On Friday, September 11 2009, the Toronto Swing Dance Society held their annual open house. Well over a hundred people turned up for what would be a fun-filled evening of swing dancing. For a review of the evening as well as videos of the performances, keep on reading. Also, if you enjoyed the evening or the performances, feel free to comment below.
*Note: My camera has a very shallow depth of field, so in some of the videos with large performance groups I was unable to fit everyone in frame at the same time. I apologize if you were accidentally cut out.*
Al Kurtz Teaches a Rock’n Roll Lesson
The night kicked off with a raucous beginner Rock ‘n Roll/ Boogie Woogie lesson taught by Al Kurtz. Al then took over the DJ duties for the first set and played a good mix of early Rock ‘n Roll music that had the joint jumpin’.
Julie Eppelett then took over for the second DJ set and spun some smooth hot West Coast tunes.
Following this, there were a series of performances highlighting the various swing dances taught in Toronto. First up was Mary Beth from Bees’ Knees Dance who performed a disco routine she recently taught as a part of a new disco class offered by Bees’ Knees.
Social Lindy Hop Number
Next up were Mandi Gould, Krister Shalm, Arthur Lulu, and Heather O’Shea again from Bees’ Knees Dance with a demonstration of social Lindy Hop dancing.
This was followed by a West Coast performance by a group of Julie Eppelett’s students. This was their first time performing this routine and they are getting ready to compete at Swing Niagra. Good luck! (video removed on request)
The Sugar Shakers were up next. This is an all female flappers troupe from Hogtown Swing. They will be competing this fall in Quebec City at Followogie – a follow centric Lindy Hop workshop. (video removed on request)
West Coast Demonstration
Jeff Zohrab, Julie Eppelett, and their partners then performed a hot West Coast number.
Lindy Hop Performance
The Swing and Tap Academy’s Performance class then showed off a Lindy Hop number. This was their first public performance as a group.
Solo Jazz and Charleston Performance
Caitlin Wellman and Erica Susky then performed a crazy and energetic solo jazz/charleston routine on behalf of Capital Dance.
Lindy Hop Demonstration
Finally, Dan & Joanna from Hogtown Swing rounded out the evening with a lively Lindy Hop demonstration.
Following the performance, Arthur Lulu took over the DJ reins and closed out the night with Lindy Hop. The floor was packed the entire night with people dancing and having a good time.
Incredibly, this is TSDS’s 20th year in operation. For two decades they have been staunch promoters of all things swing in Toronto. They regularly hold dances, workshops, and lessons in Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, and West Coast Swing.
If you would like to find out more about TSDS or volunteer for this organization, visit http://www.dancing.org/tsds for more information.