I'm New Here, Tell Me Everything!

Welcome, and glad to have you!  We've developed a special Guide for New Dancers, just for you, that will help to answer the questions that beginners most frequently ask.  Check it out!

If you've already gone through the guide, and your question hasn't been answered, then by all means, read on!

When will classes be posted (January 2023)?

The full class schedule for January 2023 will be posted on January 3, 2023. Note that Boston Lindy Hop will be closed Thursday, December 22, 2022 to Tuesday, January 3, 2023. There will be no BLH classes during this time and email responses will be delayed.

Lindy 1 Classes

In January 2023 we will have two beginner level classes a.k.a. Lindy 1, one will be in Brookline and the other will be in Cambridge (Harvard Square).

One class (Lindy 1) will start January 12 and will be a standard six-week series at one hour per week in Brookline (6 hours total, $70 per student), and another (Lindy 1+) will start January 23 in Cambridge with a slightly different format - four weeks, but two hours per week for a little extra practice time and feedback (8 hours total, $90 per student). 

There are a couple of ways you can stay updated about when classes are posted - which we do recommend, as Lindy 1 classes tend to sell out. One way is to subscribe to our newsletter on our home page by entering your email/info/etc. We typically send a newsletter out around when classes are posted. You can also subscribe to our Google calendar, the calendar is automatically updated when classes get posted. 

Do I have to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes? If I'm vaccinated do I have to wear a mask?

All students and instructors who attend in-person classes and/or events must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Everyone in the room must wear an appropriately fitting mask at all times. Acceptable masks include: KN95, KN94, N95, and surgical masks.

Cloth masks are not sufficient; we will provide surgical masks at the door for those who need them.

See our policies page for further details.

What do you teach in your Level 1/Beginner classes?

For beginners, we offer Lindy 1 - a six-week series covering all the basic patterns and techniques of the Lindy Hop

New Lindy 1 series begin almost every month, with the night and time on a rotating basis, so you can find the schedule that works best for you. No experience is necessary for this class. However, we recommend students to take our Lindy 1 class series until they are comfortable with the material and concepts before moving on to our Level 2 classes, and many students have found it valuable to do so.

Can I retake a class?

Yes! It is normal to do so and encouraged by our instructors. We are committed to helping our students grow and learn as dancers. The diversity of our teaching staff ensures that you will always learn something new, whether you are taking a class for the first or the fifteenth time! 

Can I pay by credit card?

Yes. You can pay by credit card with our online payment. At the door you can only pay by cash or check. There is a discount for paying online, and we definitely encourage you to do so!

Does Boston Lindy Hop ever cancel dance classes due to inclement weather?

In cases of snow emergency, Boston Lindy Hop may cancel classes. If we do, we will refund a portion of the paid amount and inform everyone who registered via email.

Do You Have a Code of Conduct or Other Policies That I Should Know About?

Yes.  At Boston Lindy Hop, we believe it is extremely important that all of our dancers feel safe and comfortable in their environment.  That is why we have adopted an Anti-Harrassment policy.  Check out our Code of Conduct here for more information.

If you are looking for information on our other policies, you may find them at our Policies page.

I've taken some swing dancing before. Should I sign up for the Lindy 1 or the Lindy 2 classes?

Many dancers come to us with some amount of previous dancing experience, but choosing the right place to begin can be a challenge!

Lindy Hop is a dance that incorporates many patterns using an 8-count footwork, as well as patterns using a 6-count footwork. Many of the basic moves such as the swing out and the Lindy circle are done in 8 counts, while many other moves and turns are done in 6 counts.  This is a big part of what makes the dance great!  But it can also be confusing to students when they are first beginning the dance. Our six-week Lindy 1 course is designed not just to teach you basic moves using both patterns, but also to help you integrate them seamlessly on the dance floor.

Often, dancers come to us with experience in only one of these patterns.  In particular, many students have learned some amount of 6-count swing (sometimes called East Coast Swing or Jitterbug), but they are unfamiliar with the 8-count basics of Lindy Hop. In these cases, we ask that you begin with our Lindy 1 classes first.  The 8-count basics learned in Lindy 1 are most definitely a prerequisite for subsequent classes! 

If you are comfortable with 8-count and 6-count footwork, and are proficient with the swing out, Lindy circle, and the swing out from closed position, then you may be fine beginning with our Lindy 2 classes.  However, many students still find it valuable to take Lindy 1 first.  If you are unsure, ask one of our instructors for advice on which class to take. You can always switch classes if you find that you need a refresher, or if you find that the material covered is something you are already proficient in.

If any (or all) of that sounds like Greek to you, or you've never danced a step in your life, that's just fine!  Start with Lindy 1, and we will have you out on the floor in no time.

Do I need to have a partner to take a dance class at Boston Lindy Hop?

No. Partners are not required for classes at Boston Lindy Hop. We rotate partners throughout the class so everyone has a chance to dance with everyone else.

If I already have a partner, do I need to rotate partners in class?

If, for any reason, you do not wish to rotate partners, you and your partner are welcome not to rotate.  The instructors may ask you to step out of the main circle in order to avoid confusion.

However, we do in general strongly encourage new dancers to enter the rotation of the class. Our years of experience teaching dance classes and participating in dance classes ourselves have demonstrated that, overwhelmingly, people who rotate in class progress faster than those who do not.  There are three key reasons why this is true:

  1. If a couple falls significantly behind the pace of the rest of a class, it becomes harder to keep them up to speed without slowing the progress of the rest of the class.
  2. People learn at different speeds and frequently one person in a couple will pick up material faster than the other. This usually results in one half of the couple helping (read: teaching) the other with material that they, themselves, are still trying to learn. This can inhibit learning for both partners, and it creates unnecessary stress.
  3. Couples who only dance with one another are prone to reinforce each other's bad habits.  They also limit their progress by dancing in a way that accommodates the other partner's specific shortcomings.  This can happen in subtle ways even without either of you realizing that it is happening, and it can greatly affect your progress in the future.

Rotating allows people to find others in the class who are at their learning speed, and it encourages all dancers to remain focused on their own improvement without being too much impacted by the overall progress or specific issues of a single partner.  Both members of a couple can then progress at a level that is comfortable for them, yet still get to dance with each other when they meet in the rotation. So please consider rotating. Of course, if you still prefer not to rotate, that's totally fine. Ultimately, we want you to be comfortable in class, and the best way to achieve that is up to you.

I know how to dance, but my partner doesn't. Can I help them learn faster?

Absolutely! The best thing you can do for your partner is to get them out social dancing and encourage them to dance with lots of different people.  Be encouraging, positive, and drag your friend/partner out dancing.  Introduce them to your friends, and encourage them not to be intimidated by dancers who are "better" than they are.  Learning can be tough, but feeling welcomed as part of the community makes it much easier.

But, when it comes to the hard work of actually teaching them to dance, let us be the bad guys. It's what you are paying us for, after all. If you see something that needs fixing, let us take care of it. That way, any anxiety and discomfort associated with learning can be directed at us, rather than at you. You be "good cop." Don't worry, we'll make sure that your partner is getting it right.

What clothing or attire should I wear?


You want to be comfortable and able to move in your clothes, there is no need to dress fancily. You may want to dress in layers because you may get warm. Many people wear gym clothes/activewear for class and there are multiple restrooms to change in if you are coming straight from work. 


Experienced dancers can be very particular about their footwear.  However, as a beginner dancer, you should be able to start dancing with shoes that you already own.  Your shoes should be comfortable and have a small amount of traction, but not too much.  A well worn-in pair of sneakers will often work nicely.

We do not recommend wearing shoes with heels higher than 2 inches, stiff boots, flip-flops, or other open-toed shoes that are not secure on your feet. Shoes that are very sticky can also be hard on your ankles and knees.  Feel free to bring more than one pair of shoes to try out on our floor.

If you've been dancing for a bit and you would like to invest in a pair of dance shoes, there are many options for you to suit your preferences and style.  Ask an instructor or a friend who's been dancing for awhile, they'll usually be happy to point you in the right direction.

What music do you use in class? What music can I practice to?

We use jazz music in our classes featuring greats like Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald.

Click Here for a list of some of the jazz we use in class. Also if you are new to jazz check out this great video by bandleader Dandy Wellington in New York.

I'm signing up for classes, but I'll be out of town/busy with family and won't be able to attend a class. Can I still sign up?

We'd love to have you in class! Our series classes are progressive, so you will likely be missing material that you may need for future classes. If you'll be missing a class towards the beginning of the series, we would recommend emailing info@bostonlindyhop.com to try to schedule a private session with an instructor who can get you up to speed. If you're missing one of the later classes, feel free to check in with your instructors about how they would recommend catching up. As per our policies, we do not reimburse students for classes they do not attend.

How do I ask someone to dance?

With words! It helps to make eye contact, smile, then ask someone if they would like to dance.

Anyone can lead, follow, or both. Boston Lindy Hop supports the idea that dance roles (lead and follow) are not tied to gender. We encourage all dancers to dance their preferred role or roles at any given time. When asking someone to dance, it helps to discuss your dance role preferences. Here are some great ways to do that:

“Do you mind if I follow?”
“Will you lead me in this dance?”
“Would you like to dance? I’m happy to either lead or follow.”

It’s okay to say no. Although we encourage you to dance with many people, it’s okay to say no to a dance! You are not obligated to dance with anyone if you don’t want to and you don’t need to offer an excuse. Just use common courtesy: smile and say, “No, thank you.” If someone declines a dance with you, also accept their answer kindly.

Special thanks to Blues Dance New York for this FAQ item.

Is Boston Lindy Hop LGBTQAI+ friendly?

Absolutely!  You are welcome regardless of your background and ensuring that our classes are a comfortable environment for all students is extremely important to us.  For more details on our policies, please see our Code of Conduct.

Does Boston Lindy Hop support Black Lives Matter (BLM)?

Yes we do. Black lives matter. We as a Lindy Hop studio-- a place that teaches this fundamentally Black dance form that was created, shaped, and passed down by decades of Black artists-- have a duty to our students, community members, and elders to speak up and take action.