Venue Profile: Lindy Hop Stop Rocks with Johnny Boyd!

This is the first in a series of “venue profiles” that I hope do to on every major swing dance venue in Los Angeles and Orange County. When Lindy Hop Stop started on a Thursday night in 2010, I thought “there’s no way it can compete with Lindy Groove!”  But over two years later, it not only is still around, but has expanded from being a bi-monthly event to a weekly event!  The recent night with Johnny Boyd’s band caught my eye on Facebook.  It looked like a ton of fun, and it seemed to me that Lindy Hop Stop…

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LA Lindy Hop Pick: Electro Swing Club Hollywood Night #3!

If you’ve been following my articles on LA Lindy Hop, you know that I’ve been pretty excited about Electro Swing.  Judging by the turnout at the last Electro Swing Club Hollywood event, many of you were too! Electro Swing Club Hollywood is back for night #3 on Friday December 21st!  It’s at a secret location, so you’ll have to check with their Facebook page, closer to the event, but they will say it’s on Sunset near La Brea.  (See comment below for location!) There will be electro swing DJ’s as well as the same band as last time, Red Light…

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Viva Cantina (CLOSED)

UNFORTUNATELY, VIVA CANTINA HAS CLOSED. RIP. This is a Mexican restaurant that features live music almost every night of the week. Types of bands include rockabilly, country, bluegrass, rock and roll, and big band. Check their website/Facebook page before going. My source says that Thursdays and Saturdays generally have the best music to swing dance to. Here’s a great report from Swing dancer Dawn on Viva Cantina: They have Live Music every night, almost always No Cover! Danceable bands they feature several times almost every week include Big Bands (most Swing Dancers show up on these nights), Rockabilly, Blues, Bluegrass,…

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Why All of the Changes to LA Lindy Hop?

Sorry, please go to this story instead!!! – Brian Although the site cosmetically doesn’t look that different from before, it’s totally different under the hood.  I moved the site to a content management system for several reasons:

The Slow Death of Partner Dancing?

I recently found a cool tool called Google Trends. You type in any search phrase, and it tells you many people were searching for that phrase over time. So, I typed in “swing dance” and some other partner dances and found ALL to be on the decline! The blue bar represents how many people searched for “swing dance” on the web since 2004:

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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Hip Kitty Jazz

NOTE:This venue is CLOSED! This is a “bring-your-own-partner” night club that serves fondue and has a funky 60’s style in the old Claremont packing house with wood floor. It’s not primarily a dance venue. There is a smallish dance floor in front of the stage, enough for 5-6 couples. If there are no dancers they will put tables in that space. There are usually a few dancers for bands like Phat Cat, Barrel House Boys, Tim Gill All Stars, Flattop Tom, etc. who have a bit of a following. Only suggested if you bring your own partner or live close…

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Memories

NOTE: Memories is no longer hosting Swing dance events on a regular basis. We hope it returns some day!! This historic (1902) venue in the heart of downtown Whittier has a huge dance space upstairs and smaller one downstairs (usually only one has Swing dancing though). They used to have Swing dancing and lessons on Monday nights but unfortunately it’s been discontinued in 2018.  Instead, they have monthly Sunday dances (see the Lindy calendar). There are usually some good dancers, along with some beginners from Biola and elsewhere. Music is good DJ’d music or live bands. Memories offers the best Swing dancing…

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Third Saturday Swing

Third Saturday Swing

Third Saturday Swing is Back is one of the best places to find lots of Swing dance partners of all levels. You definitely don’t need to bring a partner. Ben and Sheri are prominent local dancers/instructors/competitors run this popular event with very good dancers as well as beginners. They have a fun, creative style which permeates this place. There are plenty of partners, from intermediate to very advanced. This place is for serious dancing – no bar, no band, (but they have great snacks!) This is the place to be if you want plenty of great partners to dance with on…

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Third Street Swingers at Tongva Park Santa Monica

Tongva Park

This group started out dancing at Third Street Promenade, but now we mainly dance at Tongva Park in Santa Monica once a month on Sunday afternoons during the summer. Surface is smooth cement and wood beams, not bad for outdoor dancing. Music is provided by DJ Fons on his portable sound system. Bring your favorite songs to play if you wish! Dancing is at the north side of the park at one of the “balcony” areas facing Ocean Avenue.

UCLA Ballroom Dance Club

UCLA Kerckhoff Grand Salon

UCLA has a ballroom dance club that holds swing dances about once per quarter, usually with a live band, Swing Inc. These usually have mostly students and staff of UCLA, with a few West Side locals. Go if you’re nearby and want to meet some new people. Bring your own partner if you want to do anything advanced. Parking is a little bit tricky now that there is so much construction going on. Only certain lots let you pay; the rest require a UCLA parking pass.  Structures #2 and #8 are probably your best bets. Kerckhoff Grand Salon is also…

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The Casino on Catalina Island

The Casino on Catalina Island

This classy landmark on Catalina island was once hosted some of the best bands of the swing era. Huge wooden dance floor and awesome ambience. Tables surround the floor, and a balcony runs around the whole building, offering a great view of Avalon and a chance to cool off. Used to host PBDA’s Swing Camp Catalina; now hosts occasional swing events.

The Sky Room

The Skyroom dance floor

  NOTE: The Sky Room is closed for two years of renovations now. I look forward to when it re-opens in 2020! – Brian The Sky Room is a spectacular vintage restaurant on the top floor of the historic Breakers Hotel in Long Beach with a magnificent view. Completed in 1926, the space has a great 20’s and 30’s vibe; you’ll feel like you’ve gone through a time machine back to that era. It’s one of the most romantic restaurants in Southern California. On Fridays and Saturdays they sometimes have a live band, “Jack’s Cats”, “The Swing of Things” or “Sylvia…

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Swing Dance Lessons in Los Angeles and Orange County

Jeremy and Laura

Los Angeles and Orange County have some of the best swing instructors in the world. Many Swing venues offer beginner East Coast Swing classes before the main dancing starts. If you are interested in going further, you can enroll in a class series, usually held weekly. If you are really hardcore, arrange for a private lesson from some of the outstanding teachers below. Venues with Beginner Lessons Before the Main Dance These are good to get a quick, casual introduction to Swing dancing, usually East Coast Swing (although they sometimes teach Balboa). These are usually very beginner-friendly and non-intimidating if…

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Do Something Blue

Do Something Blue

If you are into Blues dancing, this monthly event in Pasadena the place to be at. As a swing dancer primarily, I was skeptical about Blues because I tend to like fast music, but the DJ’s here play some great blues music, and blues dancing is easy to learn compared to Lindy Hop (but not easy to master!) Get out of your comfort zone and give this a try (take the beginner lesson first). Crowd is friendly. – Brian Check out the website for parking information and, if you would like company to your car, don’t be afraid to ask…

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Gangnam Style Invades Swing Venues

Looks like they’ll be playing “Gangnam Style” at Lindy Groove! There’s no excuse not to learn it now – check out the step-by-step instructional video below!

Last Day of Swing Dancing at Disney’s Carnation Plaza

Swing dancing at Disney’s Carnation Plaza went out with a bang on Saturday April 28th with a huge turnout of swing dancers to salute this historic swing dance venue. I personally made a lot of great memories here. Swing dancing will move to Downtown Disney while the Plaza gets renovated (and is supposed to return afterwards). The bright side is that Downtown Disney is free aside from parking. Perhaps this will make dancing at the Magic Kingdom even more popular!

LindyGroove Halloween 2009 Hits a Grand Slam

Lindy Groove Halloween 2009

If you weren’t at the 2009 Lindy Groove Haunted Halloween Ball, you missed a great party and some incredible costumes. People actually exceeded last year’s high standards in creativity and effort. It was a blast! Check out the photos below. – Brian 10/30/09

Frankie Manning Passes Away May 26, 1914 – April 27, 2009

Lindy Hop innovator Frankie Manning passed away peacefully early on the morning of April 27th. He was less than a month away from his 95th birthday. Frankie entered the hospital a week and a half ago, due to problems with his medication. Then on Friday, he was taken into the intensive care unit after he developed pneumonia.