Info & FAQ: Everything you need to know before you start dancing!

Do I need a partner?

No, you don’t! Lindy Hop is a social dance, which means you don’t have a fixed partner. Dancing with many other people will not only allow you to meet many wonderful people, it will also improve your dancing massively! Therefore, even if you sign up for classes with a partner, we will ask you to rotate every few minutes.

What do I need to bring or wear for class?

  • A water bottle
  • Comfortable flat shoes, ideally with rather smooth soles (no black ones, please). You will already have a suitable pair in your closet! Many dancers wear sneakers such as Keds, Toms or All Stars. You can experiment with putting duct tape on the soles to make them extra smooth. If you ever want to invest in special footwear, ask more experienced dancers for advice!
  • Clothes that you’re comfortable moving around in. Expect to be dancing enthusiastically; you will likely get warm! Optional: a second shirt and/or a towel.

At special Lindy events such as parties many people like to show up in vintage clothes (Great Gatsby, 1930s, 1940s). This is very fun and adds to the atmosphere, but completely optional!

Who are the dancers? What is the average age?

Anyone really! One of the great things about Lindy Hop is that it brings together people from all walks of life, also age-wise.

How fit do I need to be?

At the beginner’s level the classes are not very taxing, although you might find that your legs register that you have been bouncing the day after. Lindy Hoppers come in different shapes and sizes. Many find that Lindy Hop improves their fitness in an enjoyable way.

In case you have seen acrobatic-looking air steps (aerials) during demonstrations or on TV, this is more advanced than what you can expect to be taught at beginner’s level. There is plenty of fun to be had with your feet on the ground! If enough people are interested, Sugarspin might arrange a special workshop to try out aerials.

What kind of music do Lindy Hoppers dance to?

Lindy Hop is a form of Swing Dance, so the music will primarily be jazz and swing from the 1920s to the 1940s. There are quite a few pieces of Rock’n Roll and Pop music that lend themselves to Lindy dancing, too. The volume is adjusted to a level comfortable to most people.

Can you give a workshop at our event?

Most likely! Please get in contact with us by e-mail and we will try to arrange it.

Are the classes in English?

Our language of instruction differs, but generally is English. In case the people present in class are all speakers of Dutch, the class will probably be held in Dutch. We’ll be happy to translate and use gestures until things are clear to everyone! The universal language of Lindy Hop is smiles anyway.

How much are the classes?

Please check the course page for the current price.

We keep our prices as low as possible. The Sugarspin teachers are enthusiastic dancers who are not paid for teaching; the course fee is charged to cover the rent of the venue and the running costs of our association.

What’s class like?

You will take lessons in a group. Generally, the students will be gathered in a circle around two teachers. The teacher couple will comprise a leader and a follower who explain the dance for both roles. We’ll start with a warm-up to get energised and loosen up. The teachers have prepared a curriculum that introduces you to the most common steps and figures as well as aspects of rhythm and musicality. We’ll gradually teach you the basics, and we’ll play music so you can try these out. The focus is on practice, so we rely on brief explanations, frequent demonstrations and breaking down figures to help you understand them. We always rotate partners in class, so you can test your technique with different partners, and we encourage you to stay after class to dance with your class mates, your teachers and anybody else that drops in. The atmosphere is open and friendly and we laugh a lot. The teachers will occasionally interact with you in such a way as to address particular issues you may have, class size permitting. You are always welcome to ask questions; sometimes the teachers may ask you to postpone a question or answer it in private. Please note, in the absence of injury or disease, none of the moves we make in Lindy Hop are meant to hurt. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop what you’re doing immediately and let your current dance partner and the teachers know, because then something needs to be done differently, at a different angle or with less force.

What is meant by social dance?

Sugarspin offers a social dance between and after lessons. This is not a class but an opportunity for people to dance, practice and socialise. We play dance music and leave you to play with what you have learnt. For many, this is the highlight of the evening! What we cover in class is only the tip of the iceberg of what Lindy Hop is all about. You get the dance moves into your body by dancing as much as possible and with as diverse a range of dancers as you can. During the social dances you can practice with your classmates and with people from other levels as well as your teachers. Some of the teachers are sure to be around and will be happy to help you with any moves you find tricky or give you feedback.

Leading and Following

Lindy Hop is danced by a leader and a follower. The leader initiates the moves and directions. The follower follows the direction given, but has a lot of freedom to add styling and contribute to the dance. Traditionally, men dance as leaders and women dance as followers, and will usually still be asked for their traditional role at parties. In the Lindy Hop scene everybody is free to choose what fits them best, and encouraged to dance with anybody, no matter what age or gender, but at parties it is easier to dance with many people if you (also) know your traditional role. Many advanced dancers enjoy both roles nowadays. At the end of the day the only true leader is the music.

I’m seriously into this. What can I do to get better quickly?!

We are already doing something to help you improve quickly: we rotate partners in class. What you can do is dance socially as much as possible, practice at home (the teachers will make music available via Spotify), book private classes with teachers, learn from videos and go to swing-dancing events in other towns and countries. There is a vibrant international Lindy Hop scene with people travelling from one Lindy Exchange or workshop to another. The Sugarspin teachers will draw your attention to any workshops and festivals nearby.

I was really busy and missed a class… even a couple, and now I’m afraid I won’t be able to catch up. / I really love Lindy Hop but I’m afraid I’m not good enough. What to do?

We know this is an extracurricular activity and you have jobs, families and other obligations. Sometimes life gets in the way. Please don’t worry, just come back when you can and keep trying. People learn at different speeds, and who knows, perhaps your body memory needed that break to process something and things actually move more easily when you come back.

You’re more than welcome to ask the teachers and more experienced dancers for help and explanations during the social dances; they will be happy to help if they have the time. Oh, and they all have their own stories about feeling like giving up because they thought they couldn’t do something or the other…

If you’re keen but feel the group class is moving too quickly or you need to overcome some particular obstacle, why not contact one of the Sugarspin teachers to book a private class? You’re worth it! E-mail Sugarspin for details and prices.

Other

Please show up 10 minutes before the start of class so as to be in time for the warm-up.

Lindy Hop is an energetic dance and injuries may occur. Participants in Sugarspin classes and events take part at their own risk.