Frequently Asked Questions

We know you have questions, and fortunately we have a lot of answers right here! We’ve been planning these events for a long time, so we’ve heard these questions come up time and time again. Hopefully we can help you put your mind at ease. If you still can’t find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Register?

Registering is easy! Just click here and you can register and pay either by check or paypal online. Once we have received your payment, you are registered. Please note that if we do NOT receive payment within 14 days from your registration, your name will be removed and you will need to start the process over again.

Will a la carte pricing be available?

We will likely SELL OUT of full weekend passes, so we don’t anticipate that we’ll be able to offer a la cart options for classes.

Can I go to dances if I do not purchase a weekend pass?

We will sell passes at the door only to the general public as long as there is space. This will be up to the venue coordinator on staff.

What is your cancellation policy?

When you register for the Heartland Swing Festival, you are reserving a spot in class and on the dance floor. We count on your presence and your payment to make our event successful. Please do your best to make a commitment to the event after you register.

We understand that “life happens,” so we have tried to make a policy that is fair for everyone. Full refunds will be granted for requests made 60 days before the event. There will be no refunds granted after February 6, 2017. There will be no exceptions to remain fair to everyone.

Starting in 2016, we will no longer allow pass transfers to future events. You are allowed to sell or give your pass to another person.

I have credit from a previous year or I have won a free pass, how do I register?

Please email us when registration opens. We will give you a discount code to register. Please register early because we will not hold spots for dancer credit. Email:

Who is eligible to compete in the Collegiate Jitterbug Championships?

Our contests are open to all amateur dancers. This means you do not teach or perform dance as your primary source of income. Please go to our contest page for eligibility guidelines or feel free to contact us with questions. Email:

Are group rates available? How do they work?

Yes! We love groups! Group rates are for groups of 10 or more dancers. We request that you send one large check for everyone, or multiple checks in the same envelope. If you wish to create a group for special discounts or would like to learn more, please contact visit our group registration page.

Can I Volunteer?

Sure! Visit our volunteer page for more details and sign up to volunteer..

Can I get housing with a local dancer? What are my other options?

We have great rates at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott Hotel, which is located in the heart of the workshop venues. If you are unable to afford a hotel room, we have a fabulous housing coordinator named Lara Roy and she will try to match you up with a host. Housing is available to out-of-town guests on a first-paid, first-served basis. You must register and pay for a full weekend pass to ensure that you will receive housing during the event.

What should I wear to the classes?

For footwear, please wear dance shoes only to classes and dances…we discourage wearing street shoes to class. You can wear any dance shoe or sneaker that you prefer, as long as it isn’t used on the street to respect the floors. Wear clothes that are comfortable to dance in. If you plan on taking an air steps class, do not wear any loose fitting jewelry or clothing that could get caught up. Comfort is the key word here.

Which track level should I sign up for?

There are detailed descriptions regarding the track levels on the web page click here to read. If you still aren’t sure, you can email our staff at

How do I change the track level I signed up for?

If you would like to change your track level, please email our staff at If a track level is already filled up, you will not be able to move into that track.

How do I get on the waiting list when HSF sells out?

Once a track sells out in either lead or follow, we close registration for that track and open a wait list. The sooner you add your name to the wait list, the more likely you will get into the track. You will not pay until you have been moved from the wait list to the track. We will contact you if and when this happens.

Can I videotape at the Heartland Swing Festival?

Videotaping is allowed in between classes but NOT during class. Videotaping is allowed and encouraged at the evening dances and during competitions. If you post footage of the event on YouTube, please include the Heartland Swing Festival page so others can know where to find more info on the event.

How to get from the airport to town?

24 hour taxis
Yellow Cab Company: 515-243-1111
Capitol Cab Company: 515-282-8111


Are the venues close together?

For the most part. You will likely need to drive between venues.

Where should I park my car?

All venues have parking lots.

Will there be water at the venues?

Yes, bring a water bottle.

Will there be Late Night Snacks?

Yes, there will be a midnight buffet on Friday and Saturday night. There are also some late night restaurant suggestions on our travel page.

Do I need to be a college student to compete in the Collegiate Jitterbug Championships?

No. As long as you have amateur status according to our eligibility requirements, you may compete in any contest.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes! We have scholarships for individuals and teams. The Heartland Weekend Pass Scholarships are provided by local businesses to give individuals the opportunity to attend the event free of charge. The CJC500 Team Scholarship is awarded to teams that travel at least 500 miles to Des Moines. If you have questions about these opportunities, contact us.