Learn to swing dance and Lindy Hop at Cat’s Corner! Have fun, meet new people, and get great exercise all at once! Cat’s Corner offers:

    • hip, expert & friendly dance instruction with Nathan, Chiara and monthly guest teachers
    • progressive format classes so you can get better each week
    • convenient and secure online class registration
    • Live Music Dance Party & Cocktails after class!

Register for classes

4 week class session runs October 3, 10, 24 & 31 at Swedish American Hall, SF. No class at Swedish Hall on October 17.

Other Month’s Classes: September 2018

  Main Ballroom Side Room
7-8pm Beginning Lindy Hop 4-week Series
with Nathan and Karen
Beginning Balboa for Lindy Hoppers
with Tor Helmer and Carissa Koo
8-9pm Intermediate Lindy Hop 4-week Series
with Nathan and Karen
Int/Adv Lindy Hop Grab Bag 4-week Series
with different guest teachers each week
9-9:30pm Beginning East Coast Swing Drop-in Class
with Nathan, Karen and guest teachers
 
 

Beginning East Coast Swing Drop-in Class

Class time: 9-9:30pm

This short and sweet class is designed for the absolute beginner with no previous dance experience. We start from scratch each week, covering partner dance fundamentals and introducing simple 6-count East Coast Swing, Jig Walks and Charleston steps to get you out on the dance floor and grooving to the music.

Cost: $10 per week (includes dance party admission). No registration required.

Beginning Lindy Hop Month-long Series

with Nathan Dias and Karen Huddleston

Class time: 7-8pm

In this class, you will learn the basics of Lindy Hop, the original swing dance from the 1930s that features fast footwork and addictive rhythms. You’ll learn the basic 8-count steps that every lindy hopper should know — swingout, lindy circle & charleston — plus solid lead and follow technique and a different set of beginner level steps each month. This class is a progressive series, which means we review and build steadily upon previous weeks’ material.

Previous swing dancing experience is helpful but not required. To get the most out of the class, we recommend that you are already comfortable with “triple-steps” — if you don’t know these yet, we suggest taking our 9pm drop-in swing class a few times first.

4-week series cost: $60 early registration by Monday, October 1. $65 online after the deadline. $70 at the door.
Drop-in cost: $20 per week, weeks 1 & 2 only or with special teacher permission.

Sign up for classes now

Save your spot in class!

Four Month Class Cycle (okay to start any month!)

Jan/May/Sep (A)
  • Swing out from open
  • Swing out from closed
  • 6-count tuck turn from closed
  • 8-count tuck turn from closed
  • Reverse Jerk
  • Promenade with Pecking
Feb/Jun/Oct (B)
  • Side-by-side Charleston
  • Toss Across & Yo-Yo Charleston
  • Toss Across & Yo-Yo Lindy
  • Swing out from closed
  • Swing out from open
  • Lindy Circle
  • Shimmy
Mar/Jul/Nov (C)
  • Simplified Swingouts (no triple steps)
  • Swing out from closed
  • Swing out from open
  • 8-count Inside Turn
  • 8-count Outside Turn
  • 8-count Texas Tommy
  • Lindy Circle
Apr/Aug/Dec (D)
  • 6-count turns
  • triple steps vs. jig walks
  • closed vs. open position
  • Behind-the-back Charleston
  • Side-by-side Charleston
  • Kick-through Charleston

About the Teachers

Karen Huddleston :

Karen Huddleston

Karen came to the Bay Area from Portland, where she regularly danced Lindy Hop and Blues. She started training in dance at the age of 3 and discovered swing dancing as a high school student. In college, she helped run the swing dance club and participated in the ballroom dance team as a member and coach for several student groups. She's an avid social dancer in San Francisco and has performed with the Someday Sweethearts and Nathan's Swing or Nothing dance troupes. Karen and Nathan recently taught their first Intermediate-Advanced Lindy Hop class at Cat's Corner, and they had so much fun that Karen decided to return for more!

Nathan Dias : Resident Teacher, Cats Corner Founder

Nathan Dias

Resident Teacher, Cats Corner Founder

Nathan specializes in Lindy Hop, the high-energy swing dance from the 1930s and 40s, and has been teaching, performing and DJing since 2005. He started swing dancing in 1997 and lindy hopping in 2000. A regular dancer in San Francisco since 2001, Nathan enjoys the creativity and personal connection of social dancing as well as the challenge and satisfaction on working on and improving his dance.

He has taught at practically all of the local swing dance venues at one time or another, including the 9:20 Special, Lindy in the Park, Tuesday Night Jump, Rent Party and original Doghouse, and has been a featured instructor at regional workshops such as Swingin' at the Savoy, California Swingin', *Workshop (San Luis Obispo), Santa Swing (Santa Barbara), and Le Hot Sauce (SF).

nathan@catscornersf.com

Intermediate Lindy Hop

with Nathan Dias and Karen Huddleston

Class time: 8-9pm

In this class, you will build up your repertoire of lead and follow techniques, classic lindy hop moves and styling.

Requirements:

Students wishing to join the Intermediate class must have completed our 4-month Beginning Lindy Hop program (or the equivalent) as well as a friendly level-check with one of our teachers. Students should be regular social dancers at this point, and should be able to confidently dance the steps listed on our 4-month Beginner curriculum (click the “Beginning” tab above) including 6-count turns, 8-count swingout, Lindy circle and related turns, and basic Charleston patterns. Contact the teachers to arrange a level-check and get class level advice.

4-week series cost: $60 early registration by Monday, October 1. $65 online after the deadline. $70 at the door.
Drop-in cost: $20 per week, weeks 1 & 2 only or with special teacher permission.

Register now for classes

Save your spot in class!

Intermediate Lindy Hop 6-month Class Cycle (start any month)

Jan/Jul (A)
  • Swingout Like Things: Reverse Jerk, Reverse Swingout, Half-Swingout, Slip-out, Travel Swingout
  • Charleston: Airplane, Cross-plane & Shadow
  • Footwork, Rhythm & Style I
Feb/Aug (B)
  • Mixing 6-count, 8-count Turns and Tuck Turns
  • Classic Sequences: Pecking Promenade, Curl & Points, Quick-Stop, Jump Turn, Tango, Drags
  • Spins & Turns
Mar/Sep (C)
  • Dancing Fast: Jig Walks, Charleston Swingouts & Fast Lindy
  • Charleston: Kick-Through & Hand-to-Hand
  • Footwork, Rhythm & Style II
Apr/Oct (D)
  • Swingouts, Circles & 6-counts: mixing 6- vs. 8-counts, Forward & Backward swingout technique, rotational swingouts
  • Charleston: Side-by-side, Yo-Yo, Face-to-Face and Hacksaws
  • Moving Like a Dancer
  • Musicality
May/Nov (E)
  • 8-count Turns: Inside, Outside, Finger-roll & Texas Tommy from an 8-count swingout
  • Charleston:  Tandem & Hand-to-Hand
  • Footwork, Rhythm & Style
Jun/Dec (F)
  • Tuck Turns
  • Classic Sequences: Mini-Dip, Behind-the-Back Promenade, Sailor Kicks, the Chase
  • More Spins & Turns

About the Teachers

Karen Huddleston :

Karen Huddleston

Karen came to the Bay Area from Portland, where she regularly danced Lindy Hop and Blues. She started training in dance at the age of 3 and discovered swing dancing as a high school student. In college, she helped run the swing dance club and participated in the ballroom dance team as a member and coach for several student groups. She's an avid social dancer in San Francisco and has performed with the Someday Sweethearts and Nathan's Swing or Nothing dance troupes. Karen and Nathan recently taught their first Intermediate-Advanced Lindy Hop class at Cat's Corner, and they had so much fun that Karen decided to return for more!

Nathan Dias : Resident Teacher, Cats Corner Founder

Nathan Dias

Resident Teacher, Cats Corner Founder

Nathan specializes in Lindy Hop, the high-energy swing dance from the 1930s and 40s, and has been teaching, performing and DJing since 2005. He started swing dancing in 1997 and lindy hopping in 2000. A regular dancer in San Francisco since 2001, Nathan enjoys the creativity and personal connection of social dancing as well as the challenge and satisfaction on working on and improving his dance.

He has taught at practically all of the local swing dance venues at one time or another, including the 9:20 Special, Lindy in the Park, Tuesday Night Jump, Rent Party and original Doghouse, and has been a featured instructor at regional workshops such as Swingin' at the Savoy, California Swingin', *Workshop (San Luis Obispo), Santa Swing (Santa Barbara), and Le Hot Sauce (SF).

nathan@catscornersf.com

Intermediate-Advanced Lindy Hop Grab Bag

featuring different guest teachers each week!

Class Time: 8-9pm

Stretch and grow as a Lindy Hopper by focusing on important fundamentals: connection, musicality and momentum while learning and dancing more complex patterns, challenging lead and follow techniques, and impressive styling.

In October, get fresh inspiration for your dancing each week! Learn from a variety of teachers and explore the wide range of movement and expression that makes Lindy Hop so fun!

Required: 6+ months of Intermediate Lindy Hop classes and social dance experience, or the equivalent.
Recommended: 12+ months Intermediate Lindy Hop class & social dance experience

If coming from another dance program, check our Intermediate Lindy Hop syllabus (click the “Intermediate” tab above) to see if what you’ve covered in other classes and social dancing is comparable. In particular, we are looking for:

  • Your swingouts, lindy circle, 6-count turns, 8-count inside & outside turns, Texas Tommy and 6- and 8-count tuck turns should all be solid, fluid, and social dance worthy at medium tempos (140-170 BPM) with clean, accurate footwork
  • You should be able to dance common modes of Charleston (side-by-side, kick-through, hand-to-hand, airplane, tandem and face-to-face) along with simple transitions into and out of them
  • You should be able to incorporate some common footwork variations in your basics, independent of your partner (i.e. kick-ball-change, heel pops, Al Minn’s footwork, scissor kicks, Frankie’s footwork).
  • You should be able to dance at least a few classic lindy hop “flashy” patterns such as: Curl & Points, Mini-Dip, the Chase, Sailor Kicks, Hacksaws, Behind the Back Promenade, Quick Stop, etc.
  • You are starting to demonstrate an ability to lead and follow improvised movements not explicitly taught in class

There is no formal level-check, and student placement is by honor system.  Teachers, however, are instructed to, at their discretion, politely send unqualified students to the appropriate level. When in doubt, the best is to arrange a friendly level check with one of our teachers.

Register online today

Dave Ljung Madison & Charlie Stellar :

Dave Ljung Madison & Charlie Stellar

David Ljung Madison is an internationally respected Blues and Lindy Hop teacher who is an expert in cutting to the chase and conveying strong fundamentals. He's joined by his teaching partner-in-crime and exquisite social dancer Charlie. Charlie and David met at a partner dance and the connection was instantaneous. Charlie has been a dancer and musician her entire life, initially starting with solo performance dance as a member of modern and contemporary troupes as well as hip hop. She discovered her love of partner dance coincidentally on the day she met David. Since then they have been building their partnership with his social dance background and her trained dancer background to create something much stronger.

David has been dancing Lindy and Blues for close to two decades and was one of the people responsible for the creation of the contemporary Blues Dance scene. He has been teaching Lindy and Blues workshops in dozens of countries across the world and teaches classes based on the beginning and advanced fundamentals that will make your dance come alive. Together, David & Charlie travel around the world bringing the joy of Blues Dancing and Lindy Hop to scenes everywhere they go, sharing their knowledge and focusing on the parts of dance they love: connection, musicality and momentum.

Balboa Fundamentals for Lindy Hoppers

with Tor Helmer and Carissa Koo

Class time: 7-8pm

Curious about Balboa? Come learn the basics of this dance and join the movement!

Balboa is a swing dance style that originated in southern California on the Balboa Peninsula and became popular in the 1930s and 1940s. It is characterized by its closed position and body lead. Its simple and efficient basic step makes it well-suited for dancing to extremely fast music, including songs over 300 beats per minute. Balboa also has a unique focus on flash footwork, which is a great way to add footwork and rhythmic precision to your dancing as well. Modern Balboa also includes a style known as Bal-Swing. This style allows for more room between partners and typically incorporates movements from Charleston and Lindy Hop.

3+ months of Intermediate Lindy Hop classes & regular social dancing recommended.

Register online today

Carissa Koo :

Carissa Koo

Carissa Koo’s goals as a teacher are to increase exposure to and improve the level of Balboa in the Bay Area, while showing people how to throw down! She believes that perfecting basic movement technique is the backbone for learning more complicated moves/musical expression, and emphasizes this in all her lessons. She pushes for follower agency over each dance and the lead’s ability to “follow” as well!

Carissa started dancing Lindy Hop and Balboa in 2014 in San Francisco. She began traveling for Balboa shortly after and continues to travel around the nation (and the world!) to pick brains and share insight with other teachers. She co-leads the Shimmytown Shufflers Balboa choreography team with Tor Helmer. When not dancing, she thinks about how she’d rather be dancing and looks at cat pictures.

Tor Helmer :

Tor Helmer

Tor Helmer starting dancing ballet at a young age and absolutely fell in love with swing dancing a few years ago.

He believes that dance is about movement and expression and learning to interpret the song with how you feel it. Best achieved with a strong foundation in the basics and underlying movement.

His dream is to promote Balboa as the wonderful and intimate dance it is and to show everyone it’s merits at both throwing down and pure dance enjoyment!

Series class sizes are limited and often sell out. A few extra spots are also made available to our staff volunteers.

Class Pricing

Beginning Swing Drop-in Class  (9 PM, 30 min)
$10 per week. Cost includes dance party admission.

4-week Monthly Series (7 & 8PM, 60 min)

$60 early registration online by October 1, 2018. $65 full price online. $70 door.
$20/week drop-in.

All class costs includes the 9pm Beginning Swing drop-in class and dance party admission.

Dropping in for Monthly Series Classes

Drop-ins for monthly classes allowed during weeks 1 and 2 of the series, or with teacher permission for later weeks of classes. Drop-ins are always welcome in the Beginning East Coast Swing class.

Multiple Series Class Discount:
$10 off ($5 off per class) the early registration cost when you enroll in two classes in the same month. You must meet the requirements for the higher level class to take both. Discount is automatically applied at checkout.

Register online today

Save $10 or more!

(Can’t make Wednesdays? Check out Monday Classes in the Mission!)


Progressive vs. Drop-in Classes

All of the Lindy Hop classes are progressive, with each week’s material building on the previous week’s class. Lindy Hop drop-ins are allowed for $20 which also includes dance party and 9pm lesson admission.  Please note that if you drop in to one of the classes, it may be in the middle of the class series, and you may fall behind. We recommend that you take the full series. We always offer a drop-in Beginning Swing class each Wednesday from 9:00-9:30pm.

Not sure which class is for you? Send us an email with any questions!

After the Classes

All class costs include admission to the Cat’s Corner Swing Dance Party. Stay to dance to live swing music starting at 9:30pm. The venue features cocktail bar, roomy dance floor, and great swinging ambiance. We often have surprises around 10:30pm – it could be a special performance, contest, or silly group activity — to add to the festivities.