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, has a little experience, or want to brush up on basics. The focus will be on 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 Green 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 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. Six tracks are planned for this year, with track placements required for the top two tracks. In addition, Beantown instructors will be assisting at camp with helping each person be in their best fit. You may be moved to a different track than originally selected. Please note that it is the camp instructors who ultimately determine final Lindy Hop Track assignments!
When registering, everyone will be asked to select a track as a lead or follow. The role selection is only for track classes. In addition, a short questionnaire is included with registration to provide some guidance as to approximate level for each individual. If you would like to be considered for one of the tracks requiring placement, select the combined Blue/Pink track. Placements will take place at the first class on Saturday morning. Please do not miss this class!
Descriptions are provided to give some guidance with selecting your appropriate track. Each person’s dance interest and progression is different. Many factors contribute, such as prior dance experience, time devoted, pace of learning, opportunities taken, general aptitude. Each track will have a range, and you may be in the middle, or you may be at the high or low end. Each track, and each track’s range depends on who attends camp this year, and may not necessarily match a previous year. Each track includes a performance routine, which can be a fun way to learn and work on your dancing along with classmates. Although not mandatory to perform, class routine performances are always a highlight of the week!
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.
- Green Track, 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.)
- Yellow Track
You’ve taken classes and workshops, and have gained 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 and concepts. 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.
- Orange Track
You’ve likely been Lindy Hop dancing for at least 2 or 3 years, taken numerous classes and workshops, and traveled 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 are comfortable dancing to a wide range of tempos.
- Red Track
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.
- Pink Track
You’ve likely been a Lindy Hopper for many years, have spent much time on the social dance floor, as well as always working on all the fine points of your dancing. You can dance well at all tempos, have a good understanding of partnering, working tricky moves and footwork, and enjoy creativity and improvising with the music. You may be teaching in your local scene or beyond, and compete at a high level.
- Blue Track
Your dancing falls at a high level in the national scene. You’ve placed well at large competition events and possibly teach in your local scene and at national workshops. You continue to seek ways to improve the quality of your movement, and are interested in learning new concepts and ideas to apply in your own dancing.
Mini-Tracks will run Friday through Wednesday. Each Mini-Track will have 3 to 5 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. If there isn’t a specific choice you’d like to make, select “Variety Pack”. Besides the choices given, class slots will also include a variety of optional classes, and they are all lumped into the variety pack selection.
If you are in the Green Track, select Variety Pack for all the Mini-Tracks. The Beginner Plus routine will already be included on the track class schedule.
- Beginner Plus & Experienced Partners Lindy Hop Routine (Int-Adv) (Mini-Track 1)
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!
There will be 3 classes with the first on Monday.
- Jerry & Robin’s “It’s Too Darn Hot in Herre!” Routine (Int–Adv) (Mini-Track 1)
Jerry and Robin’s extravaganza! Get out your newsboy cap and suspenders (if you have them) and get ready to be on Broadway! This routine will include musical theater style Jazz, solo Jazz, a whole Hip Hop section, and even some Tap. Acting skills are a plus. We’re supplying the hankies to wipe the sweat! Previous experience in all these items is not a requirement. For intermediate to advanced dancers, no partner needed.
There will be 5 classes with the first on Saturday.
- Jon’s Jazz Routine (Int–Adv) (Mini-Track 2)
What’s this? Jon’s Jazz routine? What’s it like? I’m glad you asked. Let me tell you. It will have rhythm, music, and style. It will use arms, feet, knees, shoulders, and more. It will lift hearts and open minds. We will begin as a classroom of dancers who are confused, mixed-up, don’t know whether to kick-ball-change on eight or one. But through determination, sweat, and sheer force of will we shall emerge, seasoned rhythmic adventurers, poised on the edge of the beat, awaiting the next syncopation with bated breath. Your syncopated synchronicity will send spirits soaring and spread splendor to the souls of swing starters as well as seasoned students all the same. It’s a Solo Jazz Routine like in past years. Do it. Classes are non-partner and will be aimed at intermediate to advanced dancers.
There will be 4 classes with the first on Saturday.
- Teacher Training (Int–Adv) (Mini-Track 2)
There are many factors which go into being a better teacher which go beyond the practicalities of conducting a class. These sessions will provide an opportunity to delve into different perspectives with a variety of instructors. Sessions may include group work, discussions, presentations, movement portions and more. Be prepared to challenge your assumptions and explore pedagogy. Requirements for attending: You should have a need and an interest in teaching 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.
There will be 4 classes with the first on Friday.
- Variety Pack (Mini-Track 1-2)
If you are not selecting one of the options described, choose the Variety Pack. It includes classes at various levels with different topics. 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
- African Dancing
- Partner Charleston
- Solo Jazz
- Specialty Topics
See the Schedule for specific class choices available each day.
In addition to the above, there are other activities 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 Jonathan
These sessions are 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!
- Afternoon Stretch
- A great way to look after your body at the end of the day! 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
- 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
- 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
Take a little break and join other campers for a varied selection of board games. A few sessions will be scheduled in the time period before dinner.
Most of the dance spaces have a wooden floor, and a change of shoes is requested. One of the class spaces, the Post Center Gym, requires either suede (or chrome leather) soled shoes or clean sneakers to be worn. No leather or hard soled shoes are allowed in this one space. The Black Box has a Marley floor. It would be best to have some shoe choices if possible. Bring cool, comfortable clothes for classes. All dance spaces are air-conditioned.