Swing Dancing in Central Florida

We have a lot of swing dancing in Central Florida that happens on a regular basis. We have nobody keeping track of where, who is running it, or what's happening. UNTIL NOW Here is the definitive list of places you can swing dance in the Orlando Metro Area.

Swing Dancing in the historical tradition

No, I don't mean West Coast, and I probably don't mean whatever you think of as East Coast and there's a 50/50 chance that I mean Jitterbug (both of these last two terms have different definitions depending on who you talk to), but I do mean Lindy Hop, Blues, Charleston, and Balboa. Why? Well, mostly I mean Lindy Hop, which draws the other two (Charleston and Lindy hop are basically joined at the hip, and treated as one dance almost everywhere). Country wide, you will find all of these three dances together in the same place, and you will *not* find those other dances with them most places.
You will find these things in common in all the places herein:
  1. Posture is not stiff and upright for any of the dances (it's not ballroom posture). It's relaxed, but athletic - like how a basketball player stands right before shooting a free throw.
  2. Switching partners every song or every other song is encouraged
  3. Its more socially-based than performance-based.

Friday Nights 9PM-12AM

Cost:$5 entry, $1 for beginner lesson (lesson is free for Swing Knight's members)
Host:UCF Swing Knights
Location:DanzForce Extreme
Description:This is the largest regular dance in Orlando. And having gone to most of the beginner lessons, I believe this one is the best in the state. Come with no experience, and you will be able to dance. Note that this is associated with UCF, so it has the most college students, or those in the 19-25 age range. That said, around 1/3 of Swing Knights members (i.e., those who actively go to most things) are not actually students, and there are certainly members who are outside of this range.

Friday Nights 12:30AM-4AM

Cost$5 entry
Host:Orlando Blues
Location:Waterford Lakes Jazzercise Fitness Center
Description:The main weekly blues dance in Orlando. Blues is a lot easier to grasp than swing for most people, but there is not always a beginner lesson.

2nd & 4th Saturday Night 7PM-11PM

Cost$5 for swing knights, $8 otherwise
Host:Orlando Swing Dance
Location:Whirl & Twirl Square Dance
Description:This place has the nicest floor and best air conditioning of any place that we swing dance (double sprung floors). No heels allowed on this floor. This is the most likely place for you to see aerials, or, potentially, do them. Some fantastic dancers in Orlando hardly dance anywhere else.

Some Saturday Late Nights 12PM - ???

CostUsually between $6 and $8
Host:Dancer's Hideout
Location:DanzForce Extreme
DescriptionThe description for their facebook page is "By dancers, for dancers. Orlando's newest hot spot for swing dancers. We bring you the best in modern music for your dancing feet." It's a dance to modern (mostly club, but occasionally soul and blues) music to which swing dancers dance.
Note that this one happens sporadically, but typically about once a month

Some Saturday Nights (1st or 3rd Saturday 8-11, beginner lesson 7-8)

Host:Orlando Balboa
Location:DanzForce Extreme
DescriptionThis dance happens once a month, and is dedicated to doing a particular swing dance called "Balboa." There's a beginner lesson at the beginning, but as a whole, you will find mostly balboa enthusiasts at this dance, and not many other people. This just started recently, so this is likely to change.

Monday 7PM-10PM

Cost:For Non-UCF-Students – Beginner lesson is $3 (free if you are a member), Intermediate Lesson is $3. For UCF Students – Both lessons are free, but you MUST be a member of SK! UCF students deciding if they want to become a member may try the lessons for free as well.
Host:Swing Knights
Location: UCF Student Union. Typically in a room on the top floor.
Description:A progressive beginner lesson from 7-8, and intermediate lesson from 8-9 taught by Joel Green followed by a short business meeting, and then practice time. This is one of the most comprehensive lessons you can get to learn how to swing dance, and as you can see, it's really, really cheap.

Other Dances

There are a few new groups who have hosted only a few dances - notably "Orlando Blues Dance Association" - which has thus far met in the previously mentioned DanzForce Extreme studio, and which has only just begun, but plans to meet once a month in Jazzercise. Both of these have plans for the future. Hopefully they will continue.

Other Places to Find Swing Dancers

Independent Bar, Tuesdays 10:30PM-12:30PM.
They play swing and blues dancable music there, so usually 10-30 of us go out to dance. It's free for 21+, but you have to find a place to park downtown.
BB King's Blues Club, Every night from 9:30-11.
Sometimes we get the urge to go down there and dance. They have a floor. They even play blues music 10% of the time. There's a cover charge, which changes.
Lakeridge Winery
Regularly, they have a blues event on Saturday afternoon, and a group of dancers will travel down to Clermont to go to it.

More Questions

A few of the local instructors have a page that's got you covered.

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