Harlem Gets in the Swing

dancingThe Lindy Hop era originated during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, and it’s still going strong today. On Tuesdays, The Harlem Swing Dance Society brings back the lively dance with its weekly swing classes and other events.

The non-profit organization was created during the summer of 2010. Program coordinator Barbara Jones made clear the purpose of this program for the community.

“The Harlem Swing Dance Society is dedicated to provide quality services to all who want to be a part in spearheading the impact of Harlem’s dance art legacy of the Lindy Hop,” explains Jones.

Savoy Ballroom legend Sonny Allen leads the class through the basic steps of swing. He remains one of a small number of dancers who can still interpret the swing style dance.

“The most important thing [is to] listen to the music,” says Allen as dancers from his beginner class prep on a recent Tuesday. Allen’s vivacious energy lightened the mood and gave participants a relaxed vibe as they danced together.

Participant Ronald Freeman says he signed up for swing classes to try something new.

“[It was] something to stimulate me socially,” says Freeman, 53. “Also to improve my dancing technique. The instructor is very attentive; the environment is very nice and accessible.”

The Harlem Swing Dance Society holds classes at the Joseph P. Kennedy Community Center located at 34 W. 134th Street between Lenox and Fifth avenues on Tuesday at 7 PM. For $7 you can indulge in Harlem culture by learning a classic dance craze.

Check the group’s Facebook page for information and other events.

Taylor Coleman | 9/26/2014, 11:53 a.m.

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