Level 1: Tuesdays, 8:00 - 9:00 pm at Lake Merritt Dance Center

Level 2: Tuesdays, 7:00 - 8:00 pm at Lake Merritt Dance Center

Swing Dance Series

November: 7, 14 and 28 at Lake Merritt Dance Center

* Thanksgiving week announcement: On November 21, we will offer a special drop-in class that IS NOT included in the class series to offer flexibility to the dancers who will be out of town. More info below.


Level 1 : 8-count Connection

Come learn the foundation step of lindy hop!  We will be focusing on frame and dancing as a unit.  The goal of this series is to build your foundation for lindy hop connection along with some fun 8-count patterns to give you the tools to have a blast on a night out social dancing.  No partner necessary, and beginners are welcome!

Level 2: What if we Solo Jazz like a Street Dance?

Join us for a unique class where you come for the solo jazz, but stay for the exhilaration of self-expression.  We will be creating a supportive space for us to challenge ourselves - whether you've been dancing for 5 months or 5 years.  The class will focus on:

- Understanding jazz steps through "progression"

- Learning three tools to discover and develop your own jazz movement

- Getting comfortable dancing among each other to express yourself!

Special Thanksgiving Drop in

On the 21nd, we will offer special drop-in class to let you benefit from the holiday. Register at the door only. $15.

Drop-In for Level 1 in Thanksgiving week:

This will be a class geared towards relatively new dancers.  We will be focusing on some connection exercises that will give us different ways to do some of our good ol' classic 8-count patterns!

Drop-In for Level 2 in Thanksgiving week:

Much like the rest of the month, this drop-in class will be focusing on solo jazz and self expression.  We will start with some jazz vocabularies, but we will be using these moves to take us through series of fun and challenging games to push for self-expression!

Swing Series Instructors

Olivia Ortiz / Shawn Chiao - November Instructors

Olivia started swing dancing at SwingCal, UC Berkeley's student-run swing dance course, with no previous dance experience aside from casual hip hop classes and a dream to become a b-girl. She's followed for four years and, inspired by her friends and a want to delve deeper in her understanding of swing, started leading less than a year ago. A recent grad, during her time at Cal, Olivia choreographed and performed with The [M]ovement and Sproul Stompers, taught at Lindy on Sproul, and facilitated SwingCal for 2+ years. As a teacher she's very excited about making partnered dances as comfy as possible and the importance of "listening" within a partnership. Always a fan of trying out new, impossible ideas, she hopes to one day lead performance teams.

Shawn has been a student of dance and a builder of Berkeley swing scene since his days in [M]ovement in 2000.  He has also been an active all-style dancer in the Bay Area street dance community, cherishing the its shared root with lindyhop.  He continues to introduce the beauty of connected partnering and dance conversation to the street dance scene through performances, open sessions, and cyphers. Being a bold and idealistic lindyhopper, he strives to build a swing scene where dancers can be free from conformity, celebrate individuality, and continue the innovation and evolution of this beautiful dance style.


Every 3rd Friday of the month is going to be The Breakaway's regular Open Practice session. Don't forget it's FREE for ALL students and it's at Bellevue Club in Oakland. More info here