Photo courtesy of Alice Pye

The swing dancing community in Long Beach is looking to get bigger as the group is expanding into a Wednesday night series, in addition to its monthly Fourth Saturday Swing.

Beginning March 4, the group will hold hour-long dance lessons that are beginner-friendly and do not require a partner.

“With our expansion of our Fourth Saturday Swing dance party to the MADhaus, we really wanted to fill the place with more local Long Beach residents,” said Alice Pye, organizer of the Long Beach Swing Dance Community, in an interview with the Long Beach Post. “We really wanted it to be a community gathering for local Long Beachians rather than a gathering of already experienced dancers from all over LA and Orange Counties for the most part. For us to accomplish that we have to teach everyone in town how to dance.”

swingdanceAfter surveying the neighborhood around Pine Avenue, the Long Beach Swing Dance Community found that residents have a positive reaction with swing dancing since it is a unique event with an array of people.

“It’s a match made in heaven,” Pye said. “The goal right now is to make every person in Long Beach aware that we exist, and hopefully they will be curious enough to come try a class, or just come and watch a live swing band.”

Pye said the swing dancing community is a great place to be social without having to pick up smartphones and social media for interaction with others.

The classes, like the Fourth Saturday Swing, is open to participants of all ages. Pye said the group has had participants as young as seven, as well as senior citizens. The average age of the group is people in their 20s and 30s. Pye said the goal is to get more high school students and college students into the classes.

Pye said participants don’t need to bring anything to the classes except a sense of humor and a comfortable pair of shoes to dance in.

“You don’t even need a partner because we rotate so everyone gets a chance to dance with everyone else in the class,” she said. “They also get to meet new friends and hopefully establish lifelong connections. Our primary goal in our classes is to have fun. We’re not concerned with grooming the best swing dancers and competitors in the world, we’re concerned with people having a good time, listening to some amazing music, and creating friendships. These friendships and personal connections are the foundation of community. And that’s what we hope to establish here. Our own Long Beach Swing Dance Community.”

The Long Beach Swing Dance Community’s weekly classes begin tomorrow and continue March 11, March 18 and March 25. Each class lasts from 8:00PM to 9:00PM and takes place at Groundwork Fitness, located at 333 Pine Avenue. Entry is $50 per person for the entire month and includes free entry to the Fourth Saturday Swing Dance Party.

For more information about the event, click here.