Vancouvering swing dancing back
Tucked into an unassuming East Van bar, a tight band plays New Orleans-style jazz and ragtime to a packed house. Adorned with jaunty hats and vintage dresses, dancers twist and spin in perfect rhythm. Swing dancing is back.
Born out of the jazz scene of the 1920s and 30s, swing came out of the ballrooms of Harlem with the Lindy hop, and has continued to evolve ever since. In the 1990s, the neo-swing scene saw a revival of the music and dance moves, and Vancouverites flocked to swing nights across the city.
These days, Vancouver is once again drawing swing dancers with an irresistible mix of energetic live music and retro glam. Fans can get their fix on almost any given night, from swing nights at local bars to a multitude of classes for dancers of every level.
Lucy Faulkner, owner, operator and instructor at Rhythm City Productions, is a cornerstone of the Vancouver scene.
After teaching for several years both locally and abroad, Faulkner decided it was time to open a school “devoted to the study and enjoyment of vintage jazz dance.” Rhythm City runs weekly classes, mainly in Lindy hop, for beginners through to advanced-intermediate dancers.
The city is replete with top notch swing bands, events, and classes, from Vancouver Swing Society to UBC Swing Kids which hosts taster events and classes in Lindy Hop and West Coast swing. The B.C. Swing Dance Club, Hot Club Swing, and Urban Beat Sunday Swing Mixer are just a few of the swing-focused groups.