While swing dancing may seem like an activity of the past, it is alive and well in Grand Rapids! Whether you are an experienced dancer or an eager beginner, there is an event for you. The Awesome Mitten wants to make sure you have a swinging good time this summer, so we’ve compiled some of the groups available to you in Grand Rapids:
Grand Rapids Swing is an organization dedicated to the discipline, they are a dance group involved with Swing, Blues, and Jazz dancing founded in 1996. Frequently, they host public and private dancing lessons at different venues across the city. On Monday nights, they hold Swing and Charleston lessons from 7:00 PM-9:00 PM at the Social Dance Studio. Visit the Grand Rapids Swing website or Facebook page for more information about events, lessons, and performances.
Another active organization in West Michigan is the Grand Rapids Original Swing Society. Every Tuesday night during the summer they gather from 7pm-10pm at Rosa Parks Circle, weather permitting. In the case of rain, the party continues at either the Grand Rapids Masonic Center or the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Each event begins with a half hour of swing lessons for the beginners because it is open to anyone no matter the level of experience. Founder, Steve Zaagman, says the emphasis is having fun, “The atmosphere is lots of people mostly, college and high school students, dancing to music from the 40s, 60s, 90s, and now. We throw in line dances, etc. You don’t need a partner just need to be able to ask people to dance. People are really easy going and love to teach you how to do stuff.” The Society also holds a Wednesday night class typically at the Jam ‘n Bean that are typically focused on teaching and it is much smaller in size. There can be up to 1000 people on Tuesdays, versus around 30 for the Wednesday class. Find out about dates and events on the Society’s website and Facebook.
Swing dancing events are in abundance in the Grand Rapids area. Learn some new dance steps at Moveir Dance Studio on Saturdays from 7-11 PM and Sundays from 2:30-6 PM. The the largest in Grand Rapids, Moveir Studio is very elegant, but it is also a welcoming place to learn a new skill. Weekend dances are open to the public and the environment is encouraging as well as affirming. At Moveir, the experience goes beyond the technical aspects of dancing; it is great way to build relationships, appreciate different personalities, and enjoy a great workout. Check their Facebook for more details.
With so many opportunities to participate in swing dancing in Grand Rapids, whether it is through classes or events, why not check one out soon?