Swing, the popular dance style of the 20s and 30s, is making a comeback in many areas around the country, and Nashville is no exception. Almost any Friday or Saturday night, there's a gathering somewhere for new and experienced dancers alike, and often at a low price or even free. There are plenty of venues in different parts of the city with different styles and feels, from hipster to old-timey, and at least one to fit every schedule and budget.
Centennial Park's Big Band Dance will hopefully be returning this summer, featuring several styles of dance including swing. The event generally runs every Saturday night from June through August, and features a dance lesson and an open dance for all skill levels. It sports a live band every time, a conveniently well-known location, and a price tag of absolutely free, all pluses for teenagers and seniors alike.
However, you don't have to wait until summer to start dancing. If you can make it down to Leiper's Fork, Puckett's is hosting dance nights each Tuesday from 6-9 p.m., including a swing dance lesson at the beginning of the evening and a live band. A mix of dance styles is featured, but the event is predominantly swing, and Puckett's never fails to deliver great music. There is no cover charge, and the grocery store-restaurant combo serves traditional southern food and beverages in a small-town atmosphere. It's sure to be a night of good old-fashioned Nashville fun for dancers of all ages and abilities.
A newer addition to the swing dancing scene is Dowtown Dancin', an event hosted by St Mary of the Seven Sorrows church on 5th Avenue North. Various types of dances are held, including one swing night per month. Again, there is a beginners' lesson starting at 8, and then open dancing until midnight. The cost is only $5 when there's a DJ or $10 when there's a live band, a bargain either way. The most likely bands to be playing are the start-ups and smaller bands, and the most likely attendees will be youth and families, either parishioners of the church or otherwise. The Facebook page proudly states, "If you're more interested in dancing than drinking and... you've always been interested in learning to dance but don't want to commit to expensive lessons, you've come to the right place." The beautiful historic building and convenient downtown location make this an optimal choice for a taste of night life that isn't too crazy.
Where to Dance Nashville lists a host of other upcoming swing events in the Nashville area, from simple socials to committed classes. The Jump Session swing dance studio and events with the Music City Bop Club feature prominently, as does West Coast Swing at the Preston Hotel. There's a wonderful swing dancing opportunity for everyone here in Music City, if you just know where to look, so whether you're an experienced dancer who wants to get back in the swing of things (no pun intended), or have never danced before, you might want to give this vintage-style form of entertainment a try.