“‘Taint what you do, it’s the way that you do it…  ”

Welcome to one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s southern-most swing dance communities!

We run weekly classes and regular social events for Lindy Hop, Blues and Balboa in Dunedin. With great music and beautiful venues, our dance community is known for its warm welcome and loud enthusiasm for all things swing!

Sharing the joy of dancing is our biggest passion. If you’ve never tried it, then we’d love to have the first dance!

All the information you need about classes and socials is on this website, and Facebook.

Let us know below if you’ve got any questions. See you on the dance floor soon!

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About us

We’re a bunch of passionate dancers working together to grow Aotearoa New Zealand’s southern-most vintage and swing dance community! We partner with the OUSA Vintage and Swing Dance Society to run social dance and teaching events throughout the year in Dunedin.

What we offer:

  • weekly classes and weekend workshops for Lindy Hop and Blues
  • one-off Balboa workshop events
  • regular social dance opportunities
  • the Dunedin Midwinter Swing Festival (June 2-5 2017)
  • community dance initiatives

Being this close to Antarctica means it’s never too hot to dance! So whether it’s swinging-out over summer’s long days, or dancing the blues through our endless winter nights, we’d love you to join us.

See our Facebook page for all of our news and events. Join our Facebook group to be a part of our community.

Classes

We offer classes in Lindy Hop and Blues (usually run over 5 week blocks). See our calendar and details of level descriptions below.

Lindy Hop

lindy-hop-level-guide

We run 3 levels of lindy hop classes – intro, continuing and intermediate. Please check in with us when you’re ready to move up a level.

Lindy Hop Beginners (Intro)

Suitable for complete beginners, or anyone new to lindy hop. Usually run over 5 weeks, this class will teach you the basics of swing dancing, giving you everything you need for a great night on the social dance floor. In these classes we focus on footwork patterns and fun, fun, fun! Many of our introductory classes are run through OUSA – so students, make sure you sign up for a space as soon as registrations open at the start of each semester!

Lindy Hop Continuing

Suitable for those who are ready to build on their basics. Usually run in 3-block cycles, these classes focus on core techniques such as pulse, frame, momentum and connection. We also cover the most common shapes you’ll find on the dancefloor (in lindy hop and partnered charleston) – and how you can play with them!

Lindy Hop Intermediate

Suitable for those who are ready to move beyond set shapes and rhythms. Usually run as loosely themed 5-week blocks, these classes focus on taking your dancing to the next level. We look at rhythm variations, play, improvisation, tricks, fast/slow, etc. We revisit core techniques and what informs your own dance style. Note: students interested in this class will usually have around 6 months dance experience, be confident on the social dance floor and move comfortably between lindy hop and partnered charleston shapes.

Blues

Our open-level Blues classes include both teacher- and self-directed learning. We cater directly to the skills levels of attendees and run 5-week blocks. We focus on building the core movements and principles of blues dancing through solo and partnered dancing.

Balboa

Balboa classes are run as one-off events during the year – usually as workshops on weekends, or in-between standard blocks. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for announcements. We hope we’ll be able to offer more balboa soon!

For classes outside of our regular blocks, check out our Facebook page for details!


Class levels differ from place to place, so if you’ve recently moved to Dunedin and already have some experience then please check in with us so we can make sure you’re in the right class.

We also ask that all our class punters read and abide by our code of conduct. If you’re new then you might want to check out our tips for new dancers.

Here are our class prices – if you need to pay by internet banking, please contact us in advance. (Note: classes run through OUSA are priced separately. You can find more information on the OUSA dance class registration page.)

Social events

Dunedin has a bunch of great social dancing opportunities (if you know where to look)! Here’s an insiders guide to what’s on:

Weekly

Jazz in the Pocket – teeny tiny dance floor, huge live jazz. Each week the Dog With Two Tails shows off the local talent from 8pm, with a house band and then musicians’ jam. Keep an eye on the JITP Facebook page for details on style (swing, blues, latin, funk) and head along when it suits you! *Every Thursday!*

Lindy Lunchtime (Friday) – give yourself something to look forward to on a Friday with a lunchtime full of lindy! A bit of a misnomer, you’ll actually find opportunities to practice all the different swing grooves from 12-2pm at OUSA Clubs and Socs. Great music and fine dance floor guaranteed – come along for a jam or practice and end the week swingin’! *Check facebook to see if it’s running this week!*

Semi-regular

The Mini Hop – this sweet social dance is tucked into week three of each block gives you the opportunity to practice your social dancing out in the wild! There’s a mixture of Lindy Hop and Blues Dance opportunities for all levels. We also have teachers available for quick questions and, of course, a dance! Keep an eye out for event details on Facebook as they come up!

End of Block Social Dance -reward all that hard work you’ve put in and bust out your new moves at our end of block parties! Bringing together all levels, this is the perfect opportunity to get to know more dancers in Dunedin while having great fun using your new skills to dance the night away. Keep an eye out for event details on Facebook as they come up!

Cocktails and Jazz – join us for a cozy and sophisticated evening of blues dancing, sprinkled with, sprinkled with lindy and bal.


As well as our regular haunts, in summer we have picnics in the botanical gardens and seek out live open-air bands. All year groups of dancers (small and large) get together for coffee, practice and hang-outs. Our Facebook Page and Group has all the last minute details of events and opportunities as they happen, so join us there for more info.

Our teachers

Rebecca

Rebecca’s passion for swing dancing is contagious and unstoppable. Having started her lindy journey on a whim 4 years ago she’s never looked back. With a focus on connection and musicality (not to mention facial expressions!), Rebecca finds joy in communicating the essentials of swing and loves seeing the smiles it brings.

Rebecca’s excitement about lindy is only overshadowed by her love of blues. Although she wasn’t sure about it at first, a good friend convinced her to give it a go and three years on she’s never looked back! Rebecca focuses on connection, flow and playfulness to help people experience the moment-by-moment joy of blues dancing.

Kieran

Having sold his trumpet to move to New Zealand, and with a tear in his eye, Kieran needed a new way of expressing a passion for jazz and swing music (and he needed some friends). Swing dancing turned out to be just the ticket! With a keen eye for fun moves, the intricacies of technique, and a guilty passion for Strictly Come Dancing, Kieran’s enthusiasm for teaching stems from a desire to have fun, share the joy of moving to music, and build community.

Sibby

Sibby is the epitome of musicality and refinement. Although she’s only recently found swing, she has found a true passion for it! Dance and performance have always been a big part of her life, she even taught Jazz ballet for several years. Bringing together her musicality, dance experience and a sense of fun, Sibby’s ready to introduce you to a world of hilarity and happiness through lindy!

What’s new

Code of Conduct

Here at Swing Riot Dunedin we’re all about experiencing the joy of dancing in a safe and positive community environment. To help us maintain our fun and playful atmosphere, we ask that everyone reads and follows this code of conduct – together we can build an amazing community of vintage and swing dance enthusiasts!

YOU are welcome.

 All dancers and lovers of music are invited to be a part of our community regardless of age, (dis)ability, ethnicity, gender (or gender identity), physical appearance, religion or sexual orientation.

It’s about safety and respect

The foundation of our community is built on all of us respecting every individual and the unique dynamic that they bring to our group. We take community wellbeing seriously and ask that you do too, following these guidelines:

  • It’s ok to say “no”

Dance as much as you like, but no more than that. Be prepared to say “no, thank you” whenever you like, and be prepared for others to say “no, thank you” to you too! No reasons required (even mid-dance) – just be kind and respectful.

  • Connecting

Be mindful of the physical connection you have with your dance partner, and the moves you’re doing – not everyone wants to dance close, or knows that crazy dip from last lesson. Watch out for non-verbal cues – keep ‘listening in’ to your partner throughout the dance, allowing your partner enough space to change the connection at any time. If you want to dance in ‘close embrace’ make sure to check-in with your partner first.

  • Roles

Agree with your partner on roles before the dance begins (and whether this might involve switching). Don’t assume that someone is a lead or follow because of their gender – anyone can learn either role, so take the time to ask your dance partner what their preference is. It’s also important that you don’t force someone to change role mid-dance without permission, especially in stealing jams.

  • Feedback

If you want feedback on your dancing, ask your dance partner before the dance begins. Never offer unsolicited feedback on your partner’s dancing, with one exception: if something your partner does hurts you, tell them so they can learn to do the move differently next time (or not at all).

  • Floor-craft

Be mindful of those around you on the dance floor, especially in some of Dunedin’s small spaces! Say sorry if you accidentally kick or hit someone while dancing, even if it didn’t seem like your fault.

  • Accidental touch

With arms and legs flying, accidents can happen. If you accidentally touch or graze someone’s private areas, apologise immediately.

  • Clothes

Dress appropriately and comfortably, think about hygiene (and sweat). If you’re feeling ill – take the night off and come to the next class or dance refreshed.

  • Injuries

If you have an injury that might impact on your ability to dance certain moves then let your partner know before the dance begins, and never dance against medical advice. Please talk to a teacher at the beginning of the class if you have any injury concerns and want to know what you will be doing in class.

  • Aerials

Leave your aerials to jam circles and performances – they’re not for the social dance floor.

Unacceptable behaviour

We do not tolerate verbal or physical misconduct. We may choose to ban someone permanently from classes and dances if they engage in unacceptable behaviour.

Unacceptable behaviour includes: bullying, sexual harassment, intimidation, continual unsafe behaviour, persistent breaches of the code of conduct, or any other inappropriate, disruptive or unlawful behaviours.

What do I do if…?

If you witness any behaviour that seems abusive, disrespectful, harassing, suspicious, unsafe, or behaviour that makes you or someone else feel uncomfortable for any reason, then you can (and should) do something.

If possible, raise your concern with the person/people involved. If that’s not possible, or it needs reporting, tell someone. There are a number of ways to do this:

  1. Talk to your teacher. If the issue concerns your teacher and you want to talk to someone else, then please speak to a different teacher, or contact us via email.
  2. If you are at a social dance and can’t find a teacher, ask the person who was at the door when you arrived and they can point you to a teacher. Just ask: “Do you know where the teacher from my class is?”
  3. If you would prefer to write rather than talk, then email dunedin.swing@gmail.com – we’ll respond to your email as soon as we can and take it from there. There’s also a ‘contact us’ form on our website.

Although these situations are extremely rare in our community, we take your concerns seriously. We’ll always make time for you and carefully consider any action that needs to be taken.


If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either via email, through the website, or by speaking with one of our teachers. If you’re new to our scene, you can also check out our helpful ‘Tips for new dancers’ info!

Thanks for taking the time to read through this code of conduct. Together we’ll continue to build a dynamic and creative community of vintage and swing dance enthusiasts who keep each other safe, even as we strive for all possible fun and creative potential. We look forward to seeing you on the dance floor soon!

Contact us

Want to chat? Send us an email below and we’ll get back to you with all the info you need.

Midwinter Swing Festival

2017 hosted our best festival yet! If you want to see what happened, check out our festival website:

midwinter swing header