swing & jazz
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Swing Lindy Hop Balboa Jazz Dance Philadelphia

RagTag is a feminist business that specializes in swing dance: Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Authentic Jazz. We offer swing dance classes, Social dances, and special events in Philadelphia.

Swing Dance in Philadelphia 


1. Make Space. 

Make space for all bodies, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, ages, abilities, and levels. Make The Space with your crafts and your attitudes.

2. Use Your Words. 

"Would you like to dance" "Yes, thanks." "No, thanks." "Lead or Follow?" "What's your name?" "Preferred pronoun?" "That/this is uncomfortable." "Can I help?" "Can you help me?" "I can help!" 

3. No Haters.  Duh. 

Lily Kind & Heather Houde, Bosses at Ragtag Empire. Photo by Katrina D'Autremont

Lily Kind & Heather Houde, Bosses at Ragtag Empire. Photo by Katrina D'Autremont


Ragtag Empire hosts ongoing Lindy Hop and Swing era jazz dance classes and social dances for all bodies, ages, and genders. Ragtag Empire is run by Lily Kind and Heather Houde with support from a crew of DIY-minded volunteers.

Ragtag Empire is the our feminist business enterprise intended to support our lives as artists, promote black jazz history, and foster good vibes.

Other cool jazz - swing - vernacular jazz - dance stuff in Philadelphia:  

Jazz Attack at Cambridge Arts Hall.

Philly Bop  & Tap Classes at Soundspace

House, Waacking, Breaking, Hip Hop, Latin Heels (+ more! it's crazy!) at Urban Movement Arts.

Ragtagphilly@gmail.com // Facebook: Ragtag // IG Ragtag_empire

Flyers Designed by Heather Houde // Ragtag Logo & Font Designed by Adam Stone // Photo Credits: Joachim Breitner & Erin Ellis

Reviewed On 10/30/2017 Vanessa O
I’ve been taking beginner Lindy Hop/Jazz classes with Ragtag, and I can’t ask for more amazing teachers than Lily and Heather! Not only are they both incredible dancers, but their instruction is fun, accessible, and thorough. I look forward to all my lessons with them as I continue to learn and grow under their supportive wings!

Reviewed On 10/30/2017 Marietta B
Both great instructors! Very knowledgeable about dance, and the history behind it. They make you feel comfortable and confident. Heather helped me with a swing dance choreography that we performed at my brother’s wedding. It was a huge hit and got everyone up and dancing.

Reviewed On 10/28/2017 Lauren B
Taking lessons from Lily and Heather is not only fun, but they also weave a lot of history into their classes. I learned various jazz dance forms, but also gained a better understanding of how swing dancing evolved out of other traditions. Their classes are playful and accessible, so if you’ve always been intimidated by jazz or by learning how to dance, RagTag is the absolute best place to learn. Oh and the best part is you’ll end up with a totally wonderful community of friends too!

Reviewed On 10/27/2017 Erica C
I wanted to start learning Lindy Hop for fun, and as a way to rehabilitate from a back injury. Heather was a great teacher to have! She was sensitive to my physical needs/limitations and flexible with her teaching. I learned the basics of Lindy Hop in a supportive, calm, and fun environment. After only a few lessons with Heather, I was confident enough to go test the waters at a Ragtag dance! Dancing helped to rehabilitate my back and balance my fears. I’m building stamina and enjoying it more and more each day, thanks to Heather and Ragtag!

Reviewed On 10/24/2017 Anna M
Lily & Heather are fun, informative, professional, everything you could ask for! They also have a great grasp of the history of swing and jazz, which really elevates the experience. You couldn’t choose better!

In less than an hour at my birthday celebration, Lily Kind had 60 folks of all ages swinging and smiling to Lindy Hop. She has a magic way of making dance movement easy and accessible. It’s a style of social dancing great for couples or singles. No way you won’t come away from a dance lesson or occasion with Lily wanting to learn more.

Lindy hop is so fun and Lily and Heather are both incredible dancers and teachers. If you’re just starting out, they can teach you the basics and give you enough moves to enjoy yourself. If you’ve been dancing for years, they can help you refine and stylize so that you might look as cool as they do!

Reviewed On 10/11/2017 Hannah E
Lily is a fantastic teacher. She’s down-to-earth and professional, and it’s evident that she thinks a lot about dance and the different ways to approach it. One of Lily’s strengths is her understanding of the mechanics of body movement. She’s able to break down steps simply and effectively so that a person can really improve the foundations of their dancing. She doesn’t just teach you steps, she teaches you how to move and look good while dancing. I highly recommend Lily and Ragtag!

Reviewed On 10/10/2017 Erin E
Lily and Heather’s approach to teaching is some of the most mindful, welcoming, and inclusive you’ll ever get. These two have much to offer novice and experienced dancers alike, providing accessible instruction that lacks any pretense. Serious lovers of dance, Lily and Heather manage to be at once professional and so much fun. Highly recommended!

Reviewed On 8/23/2017 Christian M
I have nothing but stellar things to say about Ragtag and the lessons taught by Lily Kind! I have been taking lessons with Lily for a few weeks now and in that short amount of time I have seen a dramatic increase in my abilities, connection, and quality of movement as a dancer. Lily is a fantastic teacher who gives feedback that is constructive, concise, and most importantly tailored to you as an individual. She is extremely patient and easy to work with which makes learning new techniques less stressful. On top of that, Lily is super knowledgeable in many different types of dances which helps give her a uniqueness that stands out. I really cannot recommend Lily or Ragtag enough. If you are looking to take your dancing or your event to the next level then they are the ones to contact!
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