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 is the best way to get started. Another great option is to stop by our weekly social dance where we offer a quick crash course for new attendees. We also teach free 1-hour beginner lessons before all of our monthly dances. 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 classes or dances, however, you are welcoming to bring one. Our social dances try to keep in the spirit of social dancing in the Swing Era, where dancers would ask many partners, both old friends and new faces, to dance throughout the event. 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, plus we find 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 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), and 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.

For the comfort of all our attendees, we ask that everyone arrives reasonably clean and free of odor. We know everyone wants to smell their best, but it's also possible to go too far with cologne, perfume, and other frangrances. Some people are sensitive to excessive fragrance, so please keep the comfort of everyone in mind and use fragranced products sparingly. 

Q: What types of dances do you teach?
A: Groove Juice Swing offers classes in many dance styles, including 6-count swing (or "East Coast Swing"), Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Blues, Solo Line Dances (Shim Sham, Big Apple, etc.) 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! If you are able to go for a walk around the block, 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: In Lindy Hop, both leaders and followers make creative choices and influence the dance's direction. We like to say that the dance is a conversation; both partners have something to say! We often describe the leader's role as one of starting an idea (like a shape or direction) and the follower's role as one of finishing the idea (or creating something new based off of it). 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.  We don't associate genders with dance roles in our scene. Everyone can lead and everyone can follow, and many people do both! 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 used only for performance and competition by experienced dancers after extensive training with proper tools like crash mats and other safety tools that we cannot provide.

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: We welcome people of all ages to attend our events! We have regular attendees from high school age all the way up to 90+ years old! We pride ourselves on being welcoming to people of all ages and backgrounds.  Some of our monthly special events involve a cash bar, and of course can only be utilized by attendees 21 years of age and older.

Q: Do you allow drop-ins students for classes?
A: For most of our classes we do not allow drop-in students. A 'drop-in' or 'walk-in' student is someone looking to attend just one week out of a multi-class series. You must register and pay for all four weeks of the session before it begins. However, there are some classes (like Cardio Charleston, or a class that is only one night long anyway) where we allow drop-in students, and it will be noted on registration page for that class.

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.

Groove Juice Swing is a grateful recipient of the Monroe County JumpstARTS Grant Program.

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