Groove Juice Swing: Swing Dancing in Rochester, NY


Q: I'm new to swing dancing. Where do I start?
A: Welcome! You're in the right place. Check out our How It Works page for a detailed description of our class progression and which class to start with.

Q: Do I need any dance experience to take classes or attend social dances?
A: None whatsoever! Most often we teach people with no previous dance experience. If you're interested in weekly group classes, our Swing 1: Intro to Swing class is the best way to get started. Or, stop by our weekly social dance, Lindy Jam, where we offer a quick crash course for new attendees starting at 9pm every Wednesday. We also teach free 1-hour beginner lessons before all of our monthly dances, our Groove Juice Specials. There are plenty of opportunities to learn!

Q: Do I need a partner to take classes or attend social dances?
A: You do not need a partner for either. However, you are welcoming to bring one. In our classes, we rotate partners often. This gives everyone a chance to meet new people and also experience how everyone leads and follows differently. It is easy to develop bad habits when dancing with only one person.

Q: What if I do have a partner and we want to work together. Do we have to rotate?
A: We highly suggest rotating partners in classes so that you don't develop bad dancing habits. You will learn faster and also get to meet new people if you rotate! However, we will not force you to rotate if you wish to only work with the partner you brought.

Q: If I have taken some basic swing dance classes before, where should I start?
A: Since many dance schools teach swing differently, we recommend you start from the beginning with us by taking our Swing 1: Intro to Swing class and go from there. There is no harm in going back to basics! However, if you feel you would like to start at a higher level, please email us for an evaluation.

Q: What kind of shoes are appropriate?
A: In general, as long as your shoes don't have extra grip or traction on the bottom you'll probably be fine. We're lucky to have a very nice, slick wood floor at our regular venue (the Historic German House) so most shoes will allow you to move and pivot easily. We also recommend not starting out in heels. Popular shoes for swing dancers include Keds, which have a smooth rubber sole, or shoes with suede or hard leather bottoms. 

Q: What type of attire is appropriate for lessons and social dances?
For our classes and weekly dances, casual and comfortable clothing is recommended. Many people wear jeans and t-shirts. You don't want your clothes to be too restricting.
For our monthly dances we like to get a little dressed up! Many of our dances have themes (like the roaring 20s and masquerade balls), but in general we try to look nice, like the dancers back at the Savoy Ballroom did! However, there is no dress code enforced, so ultimately it is what you feel best in.

Q: What types of dances do you teach?
A: Groove Juice Swing offers classes in many dance styles, including Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Blues, Solo Line Dances (Shim Sham, Big Apple, etc.), Collegiate Shag, and even Soul Dancing. We try to stay as authentic as possible - dancing (for the most part) the way they did back in the 1920s-1940s.

Q: How physically demanding are these dances?
A: You do not need to be in great physical shape to take our classes, but you will get a slight workout from them sometimes! If you are able to be on your feet moving for a full hour you'll do fine in our classes. 

Q: The registration forms ask me if I am a leader or a follower - which am I?
A: As with most partnered dances, Lindy Hop has two roles coming together to make everything work. The leader does things like give a basic form and structure of the dance, confidently deciding where to take the partnership. The follower interprets all these forms, structures, and directions and fills them with the style and expression that makes the dance shine. There is a lot of overlap between the two roles - everyone has a chance to add style and flair or take the dance in their own direction. All of the Groove Juice Swing instructors practice both roles, and we encourage you to try both during your dancing! For our classes, we ask that you pick the role that sounds fun to you, and stick with it for the duration of that class.

Q: When I see videos of swing dancing, there are all sorts of tricks, jumps and flips. Will we be doing these?
A: We call these kinds of moves aerials, or air-steps, and no, we will not be doing them in our classes or at social dances. In fact, we have a strict no aerials policy at the ballroom. While these steps are certainly fun to watch and are a part of the dance, they are only used for performance and competition. Also, only experienced dancers execute them after training with professionals and proper safety technique.

Q: How long does it take to get good at these dances?
A: It depends! You will be able to get out on the social dance floor after just one lesson. After a few months you will be swinging out with more confidence and ease. If you want to master the dance, that can take several years. It all depends on how much you dedicate yourself to the dance, practice, and travel to workshops and events.

Q: What age groups typically attend classes and social dances?
A: Our dance community is made up of everyone from high school age to people who remember these dances from their childhood! We pride ourselves on being welcoming to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Q: Do you allow drop-ins students for classes?
A: For most of our classes we do not allow drop-in students in the later weeks of a class session. Walk-ins are welcome at the start of the first class in the session. You must register and pay for all four weeks of the session before it begins. However, there are some classes (like Cardio Charleston) where we allow drop-in students, and it will be noted on registration page for that class.

Q: Do you offer private lessons?
A: Instructors are available for private and small group lessons. Please email us if you are interested. Prices vary based on number of students and instructors, but are generally $40/hr for one student/one instructor, or $75/hr for two students/one instructor.

Q: What is your make-up policy?
A: If you need to miss a class, please email us to arrange a 30-minute make-up class. We must charge a small fee for the instructor's time and effort, but we try to keep it affordable.

Q: What's your refund policy?
A: Refunds on class registrations may be issued at the instructors' discretion before the start of the first class. Refunds for online payments will only be considered up to 30 days after payment is received. Please email us for clarification or questions.

About Us

Groove Juice Swing, established in 2004, is based in Rochester, NY and specializes in Lindy Hop, the original form of swing dance from the 1920s and 1930s. Groove Juice Swing offers dance classes, weekly social dances, live band dance events, performances, and dance workshops throughout the year. Staff members and instructors are passionate about all things Lindy Hop, traveling all over the world to compete against and learn from the very best Lindy Hoppers. They bring that same commitment and enthusiasm to the dance community in Rochester.

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