A Swing Dancer’s Bucket List

Camp Hollywood 2013

Here is a bucket list for LA/OC Swing dancers. No, I haven’t done all of these, but I figure it’s a good list to strive for. How many have you done? Check the boxes and see your percentage below! You can check off a few of these items this weekend at Camp Hollywood! 1. Take a private lesson 2. Make a video of yourself dancing (watching it will be painful, believe me) 3. Dance in a jam circle 4. Attend a Lindy exchange 5. Do Herrang 6. Enter a Swing dance contest and make it to the finals 7. Learn…

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My Top 10 Swing Dance Date Ideas in Los Angeles

Dustbowl Revival at MacArthur Park

Swing dancing is a great social activity when you’re single, but it can also be a really fun and classy date idea. Here are my top ten Swing dance date venues in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, starting with my all-time top pick: The Cicada Club! 1. The Cicada Club The Cicada Club is at the pinnacle of vintage charm and class in downtown Los Angeles. You’ll step back in time when you enter this amazing art-deco space, built in 1928 (and which has been used in so many movies). Be sure to make dinner reservations so you’ll have a table the…

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A Look Back at Ben and Sheri’s Epic “Footloose” Performance from NJC 2005

Ben and Sheri's Footloose performance

I’ve seen a ton of really awesome choreographed Swing dance routines in my time, but one of my all-time favorites is Ben and Sheri’s amazing first-place “Footloose” performance at the 2005 National Jitterbug Championships at Camp Hollywood. No, this routine is not packed with aerials, stunts, or gimmicks (other than using modern music).  Ben and Sheri have incorporated classic Swing moves throughout the routine that fit the song perfectly.  Personally, I think this settles the debate about whether Swing dancing can be done to modern rock/pop music or not.  Ben and Sheri prove it can be, and they make it look awesome at…

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The 2013 Top Ten Swing Bands in Southern California – THE RESULTS ARE IN!!

Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five

About a week ago, I started a poll on LA Lindy Hop where I posed the question, “if you were stranded on a desert island, which ten Southern California Swing bands would you want to be stuck there with you?”  Literally hundreds of you voted!  There were some results that I expected, as well as some complete surprises.  So, without any further ado, here are the top ten Swing bands in Los Angeles and Orange County as voted by you, the Swing dancers! 1. Jonathan Stout and His Campus Five Featuring Hilary Alexander No surprise here, and no argument from me…

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Disneyland Fantasy Faire

Disney Fantasy Faire

There is Swing dancing inside the park every Saturday night at Fantasy Faire! Sometimes there is dancing at Tomorrowland Terrace as well. Here’s a look at the crowd: There is a dedicated group of Swing dancing regulars with season passes that goes, so you can usually find people to dance with. I recommend going in the late afternoon when it starts to cool down, get a Fast Pass, do a ride or two, go dancing for a while, grab dinner, then a ride, then back to dancing and fireworks.. Here are more of my Disneyland tips. And don’t forget California Adventure.  There…

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The Biggest Threat to Swing Dancing Today

Leftover Cuties at Casa del Mar

Some people have said that swing dancers are “cheap” because we don’t buy drinks when we go out. But that is not exactly true. It would be more accurate to say that swing dancers don’t require alcohol to have fun (unlike the general population which does require alcohol to have good time when they go out, haha, or at least, they feel obligated to drink in social situations). So, kudos to us. We know how to have fun without killing brain cells! But, could the fact that we don’t spend money at swing venues be one of the biggest threats…

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The Top 10 Worst Things Leaders Do on the Social Dance Floor

Social dance floor

I asked a few of my very experienced female swing dancer friends about the most annoying things that leaders (mainly guys) do on the social dance floor.  It wasn’t long before we came up with a list of ten. So, leaders, check your egos at the door and read on… Here is a list of the top ten most annoying things that follows say leads are doing on the social swing dance floor. The Top Ten 1. Causing Harm A leader’s first priority should be the same as a physician’s: do no harm.  If you want to guarantee that a follow will never dance…

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Follows: Nine Tips to Get Leads to Ask You To Dance

Lindygroove

A while ago, I wrote an article entitled, The Top 10 Worst Things Leaders Do on the Social Dance Floor. This attracted lots of comments and discussion, which was great. Some follows asked for a similar article about the worst things follows do on the dance floor. However, as a lead, I’ve never experienced anything nearly as bad as what the follows have reported to me about the leaders! I felt that perhaps a different type of story for the follows could be helpful, mainly how to get more leaders to ask you to dance. Many of these are things are probably obvious to experienced…

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Erik Robison and Sylvia Skylar 1998 Lindy Showcase

Back in the day (i.e., late 90’s) two of the most influential swing dancers in L.A., Erik Robison and Sylvia Skylar, who were innovators of what became known as Hollywood Style. (It is said that Sylvia coined the term “Hollywood Style”. They were my personal favorites to watch!  Check them out!

The Top Ten Swing Venues I Miss the Most

The Derby

I was on Facebook and saw people reminiscing about the beloved Derby nightclub.  I loved that place too.  That got me thinking about some of the other great swing venues we’ve had in Southern California and the great memories I made at each of them.  So, for all of you old-time swing dancers out there, here is my list of the top ten Los Angeles/Orange County swing venues that I miss the most and why.  Tell me if you agree and if I missed one of your favorites. 1. The Derby In its time, many Swing dancers had a love/hate…

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Promote Your Event on SwingDance.LA

SwingDance.LA is the number one Google search result for “Los Angeles Swing Dancing” and many other Swing dance-related search terms.  That’s why I encourage you to promote your Swing dance event on SwingDance.LA for free! Here are some ways for you to promote your swing event, band, lessons, or dance troupe on SwingDance.LA for FREE. Add Your Event Flyer or Info to the Home Page Feed The Home page of this site has a feed where you can post your event flyer or description. This can have a great visual impact, and it’s just below the calendar, where a lot of people will…

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About

SwingDance.LA is all about where to go Swing Dancing in Los Angeles and Orange county. Every city with a Swing dance scene has one geek who maintains “the calendar” of Swing events for that city. For Los Angeles, it is me. SwingDance.LA is my contribution to the Southern California Swing dance community, which has given me so much. I want this site to promote Swing dancing and to be a positive influence on the local Swing dance community inspired by the ideals of Frankie Manning. Friends of SwingDance.LA I want to recognize a few selfless members of the L.A. Swing dance community…

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The Most Reliable Swing Dance Venues in LA/OC

Lindygroove 15th Anniversary

Swing dancing is picking up again after the pandemic. Some places like Joe’s Bar are yet to re-open, but some new venues have blossomed. So, we are still fortunate to have so many great places to swing dance in Los Angeles and Orange County. Here are my picks for the most consistent dance venues, where you’ll be able to find the most partners, the best floors, and the best music. Venues with Tons of Dancers of All Skill Levels – Good for Beginners These venues have plenty of dancers of all skill levels waiting to dance with you. No need…

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Joe’s Great American Bar and Grill

Joe's Bar

Neighborhood bar with an emphasis on live music, including roots, blues, swinging jazz, country, Americana. Happy Feet Mondays Monday features mostly faster Bal / Shag music from the 20’s and 30’s. Lorenzo’s “Happy Feet Mondays” has some of the best gypsy jazz bands and Bal dancers around. No cover, but two drink minimum and donation requested for the band. Always plenty of people to dance with. Lots of Swing dance regulars. Not to be missed! For more information and photos of Happy Feet Monday, see my article on the fifth anniversary. Swing Tuesdays Tuesdays also has Swing dancing with live…

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The “Dream” Balboa Move Taught by Jeremy Otth and Laura Keat

Jeremy Otth and Laura Keat

I got this awesome Balboa video from the Lindy Groove Technique Facebook page.. It’s a totally cool move called “The Dream” taught by Jeremy Otth and Laura Keat, two of the best Bal dancers around. I’ve seen this move and have wanted to learn it!! Who wants to try it? Check it out: For more videos from Jeremy, check out his You Tube channel. – Brian

Swingtronic at Pour Vous

Swingtronic at Pour Vous

Don’t be misled by the plain white building across the street from Paramount Studios. When you walk into Pour Vous, you will be transported back in time to a turn-of-the-century Parisian cocktail lounge. On your right is a circular conversation pit topped by a translucent white dome. In front of you is a spectacular bar serving French-inspired drinks. Past that is a small dance floor and stage with velvety-couches. The back opens up into an outdoor area with an actual full-sized vintage trolley car(!) where people can smoke or just hang out. That was the setting for Electro Swing Club…

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The Edison

The Edison

This is one of the most incredible spaces in LA. Built in a renovated 1910’s era power generator station, The Edison has an Steampunk feel that transports you back to a time before fluorescent lights. They have DJ’d swing music sporadically and occasionally a band you can Swing dance to (usually the New Recessionaires). You should bring your own partner, as you might not find many other swing dancers here, but lately there have been quite a few dancers. You’ll be able to show off in front of LA’s trendy bar-goers who don’t have a clue about dancing and will…

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Lindy Hop Stop

Lindy Hop Stop

If you are looking for a wide variety of fun music to dance to, then this is the place for you. Big band, rock and roll, jump blues and of course some Frank, Dean and Louis. Lindy Hop Stop has a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere and equally nice people to dance with. Good for all levels of dancing. No partner needed. Lindy Hop Stop is on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month. Free beginner lesson from 7:00 – 7:30 pm, and dancing from 7:30 to 10:00 pm.  It is located in The Press Box Lounge inside Westminster…

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Vintage-Style Clothing for Swing Dancing in the Los Angeles Area

Dapper Day Expo at the Disneyland Hotel

Want to dress vintage like the good dancers you see out?  Here are some resources to help you get that vintage Swing dancer look. Guys, stay away from loud Zoot Suits. That might work in some areas of the country but in So. Cal. that is a dead giveaway for a wannabe swing dancer, to be avoided at all costs.  The cool Swing dancers wear authentic vintage clothing (or new clothing designed to copy authentic vintage designs) from the 20s, 30s, and 40s.  The 50s look can work well for rockabilly and Western Swing events.  Here are some links to help you…

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Where to Swing Dance Nationwide and Worldwide

Boston's Dirty Water Lindy Exchange

One of the great things about swing dancing is that you can go to almost any major city in the U.S., Europe, and even Asia now, and go swing dancing and make instant friends.  It is truly an amazing thing if you’ve ever done it.  Here are some sites to check out if you are traveling and want to go swing dancing during your trip. California Los Angeles, CA SwingDance.LA – Of course! Ventura The Juke Joint at the Ventura Beach Club – Kim and Dave’s Swing night in Ventura! Palm Springs Jazzville nightclub at the Agua Caliente Casino in…

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