  • Flashy Moves
  • Music Analysis For Dancers
  • Balboa
  • Partner Charleston
  • Solo Jazz
  • Footwork/Rhythm Variations
  • St. Louis Shag
  • Specialty Topics

See the Schedule for specific class choices available each day.

Special Classes

In addition to the above, there are other Special Classes 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.

Afternoon Stretch

Dancing all day and night? Stretch class can help you ease, eliminate and prevent sore aching muscles and enjoy some needed body R&R. Please bring your own Yoga mat as only a limited number will be available.

Practice Time

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

Loosen up and connect with Tai Chi movement. Richard Badu will be teaching Tai Chi aimed specifically for Lindy Hop dancers.

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.