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What is Swing Dance?

Swing Dance is a term which can be applied to a range of dance styles originating from the period between the 1920's to the 1950's. The term covers specific styles such as the Charleston, Lindy Hop, Blues and Jazz and now also is used to include variations such as Balboa and Shag. 

The Charleston dance style was the original swing dance and stemmed from America in the early 20th century, where it was created by African Americans before becoming popular with the white community and making it's way to Europe in the early 1920's.

During the 1930's, the style evolved in the ballrooms of America, such as the renowned Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Here, dancers such as Frankie Manning evolved the dance into steps with 6 and 8 count variations, creating many of the iconic swing dance moves we still dance today. The dancers at this time used lots of improvisation, drawing on the dance's Charleston roots as well as elements such as Jazz and even tap-dance which was popular in films at the time.

When most people refer to swing dance today, they will probably be referring to Lindy Hop, which is characterised by it's core move, the 'swing-out' and 'lindy-turn', and which we love to teach students!

Many other styles have evolved from the lindy-hop including styles like Balboa with Latin influences, but we prefer to concentrate on the core and original styles of Charleston, Lindy Hop and solo Jazz, which came from the Savoy Ballroom dancers.

Swing Dancing is usually done to a range of jazz and swing music - from ragtime of the 20's to early rock n' roll from the 50's covering all the greats inbetween like glenn miller, artie shaw, ella fitzgerald and more!

About us

Swing out & Shimmy classes are taught by Rosaria, who is passionate about vintage and retro dances from the 20's to the 80's.

providing dance classes, performaces, demonstrations and social dancing around london, our venues are handpicked for great locations and atmosphere.

all of our classes provide a supportive and stimulating learning environment where all students can feel comfortable and progress at their own pace. we cater for all levels of learning - from beginners who have never set foot on a dance floor, to those who have already been learning and wish to master certain skills or techniques.

there is no need to bring a partner for any of our classes, as we rotate partners during lessons, giving everyone a chance to dance with different partners.

For those wanting a more intensive learning experience we offer day-workshops in specific elements of swing-dance such as swing-outs or follower styling. We can also cater for on-on-one classes in our South London studio.

for students with an interest in dance performance, we also offer special classes in learning choreographed performance routines. Please contact us for more information on this.

You can also book Swing Out & Shimmy performance group 'The Moonshime Shimmers' to make your event go with a swing! 

Rosaria Sativa is a dedicated dancer, choreographer and teacher, who leads all of Swing Out & Shimmy classes and events.


Born in Italy and resident in London, Rosaria studied at the Laboratorio Teatro Danza in Pescara Italy, at the Laban Centre for Movement & Dance in London, and at the London Contemporary Dance School.

Her dance training encompasses a range of techniques and influences including: Ballet, Contemporary techniques, Release and floorwork, Contact improvisation, Pilates, Modern Jazz, Authentic Jazz, American Tap, Lindy Hop, Hip Hop: Locking & Funk, Body Popping and vougeuing- as well as Circus skills such as Corde Lisse, Static trapeze and Acrobalance.


Rosaria has been involved as choreographer and performer in many diverse projects ranging from dance theatre work to television and film productions, including stage directing and choreography for site specific art and dance events. Rosaria is also artistic director of "Rawhead Dance Theatre"  which has performed in different venues and festivals including: Resolution, Evolution and Spring Loaded dance seasons at The Place theatre, the Cochrane Theatre, Northern Exposure dance season at The Bull Theatre.

Rosaria's great passion for Lindy Hop brought her to study with many of the original greats in both Lindy hop, Jazz, Tap and Locking such as: Frankie Manning, Chazz young, Chester Withmore, Campbellock Jr, Sugar Pop and Tony Gogo.




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