Intro to Swing Dancing

What: 6-week beginner swing dance series "Intro to Swing Dancing"

WhenTuesdays from 8:15pm until 9:15pm,  starting July 30th, 2024
            Class dates:  July 30th, August 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, Sept 3rd
Where: RVA Swing Studio 6114C Lakeside Ave, Henrico VA

Instructors: Marlene McGraw & Jess Churgin

Format: Rotating Partner.  Students will change partners throughout class. No partner is needed to sign up.

Cost: Sliding Scale of $30 - $90 per person for the 6 week class (choose your price at registration)

All students must register and pre-pay online. (No walk-ins)

What is Swing? What is Lindy Hop?

Lindy Hop is the original swing dance (and often the terms "Swing" and "Lindy Hop" are used interchangeably).  It was invented by Black Americans in Harlem's Savoy Ballroom in the 1920s and 30s and reflects the energy and excitement of the hard-driving swing music popular at the time. 

About the class:

New to swing dancing in general? This class is for you!

Done other forms of swing dance, but are new to Lindy Hop? This class is for you!

Taken a few beginner swing/Lindy Hop classes but still lack confidence on the social floor, would like a review, or want to try the other dance role? This class is for you, too!

In this 6-week unit, students will get an introduction to the building blocks of Lindy Hop while they learn partnering skills, basic footwork, and common Lindy Hop moves.

Because each class will build on the material in the previous class, registration is for the whole series only

We recommend that students miss no more than one class in an Intro unit. Attendance in the first class of the series is mandatory for new students, unless you have made a prior special arrangement with the studio.

A note on dance partners:  we are offering this class in a standard Rotating Partner format.  Students will change partners throughout class (even those who come with a partner).  This helps everyone learn the art of social dancing and provides all students with equitable access to dance partners.  If you want to dance only with your partner, you may wish to look into private lessons.

A note on dance roles: Swing dancing is basically a team sport consisting of two players and your dance role has literally zero to do with your gender.  You'll be asked to choose whether you'd like to learn as a "follow" or as a "lead" at registration. This is to help us make sure we have a good lead/follow balance in the class.  If you don't have a strong role preference, you can indicate that also, and we can assign you a dance role when you arrive, based on the balance of the class.  Both roles are equally fun, and also equally challenging.  Learn more about dance roles in this handy video!

About your instructors

Marlene McGraw
started dancing in late 2019 and has been enthusiastically working on leading and following across several types of swing dance since. She has a passion for making learning fun and supportive for folks starting out and providing clear and approachable instruction.

Jess Churgin's dance obsession began in 2012 in Mexico City with Rueda de Casino (also known as Cuban Salsa), and hasn't stopped since. Back stateside, she expanded her repertoire in New York City with LA style Salsa, Bachata, and Brazilian Zouk, before moving to Richmond, and falling in love with Lindy Hop at the RVA Swing Studio. Jess delights in blending dance styles, sharing her passion with others, and fostering collaborative exploration and musical expression as a teacher. When not dancing, she's bothering her cats, Rilo and Kiley, or enjoying the James River with her husband.

Register Online:

Registered studentsOur registration system sends out an almost instant confirmation email with all your information. Didn't receive one? Please check your spam folder first, then contact us at (You will also get a PayPal receipt or Venmo email once your payment is complete, sent from PayPal/Venmo).

If you experience any errors being re-directed to PayPal (or if you just derp and navigate away), you can always use the "return to this booking" link in your RVA Swing confirmation email to complete your payment. The more you know! :)

Venmo payments should go to @Erica-Vess within 24 hours of registration. Use 3132 if prompted to verify your payment. Please leave a note saying what class it is for instead of just emojis πŸ’ƒπŸΎπŸ˜‚

You'll also receive an email from us the day before the first class with everything you need to know. 

Refund Policy:  

Please make sure to give us  24 hours notice of cancellations in order to receive a full refund.

Registered for a series and need to cancel? Please let us know before the series begins by emailing  

We can only issue refunds or class credits to students who notify us directly of cancellations before the first class of the series.

--Once you start a series, no refund or credit is given for class absences. 

Shoe Policy

We spent over a month building our dance floor and we want it to stand the test of time! Help us keep it nice by following these basic guidelines:

--Please remove your street shoes right away (before you come inside, if you can).

-- Please wear suede or leather-soled dance shoes for classes and dances.

-- If you don't own dance shoes, please bring a clean pair of sneakers with non-marking soles to change into for classes/dances. This will help us keep grit and dirt off the floor.

The following types of shoes are absolutely prohibited inside the RVA Swing studio:

NO stilettos or other spiked heels. Not only are these inappropriate and dangerous footwear for swing dancing, they also tend to gouge and dent wood floors.

No home-made duct tape soles.  Yeah these might work great for a bit, but as you dance, you wear through the tape and leave sticky adhesive gunk for everyone else to dance on. No bueno!

No tap shoes. These shred the floor. Any tap classes will be soft-shoe only. :)

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. :)