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!

Confirmed class and party dates: December 4th and 18th at Swedish American Hall, SF.
Special One-Night Classes and Party: December 11th at the Valencia Room, SF.
Closed: December 25th. Happy Holidays!

Other Month’s Classes: November 2019

  Main Floor Side Room
December 4th
Swedish American Hall
Beginning Lindy Hop Boot Camp
7-9 PM
with Nathan and Karen

Balboa Night
with Tor and Carissa

Beginning “PureBal” Crash Course
7-8 PM

Intermediate+ Balboa Workshop
8-9 PM

December 18th
Swedish American Hall
Lindy Hop Boot Camp (Beginner-Intermediate)
7-9 PM
with Benji and Julia
Intermediate/Advanced Dips and Tricks
7-9 PM
with Nathan and Karen
Every Wednesday Beginning Swing Crash Course
9-9:30 PM
with Nathan, Karen and guests
December 11th
The Valencia Room, SF
The Shim Sham Shimmy & Solo Jazz, 7-8 PM
Lindy Hop Crash Course (Beginner-Intermediate), 8-9 PM
with Nathan and Karen

Sign up for classes now!

Save $15 or more when you sign up early!

[wptab name=’For Beginners’]

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 Boot Camps

7-9 PM at Swedish American Hall

December 4: Nathan Dias and Karen Huddleston
December 18: Benji Ng and Julia Gladysh

Whip your Lindy Hop into shape in two ultra-fun 2 hour sessions that cover all the same material from our usual 4-week class program in a 2 evening format. Sign up for either evening, or join both and get a discount!

In these classes, 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.

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.

Single Bootcamp Night (December 4 -OR- 18): $30 early registration online / $35 full price online / $40 door.
Both Bootcamp Nights (December 4 -AND- 18): $50 online / $70 door.
9pm Beginning East Coast Swing Crash Course: $10/week, drop-in only

All class costs include dance party admission.


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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).



[wptab name=”Dec 4: Balboa”]

December 4th: Balboa Night with Tor and Carissa!

7-8 PM Beginning “Purebal” Balboa Crash Course

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. 

Geared toward Intermediate dancers, but all welcome!

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

8-9 PM Intermediate+ Balboa Workshop

Expand your repertoire of Balboa footwork, movements and styling!

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

Cost for each 1 hour class: $17 online by Dec 2. $20 full price online. $22 door.

Sign up for classes now

Save your spot 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.

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!


[wptab name=”Dec 11: Shim Sham and Lindy Hop”]

December 11th: Special Night at the Valencia Room, SF

For one night only, Cat’s Corner takes classes and party to the Valencia Room, a beautiful bar and live music venue in the heart of the SF Mission District!

7-8 PM The Shim Sham Shimmy (Jazz Routine)

with Nathan Dias and Karen Huddleston

“T’aint what you do…it’s the way that you do it!”  — song title and lyric from the classic Shim Sham song

Learn the Shim Sham Shimmy, the classic jazz line dance and social dance tradition that is popular at swing dances across the world! Add fun, silly and rhythmic jazz steps to your repertoire and practice important transitions so that you can dance the routine comfortably and add your own personal style!

8-9 PM Lindy Hop Crash Course (Beginner-Intermediate)

with Nathan Dias and Karen Huddleston

Get a quick taste of Lindy Hop, sampling from a mix of signature steps and lead-and-follow techniques that capture the playful spirit of the dance, and prepare you for social dancing! Explore classic rhythms, footwork, connection and style. No previous swing dance experience needed.

Cost for each 1 hour class: $17 online by Dec 9. $20 full price online. $22 door.


[wptab name=”Dec 18: Int/Adv Dips and Tricks”]

December 18th: Intermediate/Advanced Dips and Tricks

7-9 PM with Nathan Dias and Karen Huddleston

Admit it: part of the reason you love lindy hop is the flash! Nathan and Karen will share a fun collection of partner support moves, emphasizing good teamwork, communication and body mechanics.

Note: you must sign up and attend this class with a designated partner.

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

Contact the teachers to arrange a level-check and get class level advice.

Single Bootcamp Night (December 18): $30 early registration online / $35 full price online / $40 door. $25 if taking other classes during the month.



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.