I remember my first swing dancing class – it was at the Trak in Toorak (Melbourne) with Swing Patrol. We learned the Charleston, and my love affair with swing dancing began.
As with many new dancers, I wanted to practice at home what I’d learned, so I began to scour record shops for appropriate swing music to practice (this was many years before on-line downloads and some time before there were on-line aides to help source such things). I came away with my little piece of gold – a Glenn Miller CD.
At home, bedroom door locked to protect my dignity, I settled on ‘Little Brown Jug’ as my song of choice to help perfect my Charleston. Well, let me tell you, it was fast. My feet stuck firmly to the floor in bewildered confusion and my legs refused to move. How could people dance to this speed? I kept working at it, sometimes without the music, then trying it again with the music. It slowly came to me. The Charleston was the first dance I learned, and is still the first dance I love.
In honour of those early days of trying and failing, then trying and failing just a little less, I would like to present to you these 10 swing tracks for beginner dancers to practice to. We have created a spotify playlist so that you can listen to them too!
10 Swing Dance Songs For Lindy and Charleston Practice
- All Of Me (Dinah Washington) – great for some slow Lindy Hop practice.
- Keep Cool Fool (Ella Fitzgerald) – slow to gentle Lindy Hop practice.
- Easy Does It (Count Basie) – gentle Lindy Hop practice.
- Paper Moon (Ella Fitzgerald) – gentle Lindy Hop / slow Charleston.
- I Like Pie, I Like Cake (Four Chefs) – just some all-around good fun.
- Tuxedo Junction (Glenn Miller) – also great for some gentle Lindy Hop.
- Jumpin’ At The Savoy (Al Cooper) – moderate Lindy Hop / gentle Charleston.
- Splanky (Count Basie) – moderate Lindy Hop / gentle Charleston.
- Moten Swing (Barney Kessel) – upping the Lindy pace just a bit.
- Shimmy Like My Sister Kate (Mugsy Spanier) – great for some Charleston practice.
- And of course – Little Brown Jug (Glenn Miller) – ‘cos really, it got me going……
Do you have a favourite song? Help others find new songs by commenting below!
See you all on the dance floor soon,