Swing Dancing, that exuberant celebration of jazz and life, so uniquely American, has made a comeback since the days of Zoot Suits and Sock Hops. Most medium to large cities have a vibrant swing scene and Atlanta is no exception. If you are looking for some of the hottest swing dance venues in the southeast, look no further:
*Note: Associated Content’s does not allow an “excessive” amount” of outside links, so I have not included links to all the various venues; however a simple google search will take you where you need to go. You can also visit the webpage for ASEDA (provided at the end of the article) to find the most up-to-date information on dances held around Atlanta.
Sunday: No swing on Sundays, except when various weekend workshops are going on — although if you like Blues, many of Atlanta’s favorite Lindy Hoppers head over to Northside Tavern (recently voted the Number 7 Dive Bar in the nation!) for some of the best live blues music in the southeast. Northside Tavern is located at 1058 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. If West Coast Swing is more your thing, then take a trip out to Nemoes Tavern & Grill in Norcross. Call (770)-263-7101 for more information.
Monday: Hot Jam is the place to be for East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Balboa, Charleston, and the occasional late night Blues or Soul song. Hot Jam begins with a FREE East Coast Swing lesson for beginners at 8:00pm, followed by social dancing from 8:30 to 11:00pm, to the classic 30’s and 40’s sounds of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Chick Webb, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Glenn Miller, Jimmie Lunceford, Harry James, Sidney Bechet, and more. Some of the southeast’s best Lindy Hoppers are regulars here every week, but don’t be intimidated — the friendly folks at Hot Jam are very welcoming to newcomers and many of the leads do their best to dance with every follow in the room before the night ends. Dress is usually very casual to moderately spiffy — most of the regulars wear t-shirts and jeans — but if you do want to dress up, you definitely won’t feel out of place. Hot Jam is located in a cozy little log cabin, tucked away in the woods, in the Garden Hills Community of Buckhead. The cost is $5 for students and ASEDA members, $7 for everyone else. The address is 307 Pinetree Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30305. Click here for more information: http://www.hotjamswings.com/
Tuesday: If you want to swing-out on Tuesday nights, you will have to drive out to Athens, GA where students from the University of Georgia Swing Club and other locals hit the dance floor at the DanceFX Studio, located in the Hodgson’s Pharmacy office complex at 1260 S. Milledge Ave, Suite D1, Athens, GA. Admission is $3 for students and $5 for everyone else. There are lessons between 8:00 and 9:00pm and then social dancing between 9:00pm and 11:00pm. Learn more by clicking here: http://www.athensswingnight.com/
Wednesday: Come out to the Graveyard Tavern in the East Atlanta Village on Wednesday nights for swing dancing to live music provided by the Gravediggers. The food is great and “liquid courage” is available at the bar. Dancing starts around 9pm and lasts to 11pm or later. There is no cover charge, but dancers are requested to drop $5 in the jar for the band. The best parking is across the street. Random crime has occurred here in the past, but added security this year has made it much safer — still, you want to be safe, so be sure someone walks you to your car when you leave. Graveyard Tavern is located at 1245 Glenwood Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30316. Some of the lindy hoppers depart here at 11:00pm and move the party over to Northside Tavern for late-night blues dancing.
Thursday: So, the old tunes are great, but sometimes you just want to dance to Lady Gaga… or maybe even the classic 80’s sounds of Journey? Then come out for West Coast Swing at Wicked Westie, held in the same location as Monday night’s Hot Jam. The beginners lesson is at 8pm. Intermediate at 7pm. Social dancing is from 8:30 to 11:00pm. http://www.wickedwestie.com/
Friday: There are no regularly weekly dances scheduled on Fridays, but there are swing dances going on somewhere almost every Friday night. In fact the largest swing dance in Atlanta is held monthly at Georgia Tech, where about 300 people dance the night away in the Georgia Tech Ballroom, often to live music provided by various big bands. Checkout the Georgia Tech Dance Association website for directions and a schedule of upcoming events. cyberbuzz.gatech.edu
On some Friday nights (but not all), you can attend Martinis and IMAX, where you can swing dance to live music, beneath giant dinosaur skeletons at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. The dancing starts at 6:30pm. Go to the Fernbank Museum’s webpage for directions and more information.
If you don’t mind making a drive up to the foothills of the North Georgia mountains, there is usually a monthly swing dance at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega. Checkout the NGCSU Swing Dance Association on Facebook for more information.
Saturday: Emory University and Kennesaw State University usually have monthly dances on Saturday nights. Emory Swing Club and KSU Swing Dance Association both have facebook pages you can go to for more information and a schedule of upcoming events, weekly classes and workshops. If nothing else is going on you can always head out to Northside and Blind Willies for blues action.
There are also infrequent events such as the recent dance held at the Fox Theater’s majestic Egyptian Ballroom and the big annual workshops and exchanges that bring dancers from all around the country to Atlanta: These are The Atlanta Varsity Showdown, Atlanta Lindy Exchange, Southern Belle Swing Bash, Swing & Soul, and Enter The Blues. You can find out about all these events and more by visiting the website for ASEDA, the Atlanta Swing Era Dance Association. Join their mailing list and they will keep you informed of everything happening around Atlanta. Also if you join ASEDA as a member, you get a sweet discount to many of the dances listed above. www.aseda.org/index.php
See you on the dance floor!