Musicality Series 2023

Sunday, May 7, 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday, May 14, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Sunday, May 21, 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Studio TimeOut,
6001 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

Please note: This is an invitation-only series for experienced West Coast Swing dancers who have demonstrated sufficient competency in their technique and lead-follow abilities.


This three-part series will help you develop your musical interpretation skills at three levels: the general feel and style of the music, the structure of the music, and the details and texture of the music. Each session will be three hours of instruction followed by an hour of practice in which you can apply what they have learned and ask clarifying questions. You will improve your musicality skills through solo and partnered drills and exercises that will enable you to continue working on your musicality for weeks, months, and years to come.


This series has three primary goals:

  • Help you understand what is happening in the music. We will enhance your listening and comprehension skills through various exercises and lessons in music theory.
  • Help you translate what you hear into movement. We will work on articulating what is happening in the music through your body in different ways and how to be specific and selective.
  • Help you co-create a dance with your partner to the music. We will work on bringing what you hear into the partnership in ways that your partner can recognize and hopefully join.


Part 1: Styling & Shaping
Wish you could better convey in your dance what you feel in the music? Want to create more contrast and variation in your dances? Looking to improve your communication and partnership? In this intensive you’ll explore ways to style your footwork and body movement, play with the slot in response to the music, and establish a connection with your partner that captures the emotion of the song. We’ll look at how to make each dance distinct and dynamic based on the genre, feeling, tempo, and emotion of each song.

Part 2: Texture & Accents
Ever see someone who seemed to capture every note of a song in their dance? Wish you could be more specific in your musicality? In the second week of this series, you’ll learn to dance to the lyrics, rhythm, and accents of the music in specific ways that help you communicate with your partner. Through solo drills and partnered exercises, you will find new ways to articulate what you hear, put your musicality into the structure of West Coast Swing, and learn to align your musical ideas with those of your partner.

Part 3: Phrasing
Heard about phrase changes but struggling to hit them consistently? Having trouble landing those big moments as a follower or leader? Every song has a structure and dancing to that structure creates variety, contrast, and musical moments. In the third part of this series, we’ll start with an introduction to music theory that will help you understand what you’re hearing. Then you’ll learn how to set up and hit phrase changes as followers and leaders, with exercises to help you choose the right way to create musical moments for each phrase change.


Studio TimeOut is located on W 60th Street just off Lyndale Avenue in South Minneapolis. The building is across the street from the cemetery (not the building directly on Lyndale but set back from the street – the name is written on the awning over the entrance). When you enter the building, please remove your street shoes at the entrance and then go to Studio 2 on the left.


The cost of the entire series (all three intensives) is $120. That includes 9 hours of in-depth instruction and 3 hours of practice and assistance. Otherwise, individual intensives are $45 each.

To register, please complete and submit the form below. After submitting your registration, you will be directed to a page for payment. Registration is not complete until payment is received.

You must register in advance; no registration is accepted at the door. A balance of roles is desired, so if the number of one role greatly exceeds the other, a waitlist may be instituted until more people register in the other role. Preference will be given to those who are attending all three intensives in the series.