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, Karen and monthly guest teachers
    • Progressive format classes so you can get better each week
    • No partner needed. We rotate partners frequently in class. Beginners always welcome!
    • Convenient and secure online class registration
    • Live Music Dance Party & Cocktails after class!

Class and party dates: April 3, 10 and 17 (3-week session) at Swedish American Hall, SF. April 24: dance party offsite at Local Edition, no dance classes.

Other Month’s Classes: March 2019

  Main Floor  Side Room
7-8 PM Intermediate Lindy Hop
3-week Series
with Nathan and Karen
Boot Camp Lite
April 3: Balboa with Tor and Carissa
April 10: West Coast Swing with Melissa and Parker
April 17: Collegiate Shag with Amy
8-9 PM Beginning Lindy Hop
3-week Series
with Nathan and Karen
Intermediate Advanced Lindy Hop
3-week Series
with Chiara and Philippe
9-9:30 PM Beginning East Coast Swing
Weekly Drop-in Crash Course
with Nathan, Karen & Guest Teachers
 
 

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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 3-week Series

with Nathan Dias and Karen Huddleston

Class time: 8-9 PM on April 3, 10 & 17 (no class April 24)

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.

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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: 7-8 PM on April 3, 10 & 17 (no class April 24)

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.

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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

with guest teachers Chiara Coombs and Philippe Wilson

Class time: 8-9 PM on April 3, 10 & 17 (no class April 24)

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.

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.

Philippe Wilson :

Philippe Wilson

Philippe Wilson is all about listening to the music and his partner, and interpreting both with exquisite flair. He combines precise leads with musical integrity, creating a dynamic dance that feels great in all the right ways. Although Philippe has rocked some competitions, his first and true love is social dancing. He loves questions and is always seeking better understanding of what makes dancing great.

Philippe learned to dance and teach in Austin, TX, where you can dance to live music nearly 8 nights a week. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he’s designing very cool things for very cool mobile devices.

Chiara Coombs :

Chiara Coombs

Chiara Coombs started her swing dance journey while living abroad in Seoul, Korea. Having studied classical harp since age seven, she instantly fell in love with Lindy Hop as a new way to express herself.  She currently performs around the Bay Area as a member of the chorus girl troupe, Someday Sweethearts, and San Francisco-based group Swing or Nothing. She spends her time practicing, performing, and working part-time as an ESL instructor (while attending graduate school).

Chiara wants her students to learn to express themselves musically through the dance along with giving them a solid technical foundation. Chiara invites her students to enjoy the learning process through hard work and lots of fun!

Boot Camp LITE: Balboa, West Coast Swing & Shag

Class time: 7-8 PM on April 3, 10 & 17 (no class April 24)

3 weeks x 1 hour ultra fun classes,
different topics and guest teachers each week

Requirements: These classes assume no previous experience with the specific dances being taught, but do assume previous partner dance experience and are geared toward students who have completed at least 4 months of Intermediate Lindy Hop classes at Cat’s Corner (or the equivalent).

April 3: Balboa with Tor and Carissa

Experience the subtleties and close connection of Balboa, a swing dance style that originated in southern California on the Balboa Peninsula and is characterized by its closed position, body lead, intricate footwork flourishes and simply efficient basic step perfect for dancing to extremely fast music and on crowded dance floors…without breaking a sweat!

 

April 10: West Coast Swing with Melissa and Parker

Explore West Coast Swing and take the smoother, more sensual member of the swing dance family out for a spin! Originating in California, West Coast Swing has roots in Lindy Hop and represents an adaptation of swing dancing that accompanied the shift in popular music away from Jazz and Big Band toward Blues, R&B and eventually contemporary music. 2 time US Open Swing Dance Champion Melissa Rutz and partner Parker Dearborn will help you get a taste of West Coast fun and flair!

April 17: Collegiate Shag with Amy and Maia

Enjoy this snappy swing dance that explodes with energy and features a unique double-rhythm six-count basic and eye-popping footwork, plus animated movements that will whip you into shape and invigorate your dancing! Collegiate Shag is currently in the midst of a huge worldwide revival. Join the movement and give it the old college try!

Costs: $20 early registration by Monday before the class. $22 full price online / door. $18 if registering online for multiple classes (must be qualified for highest level class).

Amy Sorenson :

Amy Sorenson

Amy is a self-identifying Shagaholic. She is a former member of Steve Sayer and Chanzie Roettig’s LA Shag, and of Johnny “Bluejeans” Lee’s The San Francisco Jitterbugs, and is now running her own Shag team here in the Bay Area. As a method of sharing her love of dance she teaches, competes, performs, and helps organize dance events. She is very excited to be sharing her love of this dance with you as she continues on her journey to make Collegiate Shag more visible and increase its presence in the Bay Area. She hopes you will love it as much as she does.

Maia Paddock :

Maia Paddock

Maia Paddock has been trying out different forms of dance for as long as she can remember, starting off as a tiny child in ballet, tap, and gymnastics, becoming a competitive Irish dancer throughout high school, and finally discovering lindy hop in college at UC Davis. By her senior year of college she was running the Davis Swing Dancers Lindy Hop performance team, The Tranky Moo, teaching both lindy hop and solo jazz routines. Shortly after starting Lindy Hop she began dancing Collegiate Shag, Balboa, and solo jazz, becoming especially involved in the Collegiate Shag community. She is a relatively new transplant to the Bay Area and is loving all of the opportunities to dance, teach, and perform!

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.

(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.