First Friday Returns Nov 2 & November Classes Are Open!

First Friday Returns Nov 2 & November Classes Are Open!

About Big City Swing

Big City Swing

Whether you’re looking to seriously swing dance, meet new people, get fit, or learn something new, you’ve come to the right place. You can mix and match group classes, private lessons, and monthly dances in East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Dips ‘n’ Tricks, and other jazz era dances from the 1920s-1950s. We cater and nurture dancers at all levels, from the novice to the enthusiast to the competitor.

Group classes are typically one hour a week for four consecutive weeks and have about 10-30 fellow dancers in each. Nearly all of our Swing I students are just like you – totally new to dance and looking to have some fun.

Private lessons are scheduled by appointment and tailored to a student’s needs and goals.

And, First Fridays and Fortnightlys are truly happier Happy Hours.

Swing dancing (aka, Lindy Hop) attracts the most fun people in Chicago who share a common, social, active hobby. It’s a wonderfully welcoming and supportive community guided by some pretty incredible instructors. We’re all looking forward to dancing with you!

Founder, Julee Mertz

Julee Mertz discovered the s Lindy Hop scene in Chicago in 1997. Instantly hooked by the music, the sense of community and the energy of the dance, the hobby she adored fast became her career.

Having traveled the country to learn from the best, Julee traveled herself, teaching the dances of the swing era. Known for her dynamic styling and musicality, she has been a featured instructor at many workshops across the country and around the world.

In September of 2001, Julee was asked to join the cast of “Swing! The Original Broadway Musical” and toured nationally from Sept 2001 to February 2002. After completing the tour, she was asked to return to NYC to train the next touring cast of “Swing!”

Returning her focus to the studio in Chicago, Julee has attracted and nurtured a collective of the most talented Lindy Hop dancers and teachers in the city. Together, Big City Swing is a team of warm, professional, and encouraging teachers and dancers who simply love spreading the joy of Lindy Hop!

The troupe teaches and performs Swing and Lindy Hop at the studio, schools, festivals, corporate events, and city sponsored festivals. . Julee and members of Big City Swing have also been seen on stage and screen…

Film Credits
Road to Perdition (Dreamworks), Leading Ladies (Independent), Betaville (Independent)

National Tours
Swing! The Original Broadway Musical – 2nd National Tour

TV and Commercial Credits
Kahlua (Cable, National), Wisconsin Department of Transportation PSA, Oprah (ABC), Early Edition (CBS), Jenny Jones (NBC), Wild Chicago (WTTW), CBS/NBC/ABC Morning News

Julee’s National Workshops
Connecticut, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin

Julee’s International Workshops
Australia, England, Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland

Concert Performances
Dance Chicago, Dance for Life, McHenry Performing Arts Festival, Capital Art’s Center (KY), Lincoln Way Senior Series

Festivals
Taste of Chicago, Chicago’s Summer Dance, Chicago Botanic Gardens’ Hot Summer Nights, Chicago Winter Break, Downer’s Grove Summer Festival, Old St. Pat’s Block Party, Deerfield Park District Summer Festival, Gorton Community Center, Metropolitan Beach Summer Festival (Detroit, MI)

Contact Us

Pricing & Registration

Group classes are $67 per person for the full 4-week session, with a $5 early enrollment discount. Private lessons are $65 with one of our fabulous resident instructors and $75 with one of our versatile seniors instructors.

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First Timers

Swing I is designed for folks with little or no previous dance experience. It’s the perfect place to start! In 4 weeks, you’ll have a very impressive repertoire of moves.

Get Started

It is a great place to learn swing and have fun! The instructors are very good and everybody is friendly.

Maryam M., Oct 2016 via Yelp

Private Lessons

Private lessons are a great way to prepare for a special event, work around scheduling challenges, or hone a particular set of skills. Private lessons are offered 7 days a week by appointment.

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No Partner? No Worries!

We balance the number of leads and follows in all of our group classes and encourage folks to rotate to get the most out of the lead/follow skills. However, if you would like to dance only with your partner, that’s totally fine. Enjoy the evening out together. We want everyone to be comfortable in class!

Read More FAQs

Wedding Dance

Our wedding program is specifically designed for novice couples and is not limited to swing dancing. You’ll learn a beautiful entrance, impressive turns, and a photo worthy ending without having to learn a syncopated rhythm like Swing or Foxtrot. Every step will have the same value, so you if you can walk, you can dance beautifully with a partner.

Wedding Dances