Swing & Lindy Hop Dance Classes in SF
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 & friendy dance instruction
- progressive classes allow you to build your skill each week
- online class registration
- intimate class sizes
- Live Music Dance Party, Full Bar, and Restaurant after class!
Next 4-week Lindy Hop class session starts Wednesday, June 5th!
Class costs include dance party admission (a $40 value).
Stay and dance to LIVE MUSIC every Wednesday!
(Can’t make Wednesdays? Check out Monday Classes in the Mission!)
|Beginning Lindy Hop Series: $60 early / $ 70 full price
Wednesdays, 6/5 - 6/26 (4-weeks) 7-8pm
with Nathan Dias & guest teacher Rebecca Shannon
Class size limited to 20 students.
|Register for Class!|
|Intermediate Lindy Hop Series: $60 early / $ 70 full price
Wednesdays, 6/5 - 6/26 (4-weeks) 8-9pm
with Nathan Dias & guest teacher Rebecca Shannon
Class size limited to 18 students.
|Register for Class!|
|Multiple-Class Discount: $100 for both classes
Take both Beginning & Intermediate Lindy Hop classes during the same month for an even better deal! You must qualify for the higher level class to take both.
|Register for Class!|
|Beginning Swing Drop-in: $10
New & easy steps each week.
Starts from scratch every Wednesday, 9-9:30pm
No partner needed.
Class Descriptions and Prerequisites
This 30-minute 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.
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.
|Beginning A (Jan/May/Sep)
||Beginning B (Feb/June/Oct)
|Beginning C (Mar/Jul/Nov)
||Beginning D (Apr/Aug/Dec)
In this class, you will build up your repetoire of lead and follow techniques, classic lindy hop moves and styling. You must already be confident with 6- and 8-count basics, including the Lindy Hop swingout and related turns, and basic Charleston steps. 3-4 months of Beginning Lindy Hop and social dancing are recommended before taking this level.
|Swingout Footwork Variations||Basics + Beyond||Charleston Variations||Classic/Flash Moves|
|Jan/Jul||kick ball change, follower swivels||8-count outside turn + variations||behind the back (tandem)||
|Feb/Aug||scissor kicks, follower swivels||6-count turns & variations||side-by-side||
|Mar/Sep||Al Minns styling, follower swivels||8-count inside turn + variations||kick-through||
|Apr/Oct||charleston swingout , follower swivels||swingout w/ behind the back hand change (aka Texas Tommy) + variations||face-to-face||
|May/Nov||leader’s kick, follower swivels||8-count reverse jerk + variations||airplane||
|Jun/Dec||heel pop, follower swivels||tuck turn variations||hand-to-hand||
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 from9-9:30pm.
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. Savanna Jazz Club features a full bar, dining until 10:30pm, a slick 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.
About the Instructors
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).
Read more about Nathan and his activities at his Swing or Nothing website!
Rebecca is known for her friendly, fun-filled classes and her love of all things swing. Knowledgeable in Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Blues and Collegiate Shag, she has taught, performed and competed throughout the Bay Area and beyond and is currently the teaching partner of David Blood at San Francisco City College. She also performs with and does choreography for the City College performance troupe the Hot Bloods.
Guest and Past Instructors
Catrine Ljunggren is a dancer, teacher, performer & swing organizer specializing in dances of the Swing Era as well as Argentine Tango. Catrine teaches at dance camps and workshops all around the world.
Catrine is one of the original members of the legendary Rhythm Hot Shots and one of the founders of Herrang Dance Camp, the world’s largest dance camp which has been in existence since 1982. Catrine and her dance company are one of the main groups responsible for the resurgence of Lindy Hop today.
Catrine learned from Al Minns and Frankie Manning, both members of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers in the 1930′s. Catrine is known for her energy — she likes to dance fast and fly high and it is a joy to watch her dancing as she is an excellent performer and dancer. In her dance partner Elliott Donnelley she has found someone willing to attempt to keep up with her, and they are a joy to watch because they really have fun when they dance.
Mirjam is a fabulous, award-winning swing dancer and Lindy Hopper who comes all the way from Sweden! She first met and danced with Nathan while visiting San Francisco in late 2011, and they danced a whole lot more the following summer while they both attended the 2012 Herrang Dance Camp. Mirjam’s biggest passion is the happiness in social dancing and the follower’s ability to express themself to the music together with the great feeling of dancing together with the leader. This is her focus both as a teacher and as a dancer. A rising swing dance star in Sweden, Mirjam has been teaching Lindy Hop in Stockholm over the past year as well as collecting awards at recent European and International dance competitions, including:
- ILHC 2012 – Finalist Jack & Jill Open Division
- ESDC 2012 – 1st Place Lindy Hop Open Division
- ESDC 2011 -1st Place Lindy Hop Jack & Jill Open Division
- Snowball 2011 – 5th Place Strictly Lindy
Niloufar Talebi taught Lindy Hop and Swing at the Metronome Ballroom in San Francisco for many years. In addition to being a fabulous Lindy Hop social dancer, she is also writer, award-winning translator, and media and theater artist, and she brings a graceful, free-spirited sensibility to everything she pursues. This March, we bring her out of teaching retirement to share her unique perspective on Lindy Hop with our students at Cat’s Corner!
Mara, who originally hails from Florida, has been swing dancing in the SF Bay Area for many years now. A familiar face on the social dance floor at Cat’s Corner, she has also performed and taught workshop classes with the Motion Explosion Dance Company, and performed and taught with Nathan many times in the past. Her background in aero/astro-engineering and experience as a flight instructor might partly explain her love of incorporating high-flying aerials and dance acrobatics into her Lindy Hop!
Miriam Grill is a seasoned San Francisco Lindy Hop & Blues dancer. Miriam recently completed an intense Lindy Hop dance tour of the U.S. East Coast where she was competing, training and dancing with some of the best swing dancers in the country…she’s looking forward to bringing some of the excitement and energy she picked up along the way to our classes coming up! Miriam was a recent finalist in the 2011 Boogie by the Bay Lindy Jack & Jill division.
Autumn LaVarta has been teaching Swing, Lindy Hop, Salsa, Tango and more in San Francisco for many years now. He was responsible for the Friday Night Swing dance party which ran for several years at the Metronome Ballroom/Cheryl Burke Dance Studio. More recently, he has been the resident Lindy Hop instructor along with Hep Jen a the Tuesday Night dance party. Autumn is also a fantastic DJ, and you’ll often find him in the Cat’s Corner DJ booth at the end of the month!
Ruth skipped into her first dance class more than 25 years ago, and has since been training in as many dance styles as she can get her feet on. Dance takes her all over the world, from judging blues competitions at North Star Blues to a recent Argentine Tango teaching residency in Indonesia.
When not traveling, Ruth resides in San Francisco, where she teaches workshops, classes and private lessons and finds time to run her weekly blues dance venue, Shades of Blues. Passionate about teaching and with over 14 years of experience, she brings a balance of technical precision and silly fun.
Michael & Claire have been teaching in the bay area for 3 years in venues such as The Rent Party, Avenue Dance Studio and 9:20 Special. They are the founders of the Motion Explosion Dance Company, a group specializing in energetic and creative fusion of Swing, Jazz and Hip Hop.
At Cat’s Corner they will teach fun lessons that bundle versatile moves and solid technique with creative and musical inspiration, encouraging each student to be self-expressive and get more mileage from the moves they already know.
Rose has been dancing for over ten years, beginning with ballet and then eventually adding on modern dance, jazz, swing and blues, feeding her constant hunger for more dance. She has been performing for most of her life and enjoys dance as both a form of expression and a form of entertainment. She has been swing dancing since 2005, tearing up the floors at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, then Midtown Stomp in Sacramento, and now she dances wherever she can, whenever she can, in the San Francisco area. When she is not dancing, Rose is also an artist, specializing in pencil portraits.
Claire believes in spreading the creativity and happiness swing dance inspires.
Since moving to San Francisco in 2008, she has been dancing and teaching with Michael in the Motion Explosion weekend workshops in San Francisco and Israel, and at their on-going intermediate/advanced classes at The Rent Party.
Claire is also a featured dancer with the Motion Explosion Dance Company, and has performed with them since 2010 at dance concerts such as Mission In The Mix (Dance Mission Theater), Dance For Another Day (Theater Artaud/Z-Space), The Nightingale (film), and in various swing dance venues in SF.
As a child, Christine really wanted to take dance lessons, but her mother said they were too expensive. So, when Christine moved out of the house she signed up for ballroom dance classes at community college. She was bitten by the Lindy bug three years ago and spent 2009 traveling and competing at swing camps and competitions all over the US, including Camp Hollywood, Camp Jitterbug, and the International Lindy Hop Championships. Christine has taught at Friday Night Swing and City College of San Francisco, and has hammed it up performing with The Hot Bloods and 101 Junction. Her favorite part of teaching is witnessing the “a-ha!” moments — those little breakthroughs that students have along their (hopefully) lifelong swing dance journey.
Yon loves to social dance and feels fortunate to be able teach around the Bay Area. Her teaching experience includes City College of SF, Swing Central, Wednesday Night Hop, Cat’s Corner and the 920 Special.
2009 was a big dance year for Yon. She won 1st place at Camp Hollywood’s Amateur Jack &Jill and 1st place at Boogie By the Bay’s Jack & Jill. Yon is grateful to Lindy Hop for giving her the opportunity to connect with many, many, many wonderful people from all over the world.
Both Catrine and Calle (pronounced “call-ay”) learned to dance lindy hop around the same time in Sweden from original swing dance legends Frankie Manning and Al Minns. The two Swedes were instrumental in jump-starting the current revival of Lindy Hop through their involvement in the Rhythm Hot Shots and Shout And Feel It performance groups and the Herrang Dance Camp.
Over the years, Catrine & Calle have taught and performed alongside each other at dance camps worldwide, including most recently: Masters of Lindy Hop & Tap (Seattle) & the Lindy Hop Argentina International Festival. They are excited to bring their unique Swedish style of Lindy Hop — which is really Frankie and Al’s style — to you at Cat’s Corner…expect zany, flashy, bouncing-off-the-wall fun and a swingin’ good time.
Besides the dancing, Calle is a one-of-a-kind person and showman, known, internationally for his Elvis impersonations, humor, and charming way with the ladies.