Class Descriptions

Click on the dance style of your interest to read the details of our classes. To register, click here

Swing 1

An introduction to the ABCs of swing, with the basic steps of this partner dance with a rich culture. In our classes, music is real leader. It invites us to take care of our partner, to develop our own voice and to listen to the stories that are part of the dance known as the Lindy hop! Imagine Ella Fitzgerald directing her orchestra at the famous Savoy Ballroom, stepping off the stage and onto the dance floor to swing out with one of the most famous dancers of the era, Frankie Manning.

Swing 2

You have discovered the driving rhythm of the Count Basie orchestra and you are hungry for more swing. Just like in the music, you will develop your vocabulary and rhythmical repertoire: 8-count and 6-count rhythms will swing together in harmony just like you, the music and your partner.

Swing 3

King of drums, Chick Webb, sets the pace as you become more familiar with your rhythmical repertoire and refine your communication skills in dance partnership. You will hear more stories about the origins of the Lindy hop including the greats like Shorty George Snowden, Norma Miller and Al Minns.

Swing 4

The master composter Duke Ellington will help guide you across the floor with intention. Your partnered dancing traces more precise lines, circles and patterns around the room. You’re relaxing into your jazz and snapping your fingers in time, as Dawn Hampton says “when the music starts, first feel the beat, let yourself feel it”.

Swing 5

Louis Armstrong is king. He inspires a breath of freedom and a sense of improvisation, where our bodies relax in the sound of the trumpet. This class explores the idea that we can explore unique ideas as individuals while remaining unified in our dance partnership, just as early jazz musicians did together.

Swing 6

In Montreal, Oscar Peterson is a national hero. With him in our hearts, our learning will never be done. Thankfully, the joy of swing is present along our learning journey. This session focuses on the rhythm, it’s variations and our creativity through practice and a depper understanding of the language of jazz

Swing 7

Artists like Billie Holiday teach us that each voice is unique. Their beauty is in their capacity to show who they are. Each dance step is an invitation to develop your own creativity and let your voice grow. Just like in the famous song “let yourself go!”.

Swing 8

By now, the basics of swing are infinite. Every subject is worth a second look and from a different angle. Let’s ask the questions again and work through the most essential fundamentals, again. What do you need to express yourself in this dance? What do you need to be in conversation with another dancer, to listen and inspire each other? What do you need to let the music move you?

In-depth Courses

Focus Beginner (swing 1-2)

Personal attention is the focus of this class. Registrations will be limited so that each person can benefit from individual time with the teachers throughout the session. The content of the class will be decided on based on the needs of the participants. If you want to slow down the rhythm and spend more time on the topics introduced in swing 1 and 2 before moving on to the next level, this class is for you. Or maybe you missed several classes last session, or you prefer the small group dynamic. This might be the place you want to be!

Focus interm/adv

Personal attention is the focus of this class. Registrations will be limited so that each person can benefit from individual time with the teachers throughout the session. The content of the class will be decided on based on the needs of the participants. If you want to slow down the rhythm and spend more time on the tricky topics before moving on to the next level, this class is for you. Or maybe you missed several classes last session, or you prefer the small group dynamic. This might be the place you want to be!

Lindy U

Lindy U is the option between classes and troupes. It’s based on the individual needs of the participants and allows you to deepen your understanding of several aspects of the dance and it’s culture (music, improvisation, technique, partnership). A session of Lindy U is 12 weeks long. If you go out social dancing regularly, you have taken several classes and you are looking to push your dance, this class is for you!

Special Classes

Fast Dancing

Get ready to say “yes!” to all of the fast songs. Discover new techniques in order to conserve energy, better your swing out and get tips from our instructors that will help you to feel comfortable dancing at any tempo. You will have the opportunity to try various styles of swing to develop versatility on the dance floor. Open to anyone who has completed swing 4+.

Competition and Show

Get feedback and expertise that will help prepare you for swing competitions. Learn how to be present while in the spotlight, work on your capacity to improvise and adapt to unexpected scenarios and explore different avenues to grab the judges and audience’s attention. Anyone who has completed swing 3 is welcome!

Jam Circle

Jazz culture is built around the jam circle. It is a space that encourages sharing, community, expression and the appreciation of every individual. In a learning environment, become familiar with the codes and the practice of Jam circle! Learn how to enter and jam, let yourself explore in the present moment, encourage your peers and celebrate the magic of togetherness. You can finally feel confident to participate in jam circles, birthday jams and steal dancing; a common occurrence during our Friday night social dances.

Music Lab

Did you know that some of our dance teachers also know how to play Jazz with their instruments?! In this 6-week session, you will dive deeper into the practice of dancing with the music, playing music with your body and interacting live with our musicians. Feel the influence that dance and music can have on one another. This class will get you hooked!

Balboa 1

Balboa is a swing dance that was born in California in the 1920’s. Taking little space on the dance floor, it was adapted to the crowded dance floors of the era and was efficiently danced on fast tempos. In this class, you will be introduced to the posture and connection of Balboa, the basic footwork as well as some of the fundamental classic movements.

Balboa 2

If the clarinet knew how to dance, it would be doing lollies, come arounds and toss outs. Here are a few of the names that you will hear often in this new session that will further develop your Balboa vocabulary to the sounds of musicians such as Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman.

Balboa 3

Balboa fans will geek about its legends, like Maxie Dorf or Marge Takier, and follow their steps all the way to the other side of the continent. While you prepare for this pilgrimage to California, you will be introduced to new styles like Bal Swing and Pure Bal.

Balboa 4

It’s the time to learn variations created by the pioneers of the dance, like the Maxie Stop. You will also have the opportunity to refine your classics and develop new variations while working on the integration hip movements like the swivels.

Balboa U

Balboa U is the option between classes and troupes. It’s based on the individual needs of the participants and allows you to deepen your understanding of several aspects of the dance and it’s culture (music, improvisation, technique, partnership). A session of Balboa U is 12 weeks long. If you go out social dancing regularly, you have taken several classes and you are looking to push your dance, this class is for you!

Collegiate Shag

Collegiate Shag is a partenered social dance created towards the end of the 1920s. Recognizable by its high stance with arms pointed to the sky, this energetic and fast-paced comical style was popularized in animation shorts such as “All the cats join in” by Walt Disney.

Blues 1 – Jukin’

This class will be an introduction to jukin’ blues – a group of dances done to blues music that originated in juke joints and house parties in African American communities across United States. Jukin’ blues dances were influenced by crowded spaces, rhythmic music, and a letting-go or party atmosphere. They involve a heavy solo dancing component as well as playing with shapes and rhythms in the body.

This 6-week series is part of the fundamentals blues classes at Cat’s Corner. Both Jazzy and Jukin’ need to be taken before moving on to the higher levels.

Blues 1 – Jazzy

This class will be an introduction to Jazzy blues, also known as “Ballroomin’”. Danced to slow jazz, this group of dance styles was danced in ballrooms alongside other dance styles like Lindy Hop. Jazzy blues styles are characterized by the larger distance traveled on the dance floor, turns, and the use of momentum.

This 6-week series is part of the fundamentals blues classes at Cat’s Corner. Both Jazzy and Jukin’ need to be taken before moving on to the higher levels.

Blues 3 – Aesthetics

Now that you know the basics, this 6-week series explores the aesthetics of blues dances. We will describe and integrate the elements that give blues dances their distinct look. In this class you will learn how to dance with a cool and relaxed attitude, move “behind the beat” and use lag, maintain a grounded posture, and integrate asymmetry and isolations into your partnered and solo blues dance.

This 6-week series is part of the Intermediate level blues classes at Cat’s Corner. These classes can be taken in any order, but all three need to be taken before moving on to the next level.

Blues 3 – Musicality

When you’re out social dancing, you have two very important partners: the person you’re dancing with and the music. In this class, we will discover how different styles and tempos of blues music dictate the choices that we make to adapt movements we already know or create new ones.  We will learn how to hear different rhythms, characters, emotions, and energy levels in the music and how to communicate our interpretations with our partner. The deeper your understanding of the music becomes, the more fun you will have on the dance floor!

This 6-week series is part of the Intermediate level blues classes at Cat’s Corner. These classes can be taken in any order, but all three need to be taken before moving on to the next level.

Blues 3 – Connection

Ever wondered how advanced blues dancers manage to move together so effortlessly, transforming their ideas into reality? That’s the magic of connection! Blues dances use various styles of connection, which allow for a wide range of lead/follow communication. The exploration of connection in this class will help open up lots of possibilities for you and your partner!

This 6-week series is part of the Intermediate level blues classes at Cat’s Corner. These classes can be taken in any order, but all three need to be taken before moving on to the next level.

Intro to Tap

Tap dance is a percussive dance. You are part of the band, you are a dancing musician. In this introductory class, you will learn the ABC of Tap, its step, heel, shuffle. You will hear about Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Jimmy Slyde, Savion Glover and no other than our Montreal legend, former dancer for Cab Calloway, Ethel Bruneau!
You can register for this class and join it the first Friday of every month! No tap shoes required.

Beginner Tap

Your shuffles are getting clearer on the right foot as well as on the left foot. You’ve got the Tap bug and are looking to develop your tool box of rhythm. Continue your growth under the direction of Majiza Philip, Ethel Bruneau’s grand daughter, and her team of teachers. You are in good feet!
You can register for this class and join it the first Friday of each month. From here, you’ll change levels with the guidance of your teachers. But you already know you want to take it easy. Enjoy the learning process and start shuffling on your way to work!

Beg/Interm Tap

You feel solid in Henry LeTang’s Shim Sham. Keep on tapping with more balance challenge, relaxing of your ankles and clarity of your sound. Brush step shuffle ball change flap paddle and roll flap hop step…

Advanced Tap

“Pick up your feet” is every Tap teacher’s motto. Routines are getting more complex and interesting and you’ve got some time steps under your belt. During the program of Tap 3, you will be introduced to Diane Walker’s steps, also known as “Lady Di”, to her remarkable elegance, lightness and simplicity.

Solo Jazz

The Charleston, Truckin’ or the Suzie-Q were the ‘urban dances’ of the jazz era and theire steps are still visible in the street dances of today. In the Swing Era, people constantly danced in pairs and by themselves, breaking away, doing line dances and jamming on their own. Use your Shim Sham steps, learn new ones, mix them up and start improvising!

Big Apple

The Big Apple is an improvised danced done in a circle where the “host” calls out known vernacular jazz steps. It also references a sequence in the celebrated film “Keep Punching” (1939) where the famous lindy hop group “Whiteys Lindy Hoppers” perform in a “Big Apple Contest”, choreographed by Frankie Manning. Learn this widely recognized routine, well known by lindy hop dancers worldwide.

Tranky Doo

The Tranky Do is a line dance popularized at the Savoy Ballroom by the Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. Frankie Manning tells a story in his biography about the creation of this routine inspired by a Chorus Line dancer known by the name of Tranky Doo. Learn this dynamic routine danced by many around the globe to the songs “Tuxedo Junction” and “The Dipsey Doodle”.

Stormy Weather

Learn a classic men and women Chorus line routine from the movie Stormy Weather to dance together in a big ensemble! Take a step into history, into the swag, show and sparkle of Vernacular Jazz!

Stormy Weather is a 1943 movie, one of the rare Hollywood productions featuring an all black cast. It is famous for some of the most legendary dance sequences, including the Nicholas Brothers “Jumpin’ Jive” known as “the greatest dance number ever filmed” according to Fred Astaire. In the movie, the Chorus line ensemble opens for their act, and we will have the outmost pleasure of dancing to the sound of Bill Bojangles Robinson and the Cab Calloway orchestra. Join the movement!

20s Charleston

The 1920s charleston, popularized across the world by Josephine Baker, is recognizable by the posture and a distinctive twist in the feet. In this class you’ll learn classic steps both solo and in partnership giving you plenty to practice with when the music gets Hot!

Charleston 1

In this Charleston series, you will go in depth into the particular style of this dance in all its variations. In solo, in couple, as part of a breakaway, you will kick kick, turn and twist your Charleston away!

Charleston 2

In this Charleston series, you will go in depth into the particular style of this dance in all its variations. In solo, in couple, as part of a breakaway, you will kick kick, turn and twist your Charleston away!

Charleston 3

In this Charleston series, you will go in depth into the particular style of this dance in all its variations. In solo, in couple, as part of a breakaway, you will kick kick, turn and twist your Charleston away!

TASTERS SOLO YOLO!

Every 2 weeks, you will learn a new style of solo dancing: Vernacular Jazz, Soft Shoe (tap dance without taps) and Solo Charleston.

TASTERS “Classic Steps”

Every 2 weeks, learn the signature steps of a new legendary dancer who’ve made the history of Lindy hop. A must for all swing dancers! (Sugar Sullivan’s Stops ; Frankie’s favourites ; Norma Miller)

TASTERS Fast Partnered Dances

Every 2 weeks, discover a new partnered swing dance known for its vivacity on fast music. Balboa, Charleston, Collegiate Shag! Get the tools to introduce new style and variety in your social dancing.

TASTERS Slow Partnered Dances

Every 2 weeks, get familiar with a new partnered dance to smooth it out on slower tempos. From “Slow Bal” to “Jazzy Blues” and “Jukin’ Blues”, be versatile and inspired!

Where can you find us?

3451 St-Laurent 3e étage,
Montréal
514 874-9846

info@catscorner.ca