The Shim Sham/Beginner-Friendly Jazz

Custom RVA Swing artwork by Claire Simmonds

What:  jazz dance/solo movement class 

When: Tuesdays at 7pm starting January 16th, 2024
             Class dates: Jan 16th, 23rd, 30th, Feb 6th

Where: RVA Swing studio 6114C Lakeside Ave 

Instructor: Mike Herring

Cost: Sliding Scale $20 to $60 for the 4 week class series

What is Vintage Jazz? What is Solo Jazz?

"Vintage jazz" refers to the jazz music of the 20's & 30's and also to the dances typically done to that music.   Anything you dance to jazz music without a partner is often referred to by swing dancers as "solo jazz."  Vernacular simply means "of or by the people" as this style of jazz was not developed in a formal studio setting.

Swing dancing is richly intertwined with vernacular solo jazz and both forms of dancing influence each other greatly.  Jazz dance, Lindy Hop & swing music in general are art forms developed by Black Americans in the early decades of the 20th century, and are now a world-wide phenomenon.  Unlike codified European dance styles, which often require dancers to strive for an ideal style or form, vernacular jazz encourages individual style and expression.

In today's modern Lindy Hop community, solo dancing is seen as an integral part of the broader canvas of your partnered dancing, as well as a way to study & appreciate the originators of this dance. Solo movement classes are primarily about personal expression, and getting acquainted with how your body moves.  At RVA Swing, we seek to cultivate an awareness & appreciation of the history & origins of jazz dance, as well as for the dance itself.

About the class & the routine:

Never danced at all before? This class is for you!

Taken our partnered dance classes but want to try some solo movement? This class is for you!

Yearning to learn the Shim Sham so you can join in when everyone does it at the dance? This will be a great class for you, too. :)

In this 4-week unit, students will explore basic vernacular jazz steps while also learning a short classic jazz routine: The Shim Sham. 

Absolutely no dance experience is needed.

About your instructor:

Mike Herring
 is a tap and swing dancer, instructor, and choreographer with 30 years of experience. He started out doing shows in his living room at age 6 after watching the chimney sweep scene in Mary Poppins too many times. 

Since then he has performed with the Boston Tap Company, DrumatiX, Ash Lawn Opera, the Charlottesville Ballet, Wilson School of Dance, the Greater Boston Stage Company, SwingCville, ACME Swing Mfg. Co, and Boston Lindy Hop. He has taught at many regional events such as Jammin on the James and The Process, as well as being a featured performer at Lindy Focus.

Questions? Email us at We do not have a studio phone, so this is the best and fastest way to contact us.

Register for Class:

Registration Closed

Registered studentsOur registration system sends out an almost instant confirmation email with all your information to the email address you supplied on the registration form. Didn't receive one? Please check your spam folder first, then contact us at (You will also get a PayPal receipt once your payment is complete, sent from PayPal). Payment didn't go through? Please visit our PayPal Help page or email us before submitting a duplicate registration form.

Venmo payments go to @Erica-Vess (use 3132 if prompted). Please make a note of what class it is for.

You'll also receive an email from us the day of class with everything you need to know.  Meanwhile, take a look at our studio policies here.

We can't wait to meet ya!

How to find us

The RVA Swing studio is located inside the Lakeside Towne Center, at 6114 Lakeside Ave.  There is tons of free parking in the lot adjacent to the Farmer's Market pavilion, as well as behind the Towne Center building.  Enter through the Towne Shops door under the RVA Swing sign and head down the hallway! 

Please note that some GPS systems will send you about 2 blocks away.  You want the parking lot by the Farmers Market and the CVS. :)