OceanStateSwing.org is your one stop, online hub designed to share with you all the great spots to learn how to dance, socialize with the swing dance community and of course to dance to your hearts content!
The site is open to anyone running a dance, workshop, lesson series, practice session or special event and for all of those who are looking to connect with this scene (including bands) in our mission to make the swing dance community in the Ocean State and surrounding area stronger!
To connect simply scroll below and find out how to plug in. Have an event? Use the forum to let us know! Have any questions? Send us a message. Sign up for notifications to stay in the know!
RI Organizations, Instructors and Programs
Regional Organizations and Instructors
5 Great Places to Dance in or Near Providence, RI
Brown University Swing Dance Club
Monday & Thursday
Brown University's Swing Dance club offers weekly lessons and informal practices for anyone who loves swing or would like to learn. Lessons are open to and free for everyone, so please stop by! Did you get that? These lessons are totally free! No experience, no partner necessary! Drop by any time in the semester and we'll show you what you need to know.
Twice a year they host (also for free) two live music events on a Friday (on which we at Swing Salon teach our beginner lesson, but then drive everyone to this event because it is so GREAT!) with around 150 dancers showing up to support the scene. There is ample parking and the website has a complete map for ease in being able to find the dances. You can also sign up for their newsletter to get updates since sometimes the room changes due to scheduling conflicts with other groups.
They also have a Thursday night practice time on Thursday in Sayles Auditorium. There is often a specialty class such as Balboa or Blues offered at this time, but it is also possible to show up and practice off to the side until the lesson is done. Then you can join in with DJ'd music until the end of the evening which is also 11pm. Check Lessons & Practice for details on current lessons, and our Calendar for any dances, trips, etc. in the near future.
R & B Swings: Pub on Park
Join Brian and Rebekah every Wednesday evening at the Pub on Park for a one-hour swing dance lesson followed by live music. The Pub hosts the Vintage Rhythm & Blues Ensemble and their rotating guest performers from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and of course Rhode Island! What better way to meet people, get some physical activity in, show off what you have learned, and support local music?
A beginner swing dance lesson, which focuses on 6-count and 8-count patterns (East Coast Swing) is offered. No partner or experience is needed. Although the content varies, the format is always the same. You’ll receive an introduction to the basic footwork, followed by 1-2 basic moves. The lesson will then build on those basic moves with variations that are a bit more complex but very much attainable. Stick around afterwards to try what you learned to live music! (No cover charge)
PROVIDENCE SWINGS is a community of dancers dedicated to spreading the artistic expression of swing dancing in the Rhode Island area. We are a non-profit organization and since 2004, our mission has been to share the joy of Jazz and Swing era dances.
• Weekly swing dancing classes with a focus on Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa and and other jazz era dances.
• A weekly swing social dance on Thursday called, “The Bread & Butter Jam.”
• Seasonal weekend workshops featuring international instructors and world-renown musicians.
• Occasional special Saturday night dances.
Boston Swing Central
At the risk of sending business an hour north, Boston Swing Central is by far this region’s biggest and best dance. It runs every Friday night, often hosts live music, and draws out about 200-250 dancers each week. They always have a beginner drop-in lesson beginning at eight and the dance itself typically runs from 9pm until 11:30pm with some later times based upon special events. They even have experienced dancers whose purpose for the evening is to find new dancers and dance with them in order to ensure their first experience is a good one!
Boston Swing Central is a dancer-formed, non-profit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to promoting positive and fun swing dancing experiences in Boston. They have two primary objectives. First, they aim to provide a weekly Friday night dance that caters to the desires of dancers of all levels. This means a dance that is centrally located, on public transportation, and reasonably priced. The dance usually runs around $10 to $20 depending on the band cost but also offers student discounts.
Second, to champion the diverse voices within their community by remaining open and neutral with regards to information and promotion of other swing dancing events in the greater Boston area and by striving to feature a wide variety of teachers, bands, and DJs. It is also not unusual to find our members attending these events even though it is a hike!
They cater to all the different styles of swing dancing including East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa and Blues dancing. Depending on the band, it is also not unusual for there to be an occasional Latin number as well, but be warned – this venue is heavily swing dance oriented. The staff and dancers are open and friendly and they even have a welcoming and birthday dance jam for those with a special day or visiting from far away.
Uptown Swing Dance
If you like dancing to awesome music, meeting new people, and having fun, come on out to the monthly Uptown Swing dance! This dance is also about 60 minutes away from Providence, but is also well worth the trip if your looking for a place to dance on a Saturday. Singles, couples, groups, plus all levels are very welcome. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There is always a Swing/Lindy Hop lesson is included to start the evening and it takes place in a beautiful spacious venue conveniently located a few blocks from Coolidge Corner.
The dance is sponsored by Hop to the Beat Dance Studio which was established in 1995 by Tony and Aurelie Tye based in the Boston, MA area and specializes in Lindy Hop (the original style of Swing dancing), providing dance classes, dances, workshops, performances, DJing, and the annual Beantown Lindy Hop Camp.
Like Swing Central, you will also find the dance styles of Balboa, Collegiate Shag, St. Louis Shag, Blues, Authentic Jazz, Charleston, Black Bottom and Big Apple. The studio was was created out of their passion for Lindy Hop and wanting to spread the joy of dancing. That goal continues to be the same today. The focus is on building and nurturing a community of dancers and lessons are aimed primarily at social dancing, accessible to anyone interested in learning.
What is even cooler about this dance is that, while performing with The Kamikaze Jitterbugs, Tony and Aurelie toured in Asia with the Artie Shaw Orchestra and appeared with the Boston Pops Orchestra in the nationally-televised 4th of July Esplanade Concert. Tony and Aurelie and the Hop to the Beat Dancers have been featured at benefits, concerts, outdoor fairs, corporate functions, dances, weddings and private parties. Some of the bands they have appeared with include Casey MacGill and the Blue Four, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, Artie Shaw Orchestra, White Heat Swing Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Beantown Swing Orchestra, Girls from Mars, Winiker Swing Orchestra, Bellevue Cadillac, Royal Crown Revue, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Eight to the Bar, Blues Jumpers, Four Piece Suit and the Blue Suede Boppers.