Swing Shift

Dear Reader: While you may be far too wet behind the ears to remember the first onslaught of swing dancing — the cultural phenomenon that grew out of juke joints in the 1920s and ’30s — you’re regrettably just old enough to remember its mainstream revival in the late ’90s. But just for a second, let’s pretend 1996 never happened. Gone are the late-night, basic-cable showings of Swingers, dollar-bin copies of Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Brian Setzer Orchestra’s Christmas special. And what’s left? A rich and storied chunk of Americana born out of Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom in 1927. Highlighting intricacies of footwork, breakneck acrobatics, and dance moves that beg for your partner’s trust, swing made household names out of its Harlem dancers like Shorty George Snowden and his partner, Big Bea. Learn the ins and outs of this dance each Wednesday night when the Monterey Club (2608 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale) hosts Swing Night. The hourlong lesson starts at 9 p.m., but there’s open dancing until midnight. From 4 to 9 p.m., early birds can indulge in a PBR happy hour. There’s a $5 cover charge per couple or $3 per person.
Wednesdays, 9 p.m. Starts: June 23. Continues through Dec. 29, 2010
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Terra Sullivan