The wide variety of Swing dance events in the last week has reminded me how lucky we are to be in Southern California!
The retro/steampunk Edison bar and restaurant is one of my favorite spots in L.A., and I love going dancing there when a Swing band is playing. That was the case on Thursday, June 20th, when the New Recessionaires performed there. I list the Edison as a “bring your own partner” type of place, but I was surprised at the number of Swing dancers there. I counted twelve couples on the floor at times, with other dancers waiting on the sidelines!
For many people I talked to, it was their first time there, and they really loved the ambiance of the place.
The New Recessionaires play a fun variety of songs, mostly hot jazz from the 20’s and 30’s as you can guess, but also some good dance music from other decades. They play at the Edison only once a month, and sadly, they won’t be there in July, but look for them in August!
One word of caution about the Edison, however. The floor seemed to be newly lacquered and was very slippery. It felt like an ice rink for me because I was wearing dress shoes with hard leather soles. Choose your footwear accordingly.
Also, if you go, please do purchase something if you want to see Swing dancing return. Amazingly, admission is free to this incredible space.
The next event I’d like to highlight is the Ford Theater JAM Session featuring Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five, which happened on Monday, June 25th. When I first heard about this event, I didn’t know what to make of it. Dancing on the stage of a theater? I don’t get it. It’s free? What’s the catch?
It’s actually a charming little outdoor theater, and there’s no catch. The event was totally free, including Swing lesson and parking! Of course, Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five was great, playing all of the dancer favorites. I was actually surprised at the number of people who showed up, including a lot of folks that I don’t normally see out dancing.
The floor was very smooth painted cement, and was actually not bad to dance on (of course, not as good as a wooden floor, but surprisingly good considering it was cement).
The only problem with this event is that it only happens once a year. Well, actually there is no guarantee it will happen even that often, but I hope it does! If and when it happens next year, I’ll be there again!
Immediately after the band stopped playing, many dancers made an exodus to Joe’s Great American Bar and Grill in Burbank to dance to John Reynold’s band. The place was packed, even more than usual.
Undeniably, Joe’s on Monday nights has become one of the most reliable live-music venues for Swing dancing, always featuring bands that Swing and Bal dancers love, and always having some of the best dancers around.
So, if you haven’t been out dancing lately, you are missing some great Swing dance opportunities! Check out these or other events on the Lindy Calendar.
What did you think of these events? What other venues have been fun for you? Please leave a comment below! – Brian