There Are No Stupid Questions...
Do you have lessons every week?Yes!
Every Thursday dance at 8:15, there is a beginner 6 Count Swing (East Coast Swing) lesson that gives you the basics of getting out on the floor.
There is also a lesson that corresponds to the side room of the night (room that features something other than lindy hop and swing). This includes blues, west coast swing, and balboa. See the schedule to find out which side room is this Thursday!
If you want to get more than just the basics, there are several places to get in-depth training in Austin. Check out the classes page for more details.
Is it a safe environment?It is an extremely safe environment. The Syndicate's Thursday dances are all about dancing, music & hanging out with friends. We pride ourselves on providing this family-friendly, safe environment.
In the unlikely event that you experience a problem, please come tell the front desk or DJ. They will find a board member and the problem will be dealt with immediately.
Do you serve alcohol?Normally, no. Occasionally we will have special dances that may include alcohol (check the front page schedule for special events), but ordinarily, the drink of choice is water.
What should I wear?Dress comfortably and wear shoes that stick to your feet (aka, no strappy sandals or flip flops). If you want to slide a bit on the floor, you can buy special dance shoes or cover the bottom of regular sneakers with masking tape.
In the summer, when Texas is at its best, it's a good idea to bring an extra change of shirts. If you dance hard, you will work up a sweat.
Do I need to bring a partner?No. The Austin Swing Syndicate is a very friendly venue. Most of the dancers do not have a regular partner and the ones that do still social dance with everyone. Come and don't be afraid to ask someone to dance!
What is the "side room?"The side room is our second room for dancing! The main room will always have great swing and lindy hop music playing, and the side room is there to shake it up a bit. Each week there is a different style of side room, you can check the Fed schedule (link) to see what is going on in that room. Usually there will be either Balboa (faster style music), Blues, or West Coast (contemporary) music. On occasion there have been other side rooms thrown into the mix, like gospel music or soul music.
Is there a Lost & Found?Yes. Just ask the front desk. You can also post a question about a lost item on our forums.
Do you have a group discount?Our non-member rate is only $5, but for groups above 10 people, we may offer a group discount. Please contact us for more information.
Where can I buy dance shoes?In town there is a great place called Movin' Easy. Online, there are a group of lindy hoppers that run Dancestore.com.
What are Lindy Exchanges / Workshops / Camps / Competitions?
Exchanges are big lindy parties thrown by one city for all of the lindy hoppers in the world. Dancers go to these and dance to all hours of the night, and then we wake up and dance some more. It is a great way to experience the styles of scenes and to meet dancers across the world. Austin hosts one of the longest running exchanges every year the weekend before Thanksgiving. Click here to find information about exchanges you can attend! (link to links exchanges section)
Workshops can be a day long or a weekend long, feature one instructor or feature 20. They are held all over the world and they are where tons of dancers go for different perspectives on dancing, learn from various instructors, and meet other dancers from around the world. Click here to find information about workshops you can attend! (link to links workshops section)
Camps are like workshops that are a week long to a full month! They are typically held at a summer camp location so you can enjoy both lindy hop and the great outdoors. You can meet other dancers from around the world and have a lot of time to bond and develop friendships that last years and years. Click here to find information about camps you can attend! (link to links camps section)
Competitions are like exchanges, except with competitions thrown into the mix. They are big lindy parties where dancers all over the world come to dance, watch, and/or compete. Dancing goes till all hours. And competitions are always inspiring as everyone cheers each other on. Click here to find information about competitions you can attend! (link to links competitions section)
What is the dance etiquette?
Note for beginners
Don't be intimidated! Though there may be some excellent dancers at our events who have been working at lindy hop for years, everyone started out as a beginner. You are the life of our scene and we are thrilled when you come out to dance with us.
Who to dance with
Dance with everyone you can! Don't be intimidated to ask someone to dance.
Asking for a dance
o Ladies & gentlemen should both be comfortable asking for dances.
o The Golden Rule - treat others as you wish to be treated.
Regarding Cliques and "Snobbery"
Sometimes it looks like good dancers only hang out with other good dancers. This is because many of them have been dancing together and have been friends for years. Feel free to break the ice if they don't.
Ideally, we all say "yes," but in cases where you wish to decline, be polite about it. Be friendly and deal with them honestly. If you do say no, it's best not to turn around and dance with someone else during the same song. If you have already promised the dance to someone else, try and find the person who asked you after that dance is finished.
What to do in an uncomfortable situation
If you are ever made uncomfortable by anyone, tell the front desk or DJ. They will either help you with your situation or find a board member who can.
What about teaching on the dance floor?
Asking for instruction
Feel free to ask other people for help, but be courteous of the amount of time they have to give. Some people only want to social dance while others generally charge for dance instruction. Don't be discouraged if they can't give you any feedback. You can certainly ask another dancer or you can ask them for information on classes or private lessons.
At social dances, it is best not to volunteer information unless you are asked. However, if your partner is hurting you in any way, tell them as firmly and politely as possible.
When giving any kind of feedback, it is best to be considerate and encouraging. We love having eclectic, artistic, amazing, interesting people at our events and we want to provide a friendly, safe atmosphere where their creativity can blossom. Remember that the objective is to have fun, and give them the tools they need to achieve that.