What material does Gottaswing teach?

For a demonstration of our beginner curriculum (and what you should know before signing up for an intermediate level class), check out our beginner level class overview.

In our beginner level, you will learn the essentials of swing dancing starting with six-count, eight-count Lindy Whip and Circle, and both side-by-side Charleston and Back Charleston. The material is progressive (meaning it builds upon material from previous weeks) and becomes increasingly skilled as the course continues. The intermediate level builds upon these basics and aims to improve your skill level and dance vocabulary.

What if the weather is bad?

If class is cancelled due to inclement weather, we will post a message on the CALENDAR after 3pm, or check the Gottaswing Facebook page. We will also attempt to send out an email bulletin to the class list. 

What if I want to cancel my registration?

If you are not able to attend a class session once you have registered and paid, here are your options:

• GottaSwing will not make refund tuition for a class series, but will gladly credit it towards a future series of classes.

• If you have paid for a class, GottaSwing will allow you to defer attendance to a later session, good for six months from the ending date of the session you originally registered for.

• If you used a pre-paid voucher, GottaSwing will credit you the amount paid for the voucher to the full price of a future class and you will owe the balance.

• The foregoing arrangements for credit to attend at a future date must be made before the end of the session you signed up for.  No credit will be allowed if requested after the series you signed up for has ended.

To make arrangements, please contact us at Debra@gottaswing.com.

What do I wear to class?

We recommend that students wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing that does not restrict movement and flat, smooth-soled shoes. You want comfortable shoes that will stay on your feet securely; think of something that would be comfortable for running to catch the bus. As you get more experience you may want to look into special dance shoes, but there are no special requirements. Feel free to ask your instructor for suggestions.

What if I have to miss a class?

Students are always welcome to make up missed classes at other locations. All classes must be made up during the session. Refer to the Calendar or Email Debra@gottaswing.com for assistance. You do not need prior approval to make up a class.

How about private lessons?

Debra offers private lessons at her home in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, DC, easily accessible by both Metro and car. She has two cats (important to mention in case you're wildly allergic!). Private lessons are $80/hour for up to two people, cash or checks accepted. Please note the cancellation policy: 24-hour notice of cancellation is required or full payment is expected. Contact her at Debra@Gottaswing.com.

Tom specializes in helping couples get ready for their wedding dance; contact Tom at Tom@Gottaswing.com for his availability and rates.

Our other instructors are also available for private lessons and may be contacted directly:

Do I need a partner?

You never need a partner at GottaSwing! We rotate partners in our regular beginner and intermediate classes, so everyone gets a chance to dance, practice, and have fun. (We do offer some specialty classes where a partner is required, but that is specified in the class description.) Our dances are fun, friendly and casual events where all are welcome—no need to feel shy.

What is the age range?

GottaSwing actively encourages dancers of all ages to participate, welcoming everyone from high school kids to empty-nesters. Because the emphasis is on friendliness and fun, no one needs to feel uncomfortable. Children younger than 14 should be accompanied by an adult.

What's the proper dance etiquette?

Like most of life, there are rules and there are guidelines. In the swing dance community, we want everyone to feel comfortable, safe, and have an enjoyable time. This handy checklist helps to ensure that dancing is fun for everyone:

  • You have the right to refuse a dance at any point in time. We strongly believe that you should dance with people of all levels and style, but that does not mean you have to accept all dances. On the flip side, graciously accept when someone turns you down for a dance since dancing with them is a privilege, not a guarantee.

  • The dance community’s doors are open to everyone. Employ the Golden Rule and don’t use language or actions that would make anyone feel less welcome or safe within our community.

  • The social dance floor is not the time or place to teach your partner unless they specifically request tips or advice. The only time when it’s appropriate to offer unsolicited feedback is someone is hurting you or endangering you, themselves, or other dancers. Let them know specifically what caused your concern.

  • Don’t monopolize one dance partner. We all have favorite dancers who we look forward to dancing with, but there’s a good chance there are others who also share that same sentiment. Who knows, you could be that person! Monopolizing any one individual means that they don’t get to dance with other dancers and others don’t get a chance to dance with you. Circulate and mingle.

  • People come to our dances to dance and socialize. Leave the pick up lines at the door.

  • Ask someone to dance! Don’t be shy. Everyone is a little intimidated when they’re a newbie. Be generous and welcome new folks into the dance scene.