KC Modern Swing monday nights

Monday nights are a lot more fun at Modern Swing Mondays.

Each Modern Swing Monday starts with a class to help you hone your west coast swing social dancing skills and have more fun on the floor. 

If you already know the basics, jump into the intermediate class at 6:15 PM to work on a specific social dance skill. These classes have prerequisites — check the class description to see what you need to know before you join.

Still learning your basics? The beginner class starts at 7 PM. In this 30-minute group class, you’ll learn the foundations of west coast swing, then you’ll get a chance to focus on one of the 4 basic moves. This is a fast and fun course that will get you out on the dance floor right away, even if you’ve never danced before.

Please don’t bring alcohol with you, and do not smoke in the space. There are several bars and restaurants nearby if you’d like to meet for a drink before or after the dance.

That’s really all you need to know to come have a good time!

Of course, we understand that you might have more questions, so here’s a closer look at what to expect at a Modern Swing Monday.

KC Modern Swing focuses on social dancing

West coast swing (WCS) is popular all over the world, and a lot of that popularity comes from its competition culture. There are hundreds of west coast swing competitions every year.

At KC Modern Swing, we don’t focus on competitive west coast swing.

Instead, we emphasize social dance skills that make dancing fun and easy for everyone who wants to try. 

This is a very beginner-friendly dance scene, and we’re thrilled to dance with you whether you’re a top champion or you just started dancing today.

The main difference between WCS social dancing and competitive dancing is that social dancing focuses on the feeling of the dance and the communication between partners, while competitive dancing focuses more on how you individually look while dancing. 

This happens because you enter west coast competitions as an individual dancer. You have to impress the judges while dancing with random partners that may not advance with you. You’re judged as a single dancer, not as a dance partner, and that often means that you’re dancing in spite of your partner instead of with them.

Social dancing is the opposite. 

A great social dance works when you treat your dance partner like a teammate. Your goal is to create something together and have fun. It doesn’t matter if you do things “right” as long as you’re both enjoying the experience.

We don’t have anything against competitive dancing. In fact, Jodi and Kitty both compete. 

If you want to learn to be competitive in west coast swing, we can send you to one of the many excellent teachers in Kansas City who will help you advance. We’ll be there cheering for you at a lot of competitions.

That’s just not what we do on Modern Swing Mondays. 

We’re here to meet new people and have fun dancing with them, so our classes and culture are built around that goal.

About our venue, El Torreon

Modern Swing Mondays are hosted in partnership with our super cool venue, El Torreon KC.

El Torreon is a historic building that was originally a dance hall in the 1920s. We’re definitely not the first swing dancers in the space! It was the first integrated dance hall in Kansas City, and the building’s history is fascinating.

We’re not dancing in the original upstairs ballroom yet since it’s undergoing renovations, but our dance space on the main floor is awesome.

In addition to our dance floor, we’ll also be able to use the large seating area and the groom’s room with a billiards table for extra social space. That means you can rest your feet and get to know your fellow dancers in a chill environment.

You’ll be able to park for free in the public lot right in front of the building. There are a couple of pubs and restaurants within a block where you can grab a quick bite before or after dance.

Please note that we don’t have a liquor license for these events, so we ask that you don’t bring your own adult beverages with you. If you’d like to grab a drink with friends, you can walk over to one of the nearby taverns.

Frequently asked questions

Coming out to learn something new can be a little intimidating. We get it — every awesome dancer you meet was once in exactly the same place you are now.

Knowing what to expect makes it a lot easier to take that first step. Here’s most of the stuff you might want to know.

What should I wear?

West coast swing is a casual dance, so we usually wear casual clothes. You’ll see people dancing in sweats, athletic clothes, jeans and tee shirts, business casual attire, and date night outfits, among other things. 

The best clothing moves with your body, doesn’t restrict your movement, and is comfortable for you.

If you want to wear a short dress, it’s a good idea to wear something under it so that you’re not overexposed when you spin or bend. As you get more advanced, you might do some tricks or moves that involve squatting and spinning. Most people opt to wear pants or shorts instead of skirts for this type of dancing.

You don’t need special dance shoes, but they do help make spins and turns more comfortable. If you do have dance shoes, low heels or flats are best.

If you don’t have dance shoes, choose flat-bottomed shoes that can slide a little bit on a hard surface. You’ll see a lot of people dancing in things like Toms and Converse. You can dance in high heels, but you’ll have a harder time and the dance won’t look as good as it does in flats.

Don’t wear sandals or flip-flops since they can twist on your feet and cause an injury.

Do I need to bring a dance partner?

You don’t need a partner or any dance experience to come to Modern Swing Mondays. In fact, even if you do have a dance partner, you’ll probably both spend most of the night dancing with other people. (You don’t have to, of course, but that’s generally how social dancing works.)

In classes, we rotate between different partners so you get to try things and explore dance connection with multiple people.

During social dancing, you’re invited to dance with as many or as few people as you want. Lots of folks will ask you to dance, and you’re expected to ask others to dance whether you’re a leader or follower. 

You can and should dance with just about everyone in the room!

Skill level and dance experience don’t really matter much for social dancing. West coast swing is really cool because someone who has been dancing for years can partner with someone who learned how to dance 10 minutes ago and both people will still have a successful dance and a great time.

Can I bring my kids?

Modern Swing Mondays are primarily for adults, but it’s not an adult environment, per se. You can bring your older children under these circumstances:

First of all, we don’t allow unattended children in the space. You can’t let your kids play in the building while you dance. If they’re on the dance floor with you or hanging out at your table while you watch them, that’s okay.

Your kids can and should participate in classes and social dancing. We’ve had children as young as 9 or 10 come to learn and social dance with the grownups, and it works great. If your kids want to participate, we encourage that. At the moment, we don’t have a junior dance for kids and teens, but we will do that if there’s enough interest.

Our DJs don’t necessarily play the censored versions of songs, and there might be explicit content in the music we’re dancing to. If you’re concerned about your kids hearing explicit music, it’s better to get a sitter.

If you’re not sure about how your kids will do, come to a night without them first and use your best judgment. You know best whether your children will have fun in this environment…and whether you’re willing to spend the evening parenting while you dance.

Is this a good place to meet people?

Jodi and Kitty, the people who operate KC Modern Swing, met at a west coast swing dance. Now, they’re married and have a new baby.

Social dancing is one of the best possible ways to meet new people and forge new relationships. We’re very lucky to have a venue where you can step away from the dance floor to chat, play some pool, and get to know people.

The dance community in Kansas City is very welcoming and diverse. Dancers often get together outside of dance nights to play board games, go on road trips, kayak down the river, share dinner around a bonfire, and all kinds of other things. Many of us have found some of our best friends through dance.

If you’re looking to expand your social group or meet potential romantic partners, this is an excellent place to do it.


We’re not a singles club. We’re a social dance.

If you don’t actually care about dancing and you’re only looking for a place to find dates, you probably won’t have a lot of success here. 

Dancing is a social activity that involves touching your partner, and it’s very uncomfortable dancing with someone when you can tell that they’re more interested in touching you than they are in having a fun dance.

Understand that people dance for a lot of reasons, and odds are good that most of the people you dance with aren’t interested in dating. 

It’s okay if the potential to meet a romantic partner is a big part of your motivation for coming out to dance, but please respect others and don’t make your dance partners uncomfortable.

What if I’ve got no rhythm or athleticism?

West coast swing social dancing is incredibly easy to do. If you’ve got some basic rhythm and like music, great! If you don’t, that’s still great!

Here’s the bottom line:

We’re here to have fun. We’re not dancing to impress people or be the flashiest dancers in the world.

If you’re a great dancer, we celebrate that and hope you’ll come share your skills on our dance floor.

If you’re a terrible dancer who still wants to have a good time, we celebrate that and hope you’ll come share your enthusiasm on the dance floor.

The only thing you need to have in order to dance with us is a willingness to try it out. You’ll be most successful with a fun attitude and a friendly smile. Dance ‘skills’ are not required.