Swing Dancing Basic Steps

Have you ever wanted to learn swing dancing basic steps? With all the celebrity and reality dance shows on television right now, even the most disinterested viewer will have their interests stirred in the world of ballroom dancing.

And why not? Ballroom dancing is one of the most interesting types of sport today. I know I know—it seems strange to lump dancing as a sport together with all the rougher, un-artistic types of sport out there, but really, it is what it is. A sport.


Think about it, why do you think Olympians and professional players do so well in dancing shows. That’s right, it takes more than looking pretty in heels to do well in ballroom dancing. You have to have strong core muscles, good coordination and flexibility—all done in time with the music.

This is why many people who want to lose weight, take to ballroom dancing. You burn so much calories when you dance! The faster dances in particular, will make you sweat a lot, especially since it requires a lot of practice to get it done right. The good thing is, because you’re having so much fun with it, you rarely notice how fast time flies when you are fully engaged in your swing dancing class. You are your partner will not even notice the hours that go by, until you’re actually done and you feel the soreness in your body, most noticeably your feet.

Your feet will probably bear the brunt of the exercise. Since you will be standing and moving around all the time, your feet will likely be tired at the end of it all. If you are planning to pursue swing dancing seriously, you will do well in investing in a good pair of ballroom dancing shoes.

Ballroom dancing shoes are not like the regular shoes. They are specially constructed so that the feet is fully supported. All dance shoes have suede covered bottoms because it adheres to hardwood floor better (what most dance floors are made of). The heels for the woman can range from an inch to 3 to 4 inches although the higher heels are recommended only for professionals who are really good with dancing already. You don’t want to injure yourself with sky high heels. Find one that is an inch and a half high with wider heels to begin with so you won’t be in danger of spraining yourself unnecessarily.

Of course if you don’t know whether or not you will be really going all out into ballroom dancing, then you don’t have to buy your shoes just yet. You can just use your comfortable pair of oxfords/dress shoes for men, and pumps for women.

Again, the key word here is that it should be comfortable and safe for you. Swing is a fast dance and a lot of it is quick foot work. It looks hard when you watch it on television, but the more you practice, the easier it will get. Here are the swing dancing basic steps you should practice at home.

First, the man and woman should be facing each other with some space between them. Sometimes, they hold one hand, other times both hands are held lightly by each other. They follow the mirror image of each other, meaning when the man goes left, the woman goes right. If this confuses you just remember- the woman is always right! (you know it’s true)

The beat is very quick: 1 a 2, 1 a 2, 1 2, 1 a 2, 1 a 2, 1 2. For the first beat, the man steps to the left with a left right left step. The woman does the same on the opposite side. For the second beat, the man steps to the right with a right left right step. Again, the woman does the same on the opposite side.

For the 1 2 step, the man steps back with his left foot and shifts his weight. The woman also steps back but with her right foot and shifts her weight. Then you go back to the first 1 a 2 step.


This is the basic sequence of the swing dance step. Obviously, the more experienced dancers and teachers start incorporating fancy moves, spins, turns and even throws as they progress. If you are starting, do not attempt to throw anyone because it looks like fun (or your partner is just being annoying). You need to master the basic steps and move up slowly but surely. This is what will make you into the fantastic dancer you always knew you could be.

swing dancing

It’s not always easy looking for a good dance studio with a competent instructor you have good chemistry with. If you do find one, the chances that the studio is located near your home are not very big. This is the reason why more and more people are opting to use online ballroom dancing courses to help them in their lessons. You don’t only save money from the sometimes costly dance lessons that you don’t always get to go to, you also save on time and effort it takes commuting to the studio after a long and tiring day at work.

When you do choose to start with an online dancing course, find a room in your house with adequate space and flooring. You don’t have to convert it into a dance studio just yet. Just wood floor (not cement or carpet) and a full length mirror is all you need for now.

Since ballroom dancing is a partner dance, you will also want to invite friends to join you in this new endeavour. It’s fun and will help you lose weight so I imagine many girlfriends will be game to try this out. Guys will also be open to learning if they have the right motivation or bribe inspiring them to work it out.

Remember, practice often, work hard and have fun. These are the ingredients of mastering your swing dancing basic steps. It’s a new adventure, one you won’t regret taking on.