This web page provides general information on Hepcats and out-of-town swing dance events in a monthly list format. The out-of-town events listed below are ones Mike & Mary have either attended or heard good things about from other Lindy Hoppers & Balboa dancers whose opinions we trust (some Lindy Hop events may also have classes & competitions for Balboa, and perhaps Collegiate Shag, i.e. Camp Hollywood). This is not an all inclusive list….check out the Swing Planit web site for info on Lindy Hop and Balboa events all over the world (and even that web site is not all inclusive).
Note: Caveat emptor! Hyperbole is rampant and commonplace these days, especially in swing dance event promotion on FB, on event web sites, etc. Words and phrases like “awesome”, “amazing”, “fantastic”, “coolest ever”, “legendary”, “fabulous”, “incredible”, “super amazing”…… are vastly overused. It can be a real challenge separating fact from fiction in swing dance event promotion – – so buyer beware!
Info provided below only as a service to web users; no other info expressed or implied. See the event web site and/or contat the event for full details.
(Last updated 5/15/17)
o May 19-21: non dance item of interest – for those interested in the history and culture of the big band swing-era. The Woodford Theater is presenting “A Tribute to Duke Ellington“, May 19-21. A description of the production from their web site: “A musical tribute to the many women who at one time or another in their career, were given the opportunity to song lead with the great Duke Ellington band. This piece takes the audience on a musical journey though the great Jazz age during the Harlem Renaissance. This performance is sprinkled with numerous tidbits of history that will educate the theatre-goer and leave them mesmerized!”
o Saturday, May 27th, 6-10 pm: Coney Island USO Swing Dance & Salute to Veterans. Get on up to Coney Island in Cincy for the Cincinnati Warbirds USO Swing Dance & Salute to Veterans, featuring music by the Tom Daugherty Orchestra, featuring their re-creation of the Glenn MIller Army-Air Force WW II band.
A really fun and patriotic event to attend! A lot of people dress vintage / swing-era / military for this event.
o Saturday, June 3rd: Swingin’ on Short, Lexington’s annual street dance! 7-11 pm. Make your way to downtown Lexington for Swingin’ on Short, Lexington’s annual street dance. Cost: free!
Featuring music by Blair Carmen and the Belleview Boys – playing some great early 50’s rock ‘n’ roll!
Location: Courthouse Plaza, corner of Short and Limestone Sts., downtown Lexington, KY. Swing dance lesson, 7-8 pm, and a dance contest during the band’s break.
Swingin’ on Short is sponsored by Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) Parks & Rec with support provided by the Hepcats and Lexington Arthur Murray. 2017 will mark the 16th year the Hepcats have provided support for this high quality, free community event!
o June 8th-11th: All Balboa Weekend (ABW), Independence, OH (about 15 miles SW of Cleveland). There really is no debate: this is the best weekend workshop Balboa event you can attend. For Balboa dancers, this is a must attend event!
A note from Mike & Mary about the All Balboa Weekend (ABW): “We’ve been dancing Lindy Hop and Balboa for quite a few years, and over that time we’ve attended a lot of weekend workshop events, regionally and nationwide. There is one weekend workshop event that stands out for us, one we make plans to attend every year: ABW. In fact, ABW is an event that we’ve never heard other Balboa enthusiasts say anything negative about, or heard other Balboa enthusiasts not recommend the event to other swing dancers.
2017 marks the 16th year for ABW, and we’ve attended for 13 of those years. For Balboa enthusiasts, those wanting to learn Balboa, or those wanting to take their Balboa to the next level, ABW is must attend event. Not to sound harsh, but you shouldn’t call yourself a serious Balboa dancer – and you really shouldn’t attempt to teach Balboa – if you don’t attend ABW on a regular basis, it’s really that simple – ABW is that quality of an event. (This is especially true for those swing dancers that live in our neck of the woods/within a reasonable driving distance of the event, i.e. KY, Ohio, Indiana,…)
We know ABW is not “cheap” when compared to exchanges, a typical DJ dance, etc…but people, to include swing dancers, make choices all the time about how to spend their money and one of those choices for swing dancers should be to attend ABW! Don’t be a person that “knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. When you consider what you get at ABW – world class instruction, high quality music (both live and DJ), high level competitions, high quality social dancing with hundreds of other Balboa enthusiasts – ABW is a great value.
And if it wasn’t for ABW, the Balboa dance scene in the US and internationally would certainly not be where it is today. The swing dance community owes a big thanks to Valerie and the ABW staff for their efforts in putting together a consistently first-rate event year after year. We hope to see you at ABW in June.”
o Saturday, June 17th, 3-6 pm: 2nd Saturday Balboa Practice Session (note date change to 3rd Saturday to not conflict with the ABW), at College Hill Town Hall, Larch St., Cincy. Calling all Balboa dancers….a chance to practice and dance Balboa! Thanks to Heather Fanska for organizing this event.
o June 16th-18th: Southern Swing Challenge, Nashville, TN. A weekend competition event.
o Wednesday, June 28th: 8:00-9:30 pm; cost, $8; doors open at 7:30 pm. Blair Crimmins and the Hookers perform at Arts Place, 161 N. Mill St., Lex., KY – a concert taping for a Red Barn Radio production. More info from Mike Richardson about this event: I received an email from one of the Red Barn Radio production staff about this event…as noted above, the event is a live concert taping for a Red Barn Radio production. The event is inviting dancers to attend. I specifically asked about the “dance floor” area and I was assured there would be a dance floor area in front of the band stand/stage (Arts Place has a wooden floor). I’ve heard this band play before and they are a good band, so if you can make it, come on out on June 28th.
o June 30-July 2nd: Blue Ridge Bal, Asheville, NC. A weekend Balboa event.
o Tuesday, July 4th: Happy Birthday America – the greatest county in the world!
o August 4th-6th: Balast Off!, Huntsville, AL. A weekend Balboa workshop event, a fun event to attend. See their web site for info.
o August 11th-13th: Cincy Hop, Cincy Ohio. Cincy’s annual Lindy exchange event.
o August 18th-20th: Great Lakes Balboa Escape, Chicago, IL. A Balboa weekend workshop event.
o August 24th-27th: International Lindy Hop Championships, Washington, DC area. One of the premier Lindy Hop / Balboa weekend workshop events in the swing dance community.
o September 1st-4th: Camp Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. One of the premier Lindy Hop / Balboa weekend workshop events in the swing dance community.
o September 22nd-24th, 2017: SwingIn, Indianapolis, IN area. A Lindy Hop weekend workshop event.
o Oct. 21st-23rd: Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout, Denver, CO.
Nov. 3-5: Nevermore Jazz Ball, St. Louis, MO.
o Dec. 9th: Jingle Bal, Cincy. More info to follow.
o Dec. 27-31: Lindy Focus, Asheville, NC. Annual week long workshop event – and with great big band music featuring artists such as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Jimmie Lunceford, Chick Webb…..