Swing dancing has a wide range of styles because it’s a street dance, constantly changing with the creativity of the dancers. Slides are tricky steps. They’re not that common, due to the difficulty in executing them properly. You’ll only see them performed by advanced dancers, and they’re always show stoppers. If you’re a bay area dancer, you won’t see them at Lindy in the Park or at Local Edition. If you want to try them out, you need a slick floor no matter how skilled you are.
The best dance floors for Swing have a polished surface with just enough slickness to slide but not so much as to be dangerous. The best floors are also sprung so they have a little give to them. Here in the bay area great floors are hard to find, but as long as the floor is not sticky (like the sidewalk at Lindy in the Park or the unfinished wood at local edition or any finish that feels sticky rather than smooth) any finished wood floor is fine. You can also make adjustments to the floor by wearing shoes that have right amount of slickness for you, and using dance wax if you need a bit more slickness than the floor offers.
Sprung floors are designed for dancing , so they are few and far between, but while they are great for low impact, they are not necessary for slides. The recently renovated Starline Social Club, which hosts the new Tuesday night swing event The Breakaway, has one of the best floors in the bay area as does the Lake Merritt Dance Center. The Scottish Rite Temple, which hosts vintage dances every other month also has a spectacular floor. The Terrace Room recently renovated it’s floor which gives it a boost in ratings from sticky to pretty good. These places are all in Oakland, and SF also has good floors in many of its venues. The Russian Center, Verdi Club (which just had it’s last regular swing night), and practically any place besides LITP and Local Edition, that hosts a swing dance, has a floor you can slide on.
Don’t know what I’m talking about when I reference slides? Here’s a great example in this recent clip from a swing camp in Spain:
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Look like fun? Think about adding a signature slide to your Lindy repertoire!
by LaurieAnn Lepoff
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