Swinging at the Downtown Dance Collective in Missoula


Earlier this month, Missoulians made their way to the Downtown Dance Collective for a two-day swing dance workshop.

Seattle-based instructors Peter Flahiff, Ben White, and Taylor Stendor focused the class on the best lindy hop and balboa techniques.

Ben White never thought he’d be an instructor when he decided to pick up swing dancing in college, but that all changed quickly when he started teaching friends his new moves on the weekends.

“The best thing about teaching is that moment when it clicks for somebody,” White says. “I forget that, unless I’m teaching that. I get to see that whole light bulb moment with someone else,” he adds.

The class was geared toward low-intermediate level dancers, with knowledge of the basic steps.

Swing dancers at the Missoula Downtown Dance Collective

While learning some new dance moves, the class is also a great way to meet new people. Every five minutes the instructors ask the dance partners to rotate, giving all those involved a chance to meet someone new.

Missoula’s DDC opened its doors in September of 2008, offering a wide arrange of classes for anybody, and any ability.

Classes at the DDC vary depending on what artists are in the area, with an average of 35 classes a week, according the Downtown Dance Collective website.

As for swing dancing with Ben White and his fellow instructors, you’re going to have to wait until they return to Missoula. Until then, feel free to try your moves at the Tango or Salsa next week.