SWING DANCE LESSONS ST LOUIS
Most St Louis swing dance clubs provide free or low cost swing dance lessons before their dances including our Jefferson County Swing Dance Club. West County Swing Dance Club charges $3 for members and $5 for guests for each swing dance lesson.
St. Louis Imperial Swing Dance is halfway between east coast swing dance and west coast swing dance. It uses the east coast swing dance footwork and faster tempo, but uses the west coast swing dance slot pattern with west coast swing dance turns.
This site is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Imperial Swing Dancing serving the Metro, St. Louis, Missouri area. . . . Imperial Swing Dancing was first developed at a local St. Louis nightclub called ‘Club Imperial’ and has been said to be a refined version of the Jitterbug. It evolved into a combination of East Coast steps with West Coast swing moves danced in the slot that includes wraps and spins.
Everyone is welcome at club dances. You do not need to be a club member. Each dance club offers free or nominal cost dance lessons for beginners the hour before their dance starts. Partners are not needed for the dance lessons. Most clubs use the east coast styling of swing dance (unless stated differently below). Each club has its own website that lists the dates of their dances.
The Midwest Swing Dance Federation has 9 dance clubs:
- Destination swing (west coast style)
- Jefferson County – Arnold
- Jefferson City
- Lake Ozark
- Moolah Shrine
- Midwest – Collinsville, Illinois
- South Side
- St. Charles
There are 3 independent swing dance clubs:
- Rebels (west coast style)
- Soul Lingo (west coast style at Just Dancing Studio)
For college students:
- Washington University Swing Dance Club
Dance halls with independent swing dancing dates.
- Concord Farmers Club
- Casa Loma
Swing dance lessons are also available at Just Dancing Studio, U Can Dance Studio, and the Saint Louis Community College (Sherry Martin).
Styles in the United States
- 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
- Lindy style is a smoother-looking dance.
- 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.
- Push: a style of swing popular in Dallas, Texas, emphasizing moves spinning the follower between dance positions with a rock rhythm break.
- Supreme Swing: a style of Swing popular in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Imperial Swing: a style popular in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Carolina Shag: a style of Swing popular in the Carolinas emphasizing the leader’s nimble feet.
- 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.
- Ballroom West Coast Swing: a style popular in the ballroom dance school organizations and different from the style performed in the California night clubs.
- Country-Western Swing: a style of Jitterbug popularized during the 1980’s and danced to Country Western music.
- Cajun Swing: a Louisiana Bayou style of Lindy danced to Cajun music.
- Pony Swing: a Country Western style of Cajun Swing.Jive: the International Style version of the dance is called Jive, and it is danced competitively in the US and all over the world.
JITTERSWING Dance Club at Concord Farmers’ Club
JITTERSWING Dance Club on Friday nights.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION – West Coast
Founded in 1998 by Bill Maddox, the National FastDance Association (NFA) is the only dance organization of its kind. Our mission is to promote, preserve, and pass along swing dancing to future generations while providing our members with discounted music licensing, liability insurance, and promotion of their clubs and events. We have over 500 member clubs and events in our association, totaling hundreds of thousands of dancers, which makes us the largest dance organization in America. Most west coast swing dance clubs in the U.S. belong to this association. West Coast is the official California state dance. Rebels dance club (west coast swing St Louis)
Halls with independent swing dancing St Louis dates.
- Concord Farmers Club (sometimes called Concord Hall)
- Casa Loma Ballroom
- Private swing dance lessons are available at Just Dancing Studio, U Can Dance Studio, and St Louis Destination Swing Dance Club.
- Group swing dance lessons are available at Just Dancing Studio and the St Louis Community College (Sherry Martin).
- Washington University Swing Dance Club (St. Louis dance clubs)
- For-profit dance clubs – Jitterswing is the only for profit club in St Louis.
Song requests for the next Jefferson County swing dance club night can be left on the DANCE EVENTS BLOG page ⇒ DANCE EVENTS BLOG (BLOG page is similar to a FACEBOOK page with the latest event posts)
Most east coast clubs belong to this association and are east of the Mississippi River.
- More dance videos on our Video Page ⇒ Video Page
DANCE LESSONS ST LOUIS
Jefferson County provides swing dance lessons before each Tuesday dance, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- There is line dancing at Concord Farmers Club on Mondays.
- There is line dancing at the Arnold VFW on Wednesdays.
St Louis Imperial Dance Club, St. Ann, MO (SLIDC)
This is the original St Louis swing dance club.
- Imperial Swing – is a cross between East Coast and West Coast Swing as it is done both in slot and in the round. It started at the Club Imperial in St Louis. George Edick, who owned the club, let teenagers dance on the lower level and the swing dancers of the time taught them what was learned from their trips to the east coast. As people traveled around, they added parts of west coast, bop and Carolina shag to complement the dance and make it distinctive. “The Imperial” has elements of “East Coast”, “West Coast”, “Carolina Shag” and “Bop”.
- The federation sponsors the following annual events.
- Caribbean Cruise – Feb.
- Picnic – June
- Rolling on the River – August
- Western Swing – has long been the name for jazz-influenced western music of the 1940s and, by extension, two-step, dancing done to such music. Contemporary 21st century Country Swing or dancing or “Country Western Swing Dancing” (C/W Swing) has a distinct culture, with classes and instructional videos on YouTube and DVD teaching dips, lifts, aerials and flips. It adds variations from other country dances, swing styles, salsa and more. As the name suggests, it is most often danced to country and western music.
Derivatives of swing dance
- East Coast Swing is a simpler 6-count variation that spawned from the six-count variations of the Lindy Hop. It evolved with swing-band music of the 1940s and the work of the Arthur Murray dance studios in the 1940s. It is also known as Six-count Swing, Triple-Step Swing, or Single-Time Swing. East Coast Swing has very simple structure and footwork along with basic moves and styling. It is popular for its simple nature and is often danced to slow, medium, or fast tempo jazz, blues, or rock and roll. Occasionally, Rockabilly, aka Rock-a-billy, is mistaken for East Coast Swing, but Rockabilly is more closely related to Western Swing.
- West Coast Swing was developed in the 1940s, as a stylistic variation on the Los Angeles style of the Lindy Hop. It is a slotted dance and is done to a wide variety of music including: blues, rock and roll, country western, pop, hip hop, smooth, cool jazz, R& B, and funk music. It is popular throughout the United States and Canada but was uncommon in Europe and much of Asia until the 21st Century. West-coast-swing communities are growing in Australia, Brazil, France, India, New Zealand, Ukraine, Romania, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.
- Western Swing has long been the name for jazz-influenced western music of the 1940s and, by extension, two-step, line dancing or swing dance done to such music. Contemporary 21st century Country Swing or dancing or “Country Western Swing Dancing” (C/W Swing) has a distinct culture, with classes and instructional videos on YouTube and DVD teaching dips, lifts, aerials and flips. It adds variations from other country dances, swing styles, salsa and more. As the name suggests, it is most often danced to country and western music.
- Carolina Shag was danced along the strands between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, during the 1940s but, during the 1990s and later, has expanded to many other places. It is most often associated with beach music, which refers to songs that are rhythm-and-blues-based and, according to Bo Bryan, a noted shag historian and resident of Beaufort County, is a term that was coined at Carolina Beach, North Carolina.
- Imperial Swing is a cross between East Coast and West Coast Swing as it is done in slot and in the round. It started at the Club Imperial in St Louis. George Edick, who owned the club, let teenagers dance on the lower level and the swing dancers of the time taught them what was learned from their trips to the east coast. As people traveled around, they added parts of west coast, bop and Carolina shag to complement the dance and make it distinctive. “The Imperial” has elements of “East Coast”, “West Coast”, “Carolina Shag” and “Bop”.