How to Do Basic Swing Dance Steps

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Big Band Swing originally developed in the popular dance halls and nightclubs of the 1930s, most prominently in the Savoy Ballroom in New York City. The swing dance and music styles remain popular to this day, and swing dancing is a fun date idea for new couples. Gently sway your hips back and forth and rock your partner to the beat of the music while you perform the footwork without leaning back or to the sides. Sometimes it helps to count aloud to the beat of the music while initially learning basic swing dancing.

For the Lead

Hold your partner's right hand with your left hand and partially extend your left arm leaving your elbow bent slightly. Position your right hand between her shoulder blades at the center of her back.

Move your left foot behind your right foot and turn your body 30 degrees to the left on the first beat. This is called a "rock step."

Shift your weight onto your right foot and step down with it on the second beat.

Bring your left foot forward beside your right foot and shift all of your weight onto your left foot by stepping down with it to hold the third and fourth beats.

Shift your weight onto your right foot and step down to hold the fifth and sixth beats.

Repeat to swing dance.


  • Followers hold their partner's left hand with their right hand and place their left hand onto their partner's right shoulder while performing these steps on the opposite sides, so substitute lefts for rights and rights for lefts.