Lindy instruction in Portland?

Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster here. My wife and I have been taking swing dancing lessons since early this year, starting with East Coast and then starting Lindy in the summer. There is no social swing dancing where we live, but we are moving to Portland, Oregon very soon.

Portland has plenty of places to dance, but I haven't found many places that offer (we did do the free lesson at the Norse Hall on a trip a couple months ago and had fun). Does anyone know some good places that offer Lindy Hop classes/private instruction in Portland?

Thanks to anyone who responds,
That looks like a good place. I may start with their swing 1 series to test what I've learned and see what they emphasize differently.

Thanks for the find and welcome. I'm in the midst of house hunting in Portland right now. I hope to be moving soon.
Officially accepted my job and was accepted for a place to rent. Right by a max station, no less. Hope to officially be a Portland resident soon. I grew up in urban areas bigger than Portland so that part should be easy at least.

I had my last lesson with my current instructor. It was very kind of her to find no issues with my swingout, even with the unspoken (that can be fixed in this lesson). Looking forward to exploring my new dance home once I get settled in.
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Steve Pastor

Staff member
Glad you updated us.
MAX is great if it goes to and from where you need to go.
I'm looking at the San Diego "Trolley" to get around when I visit San Diego, and used San Jose's light rail when I was there last year.

I was going to start this Wednesday, but there was no lesson that day. Consequently, my enthusiasm waned. I would be really, really surprised if I'm not the oldest one in the room. And, they've already had three lessons, so I'll also be the guy who has to catch up or continue being the least desirable "lead."
It'll probably be obvious, too, that I've been doing West Coast Swing for a long time.
But, if I don't jump in now, it will be 6 months before I can start where they are now.
Pretty sure I'm going to hear Pete Krebs at the Secret Society this evening. These Friday Western Swing deals seem to draw a somewhat older crowd than the Swing night groups.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
I went to my "first" Lindy Hop lesson yesterday evening. Boy was I wrong in thinking I would be the oldest person there. By the time everyone got there (the lesson started on time with warming up) there were well over thirty people with an age range of twenties to sixties, I would guess. I saw a bunch of people who have been going to Secret Society for both swing night and Western Swing at 6:00 on Friday.
We worked on swing outs, swing out with an inside turn, and circling to a side by side position, then back to an open position.
Phrasing with the music, which wasn't discussed as I remember it, is pretty easy since everything we were doing was eight count.
The whole class had a very positive vibe and it looks like I'll have something fun to do on Wednesday evenings for a long time.
It would be a great way to meet new people if you are new in town.
Sorry to vanish there for so long. Training at my new job's been rough and my schedule keeps changing. It's about to stabilize, though. Ill be working evenings but hopefully will get some days off that will work for lessons.

My wife and I went to the Secret Society while taking a trip to Portland last summer. It was our first time dancing outside a lesson or our home. The band had no drums (or bass if I recall for the first part of the set). The music seemed very fast to us (I'm fairly certain it wasn't). My wife and I ran into each other doing a swing out. I subjected some poor woman who asked me to dance to very mediocre East Coast Swing.

All in all it was one of the most fun nights either of us has ever had.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
One of the characteristics of Western Swing, is the use of a rhythm section to supply the underlying beat of the songs. If there is a drummer in the group, they usually play a pretty understated beat. There are three groups that qualify for that label who play at SS. If it was Thursday, it was swing night, and there are a whole bunch of groups that are there regularly, and I'm not familiar with them.
One of the reasons I keep going back there is that there are a number of women who are willing to actually ask men to dance! but mostly because of the music.
Glad you had a good time.
This was a Tuesday last summer. Can't remember the band's name, but we'd only danced in lessons and at home to fairly easy music at that point. Glad to hear about Thursday's. I just found out that next month I'll be working nights with Wednesday and Thursday off. We just started private lessons and can hopefully do some group classes on Wednesdays.

On a side note most of the dancers were coupled up that night. Better prepare myself if normally I'd be asked a lot more. :p

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