A Swingin' Swing Dance!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Last weekend we hosted a swing dance via our young adult group!

We had close to 100 people show up throughout the night - so I'm calling that a success!

The Decorations

The church already had a lot of the lights already strung up from the school auction so we made use of the existing infrastructure and just added a bit to it.

We used plain burlap and red ribbon as table runners.

There are also tea light candles in holders alternating on and off small mirrors along the center of the side tables.

We found this cute red polka dot printed burlap at Joann's and hot glued printed letters onto it. I discovered that my duct tape made a perfect stencil for that!

We added in a light from IKEA over the food table so people could actually tell what they were eating.

This is the true story of how we got that light up there.

Jesuit stacking!
I will note that they thought of this idea themselves and we did not have access to a ladder.

Food and Drink

Erin and Alex were our amazing caterers!

They really do know how to feed a crowd!
We had a pretty impressive array of food: homemade chex mix, cheese plate, dips, etc.

We were able to have a cash bar that would not have had nearly as much variety if it were not for Erin and Alex's catering skills: an assortment of beers, wines, alcoholic and non-alcoholic punches, and water for all!

They also worked the welcome table doing important stuff like collecting admission donations, checking IDs, and passing out wristbands.

 The Dancing!

RJ, one of the Jesuit Scholastics who is studying in Berkeley, is a former swing dance instructor and graciously agreed to teach us some East Coast swing - for free! :)

He's also a former football coach, and he got to put his "coach voice" to use to teach a class of close to 70 newbie dancers. 

All lined up.

Finding a partner.

Hey, it's me!
I got to be the girl/follow role demonstrator. It was awesome.

Trying it out.

Many people who came had experience with other forms of dance and swing dance so there were a lot of little break out teaching happening for Lindy, jitterbug, swing aerials, even a little ballet.

I don't believe we got any pictures of it (because we were too busy dancing) but some line dancing happened! I had thrown in a variety of genres on the playlist, just to see what people would do with it. Well people seem to really like line dancing and salsa. Those might have to be our next styles to try!

Dancing with the husband.
 We got a sitter for the kids and called this our big Valentine's date.  

We even took mock-prom photos!
We made this quick little backdrop (so photos could happen somewhere that was not a beige wall) and used it as a photo booth.

 Want a fun playlist that works for swing (and other dance forms)? Got you covered!
Here is the playlist we used that night. Enjoy!


  1. This sounds so wonderful!!!! East coast swing dancing is great :) And that looks like a stellar playlist-Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy was the song we used for our "first dance" at our wedding!

    1. Aw fun! Did y'all swing dance to it too?

      I thought about putting our first dance song as a surprise for my husband, but it really is just too slow to consider danceable for swing.

    2. I love that song!!! So beautiful, and I'm sure it was great for your wedding :) Definitely too slow for swing, though!

      We did swing dance for our wedding! When we first me in college, our whole group of friends would go to the weekly swing dance sessions a lot, so Jacob and I have never really gotten into slow dancing (though we did learn a little bit of simple waltz once); we much prefer swing :) It was pretty interesting, because in Kansas (where we got married), it's a bit rarer to find people doing East Coast swing-they mostly do a looser combination of two-step and swing dance. So, some people at our reception hadn't really seen much East Coast swing before!

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  3. So glad there was such a great turn out! I was out of town for the weekend or I definitely would have joined in! Here's hoping there's a line-dancing party before graduation ;)
    Peace, Sarah


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