Dance Classes 2020

The Hep Cat Hoppers instructors are providing weekly dance classes and monthly social workshops and dances.

Learn the dance craze of the 1940's, when jazz combos and big bands played that swinging music all night long. Dancers enjoy social and community oriented play and experimentation while learning this lost art in an inclusive, gender-neutral and safer space.

May 4, 2020: As another step in their coordinated emergency response to the global pandemic, today, the Region of Waterloo and all area municipalities extended the public closure of municipal facilities until at least June 30th, 2020.

There are NO dance classes, workshops and socials. ALL City of Waterloo Facilities are CLOSED effective Monday, March 16.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve around the world and in our local community, the health and wellbeing of Waterloo Region residents remains top priority. All area municipalities continue to work closely with the Region of Waterloo’s Public Health experts to monitor and respond to new developments.

In the meantime, you can sign up for new classes scheduled to begin September, 2020 through the City's Active Community website, but keep in mind those dates can change. But keep an eye on your email from the City of Waterloo's registration office in the event there are changes.


Apr 16, 2020 to Jun 25, 2020

Every Thursday evening, 11 classes, 90 minutes each starting at 7 pm.

The Studio

Adult Recreation Centre

Located in the heart of uptown Waterloo, accessible by bus and LRT.
185 King Street South, Waterloo, ON, N2J 1P7


Register at any City of Waterloo recreation facility.
Online registration is open March 4, 2020.

Register online or at any City of Waterloo recreation facility. We have drop in rates, be sure to arrive early.

Upcoming Social Dances

We teach lessons at events, here's our schedule

During the current global, national and local health crisis. We are not providing or facilitating any social events until further notice.

About Us Today

The Hep Cat Hoppers were a bunch of young, enthusiastic and crazy Lindy Hopping cats from 2009. Performing classic vintage solo jazz and partner swing dance routines. They successfully created a community, operated a sustainable swing dance studio uptown Waterloo, and was nominated by Waterloo Region's Arts Award for artistic excellence, sustained development and impact on the Waterloo Region community. After 2015, they all went their own way. Some stayed in the community and continue to contribute to the local scene, while others moved away to start new lives and endeavours. Some went off to study jazz music and to play with traveling swing bands.

As of September 2017, a new team was assembled to offer weekly lessons and to play live swing jazz and blues music for dancing. A new traditional jazz band performs live music, making themselves affordable and accessible to the all the surrounding dance communities. Dance instructors who are musicians, and musicians who are dancers, this provides the perfect recipe for any social gatherings. You can find them playing live jazz music in and around town these days, while teaching swing dance lessons before their concerts. Visit the Iron Tonic Jazz Band's site to find out when they are playing next.

The Hep Cat Hoppers' 2009-2015 Vision

"The implementation of the City of Waterloo's culture plan was part of our success towards creating a sustainable swing era community. The goals and recommendations thereafter outlined in their plans gave our organization the strategic vision, mission and values. I was fortunate enough to be in the position to manage and ensure our team met the success indicators in the plan. "

-- David Trinh, Owner & Founder

The History

The Hep Cat Hoppers (2009-2015) was a swing dance performance troupe that started out performing classic 1930s routines with the Royal City Big Band. They soon became the only swing dance and music club in Waterloo Region teaching dance, playing live and recorded music and hosting social dance parties.

Weekly Dances

April 2011

The dance troupe began hosting local weekly dances with live music by local musicians. Soon, introductory dance lessons and beginner Lindy Hop, Charleston, West Coast Swing, Balboa and Blues classes were being taught weekly. They also hosted a weekly Swing and Blues radio show on the FM airwaves to reach out to those who couldn't attend but could listen in.

A Studio

May 2012

The Hep Cat Hoppers raised enough capital to open up their own swing era studio and dance hall. They soon were offering several classes each night of the week, with regular social dancing and jazz music jam sessions with two in house swing and blues bands. While priming successors to operate the club and preparing for a sustainable scene.

The Succession Plan

November 2015

The community members of the local swing dance and music scene formed a not for profit organization and the Hep Cat Hoppers began phasing out their operations. As part of their vision to create a sustainable swing era community, they successfully implemented a two year succession plan that allowed this transition to take place.

The Vision: A Sustainable Swing Era Community

In 2016, a new organization named themselves "Hep Cat Swing". They continue the tradition of hosting weekly swing dance classes and social dances in Kitchener-Waterloo. Now with a Board of Directors who directs the operation of the dance studio, community members continue to enjoy swing and blues music and dancing on a weekly basis.

The Mission

In six short years (2009-2015), a small group of hard working, skilled and talented swing dancers created a sustainable dance business in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario which impacted many lives in the area. They provided rich cultural experiences and focused on the Golden Age, while exploring the joyful dance of Lindy Hop and swing jazz music.

Blogger Rebecca Brightly wrote in 2012, "Recently, I connected with lindy hopper David Trinh of Waterloo, Ontario. David’s at the other end of the spectrum—he’s creating a new space for dancers to fall in love with.

And by "creating a new space," I mean he’s started a business, signed a commercial lease, hired contractors, put in a spanking-new floor, all with the help of his group, Hep Cat Hoppers."

Read it here

Awards and Recognition

The community members of Waterloo Region recognized the work and value provided by The Hep Cat Hoppers.

Spirit & History

In 2011, The Hep Cat Hoppers were awarded for "The excellence in maintaining the spirit and history of swing dancing in the Region of Waterloo"
-- Toronto International Swing Dance Championships

Arts Awards Waterloo Region

In 2016, The Hep Cat Hoppers was nominated for artistic excellence, sustained development and impact on the Waterloo Region community.


Several video clips were put together so you can see how they implemented a supportive, happy, safe and fun environment. Values which everyone operated by to become sustainable.

Building a Sustainable Swing Scene. Watch a video of how The Hep Cat Hoppers created a sustainable swing era community in six years starting in 2009.

Can't see the video, copy and paste this link into your web address bar

Nominated in the performing arts category for artistic excellence, sustained development and impact on the Waterloo Region community.

Can't see the video, copy and paste this link into your web address bar


If you are looking for dance lessons, the members of the Hep Cat Hoppers still offer private and group lessons, dance and live jazz band performances, and DJ services at your event. Contact them using the information in the Contact section below.


525 Highland Road West, Suite 350
Kitchener, Ontario, N2M 5P4
info [at]