About the Teachers
Chester and Linda Freeman have been
teaching swing and ballroom dance
professionally since 2004 when they
decided to devote themselves full time to
what they loved best. Since then they have
taught all over the world, but their home
base is the Hudson Valley, where they
specialize in Lindy Hop, the authentic form
of swing dance, and teach private lessons,
run swing dance workshops, group classes
and monthly dances. They are known for
their fun and engaging style. They also
specialize in working one-on-one with
wedding couples, work in arts-in-education
programs and with organizations.
They were the hosts of WHVW 950 AM
The Swing Shift Radio Show for three
years and hosted a 7-part TV series of the
They have been profiled and featured in
many news articles, including Chronogram,
Hudson Valley Magazine, The
Poughkeepsie Journal, The Daily
Freeman, The Woodstock Times, The
Southern Ulster Times and, in 2005, they
were the cover story of Hudson Valley Life
magazine. Their work with the students at
Violet Avenue Elementary School was
filmed by the Children's Media Project and
used for a national TV campaign.
Chester is a member and assistant director
of the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers
performance troupe since 2002 and winner
of a silver medal at the Canadian Lindy Hop
Championships. Linda helped edit the
original manuscript for Frankie Manning's
autobiography, "The Ambassador of Lindy
To spread the joy of swing dance throughout the Hudson Valley
We believe that dance is the best thing you can do for yourself: physically,
emotionally, mentally and socially. Many of our students started dancing as a
result of life changes such as marriage, divorce or job loss. We frequently hear
"Dancing saved my life." It's true. Dancing is an opportunity to connect with
others in a supportive environment. When you learn to dance you discover
rhythms of your body and your heart that you may not have known were there.
Our mission is to spread the joy of swing dancing as we teach people the skills to
do it! We love teaching, each other, and our students...so we all always have a good
Our objective is to teach social dance skills, so you can dance with anyone for the
rest of your life. Every move we teach is grounded in principles of lead and follow
connection. With a fundamental understanding of how to lead and follow, and
being well-connected, our students can dance practically any dance with anybody.
To help you learn to dance socially, you don't need to attend class with a
partner...everyone dances with everyone in rotation. This enhances your learning
as you don't just learn to compensate for one person's habits or rely on signals. It
also creates a fun, social atmosphere in class. Many of our students make
friendships that last beyond the dance floor.
We don't teach routines, we teach moves that you learn to integrate into your
dancing. Rather than load you down with moves you can't remember, we review
weekly to ensure that you have the confidence and ability to execute the moves on
the dance floor.
We've created five commandments for a safe and fun-loving environment on the
Chester and Linda's Dance Class Commandments:
1. Thou shalt not blame or cast stones at thy partner or thyself. Give yourself
permission to learn. You are learning a partner dance that requires two people to
do something that neither knows how to do yet. Don't be too hard on yourself or
your partner. you, she, or he will certainly do something "wrong." That's how you
learn to do it right. The only "fault" is inexperience.
2. Thou shalt not attempt to "teach" your partner. Concentrate on improving your
own ability, not fixing your partner's. Everyone comes to class with different levels
of experience. If you try to help by teaching or doing moves that aren't part of the
repertoire being taught, it will be distracting to your partner and to those around
you. Remember you are in the class to learn. Let the teachers do the teaching.
3. Thou shalt not look at your feet unless we tell you to. This dance is not about
where you put your feet but how you move your body. Move your body and your
feet will follow. They are attached.
4. Thou shalt smile and laugh at yourself. Swing dancing is all about having fun.
Learning to move your body in new ways may feel awkward at first. You may feel
silly or not "in control." That's okay, lose control, lighten up, and enjoy yourself.
5. Thou shalt practice and go out and dance. You learn by repetition, so you must
practice. Don't wait until you think you are "good enough" to go out dancing. The
more social dancing you do, the better you get. Swing dancing is the most social
dance there is. Everyone dances with everyone. Don't be afraid to ask dancers who
you think are "better than you" to dance.
About Us...Learn to Dance with Us!