Wednesday, December 31, 2008

No Friday Night Swing on January 2

Autumn LaVarta has been spending the holiday season at his mountain cabin, clad in homey blue jeans, red turtleneck, and a cable-knit cardigan. It all sounds very lovely until you learn that he has been snowed in by the biggest winter storm in all of recorded history. To make matters worse (or better, depending on how you look at it), the only form of nourishment in his mountain cabin kitchen is an enormous bottle of tequila.

Yes, but what does this have to do with me? you are probably wondering. It means that there will be no Friday Night Swing on January 2, of course. But Autumn will soon be defrosted, so the party will be back with a vengeance on January 9.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Haiku Birthday, Autumn!

A wise man once said,
"Autumn LaVarta is like
The sea. Very old."

Please submit your Birthday haiku for Autumn by commenting on this post.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Fright-day Night Swing, Charlie Brown

Linus had promised Sally that the Great Pumpkin would rise out of the pumpkin patch--that he would fly through the air and bring toys to all the children of the world. But of course it never happened. Sally could have gone to Fright-day Night Swing! The fun is over and she missed it! Instead, she spent the night on a pumpkin patch and all that came was a beagle! Halloween hasn't fallen on a Friday in five years, and instead she spent all night sitting in a pumpkin patch! What a fool she was!

Don't be like Sally. Join us at Fright-day Night Swing for a Halloween dance party you won't soon forget. There'll be tricks, treats, and swing-dancing feet -- plus special guest Barack Obama (or is that just someone in an Obama costume). The pre-dance lesson will feature some frightfully fun Halloween-themed choreography. Costumes are encouraged!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lucas: Celebrating Three Decades of Awesome

According to elders in the ancient Mayan civilization of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, Lucas' thirtieth birthday -- mid-September 2008 -- holds great significance for all of creation.

The Maya believed in a 26,000-year cycle composed of five sub-cycles and one red bicycle. Each of the five sub-cycles lasts 5,125 years and is considered to be its own World Age. The bicycle consists of a frame, handlebars, two wheels, and a banana seat. Sometimes called "The Time of Great Purification" or "The Shift of the Ages," our present cycle (3109 B.C. - 2008 A.D.) culminates on Lucas' thirtieth birthday.

"This makes Lucas a sort of religious icon," one woman told reporters late Wednesday. "Get out your galoshes and non-perishables -- the end of the world is nigh!"

Not so, according to Buford P. Snible, professor of something at Cut-Rate University. "Lucas' thirtieth birthday does not mark the End Times. Rather, it is on this date that one great cycle of Earth transitions to the next."

Total malarky? Pure pointlessness? A mountain of hogwash the likes of which the world has never seen? Perhaps. Will there be cake and a birthday jam, or will a plague of locusts descend upon lindy hoppers as they boogie to "Ain't That Love"? You'll have to come to Friday Night Swing to find out just what, exactly, Lucas' birthday has in store for civilization as we know it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday Night Swing Regular Discovers New State

Tired of the hustle and bustle, the exorbitant cost of living, and his friends, Friday Night Swing regular Brad Dickson up and moved to the township of Missoula in July. According to wikipedia, Missoula is the county seat of Missoula County in Montana, which is a state. Locals get their news from the Missoulian, the Missoula Independent, and New West Missoula. At the time of this report, Brad had not yet chosen a favorite local newspaper.

A city dweller for many years, Brad had become disenchanted with Big City Living and was eager to spend some quality time in the great outdoors. Fortunately, it was difficult to find an apartment in Missoula, so for the first few weeks, Brad got to sleep under the stars -- in his car in the parking lot of a Best Buy.

"I slipped the security guard a sawbuck," Brad said. "And he pretty much left me alone after that until I found a place to live." (See picture of Brad's new digs.)

There is little local interest in swing dancing, but Brad has made numerous friends -- including a bison named Bucky, a grizzly named Grrrr, and a salmon named Twitchy -- and he reports that they are planning to open up a swing club in downtown Missoula.

"It won't be like Friday Night Swing," he said. "It will be a hell of a lot better. Not to be harsh or anything."

In addition to opening a swing venue, Brad will be one of 84 first-year students at the University of Missoula School of Law. He'll study Environmental Law with a focus on land use and water law.

Rumors that Brad is holding a carwash this weekend to raise money for a Greyhound ticket back to San Francisco are "greatly exaggerated," according to his publicist.

Brad, everyone at Friday Night Swing misses you and wishes you well on your adventure!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

'Billy Elliot' Reviled by Swing Dancers

A recent poll on the Friday Night Swing blog revealed that the film Billy Elliot is universally detested by the lindy hop community. Set in the United Kingdom, the Oscar-nominated film tells the heartwarming story of an eleven-year-old boy -- the son of a boxing-obsessed coal miner -- who becomes a ballerina. Billy Elliot the Musical, which made its stage debut at the West End in London in 2005, is probably also hated by swing dancers.

The favorite dance films among those polled were Footloose, Saturday Night Fever, and Singin' in the Rain -- each of which pulled in 20% of the total votes.

"I never even saw Billy Elliot," one swing dancer defensively told reporters.

Other poll participants declined to be interviewed. The producers of Billy Elliot are expected to make a statement on Monday morning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Friday Night Swing Unveils Rubik's Cube

In an effort to sell its soul to the world of mass merchandising, Friday Night Swing has introduced the first-ever Rubik's Cube with a Friday Night Swing theme.

The cube is now available at retailers nationwide, with international sales set to begin in September.

The standard-sized cube consists of six faces, each with a sticker depicting 1/9 of a photograph of the Friday Night Swing poster. A pivot mechanism allows each face to turn, which mixes up the picture and causes frustration to the person holding the cube. Agitation leads the person to further mix up the picture, making it impossible to solve.

"Don't move anything and you'll be fine," Autumn suggested at today's press conference. "Just take it out of the box and leave it like it is."

As the popularity of its standard-sized cube grows, Friday Night Swing plans to unveil the mind-bending puzzles in other versions, including the Pocket Cube (2x2x2), the Master Cube (4x4x4), and the Professor's Cube (5x5x5).

According to Autumn, cubes with different Friday Night Swing images are also in the works, but when pressed by journalists, he would not reveal whether or not a future version of the cube would feature a close-up of his face.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Congratulations, Glenn and Dawn!

Glenn's spokesperson has confirmed reports that the San Francisco lindy hopper, whose performance in Cheek to Cheek's Pink Panther routine inspired millions of people to take up swing dancing, married Dawn on July 5th.

The ceremony took place on the Presidio and was followed by a reception at the Officer's Club. After dinner, Friday Night Swing's own Autumn LaVarta, along with Jane Fields, led the newlyweds' family and friends in a swing lesson to prepare them for a night of dancing to live music by the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra.

"I nearly broke my ankle," one guest was overheard saying. "But it was so much fun, I didn't care!"

While Glenn's spokesperson confirmed that the wedding took place, she laughed off rumors that the cast of ABC's Grey's Anatomy attended the ceremony.

"Glenn and Dawn have never even met the cast of Grey's Anatomy," she said. "In fact, I don't know if they've ever seen the show. That rumor is completely absurd and 100% false."

Controversy aside, be sure to congratulate the newlyweds next time you see them!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

This Week Only: FNS Moves to Thursday Night at Le Colonial

Do you even know what happened on July 4th in 1776? If you're like many Americans, you probably think it has something to do with the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence, declaring our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Well, you are sort of correct. Drafted by lindy hop enthusiast Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence actually declares that swing dancing is the awesomest dance ever. The following excerpt from this monumental document nearly makes you weep:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all dance genres are not created equal, that swing dancing, and in particular the lindy hop, is endowed by its Creators with certain unalienable awesomeness, that among these are swing-outs, swivels, and the pursuit of stylistic flourishes.--That to secure this awesomeness, Friday Night Swing was instituted among men and women, deriving its just powers from the consent of the dancers who gather there."

To celebrate the 232nd anniversay of this momentous day in our nation's history, Friday Night Swing is cancelled this week. Go watch your fireworks and eat your potato salad, okay?

But wait -- there's more! Friday Night Swing will be held informally on Thursday, July 3, from 7-10pm at Le Colonial. You'll do what you do best -- boogie, that is -- to live music from the Martini Brothers Band and deejayed tunes from Hep Jen. Thomas Jefferson and several of his founding-father buddies will return from the dead for one last swing-dancing bash, so don't miss out on the fun!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Friday Night Swing Wins National Award

Not a single jaw dropped in the entire auditorium when Friday Night Swing was announced the winner of a prestigious national award for excellence and outstanding superiority. The ceremony, hosted by Al Pacino (Any Given Sunday, Devil's Advocate), was held at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco's Presidio.

"The nominees," said presenter George Lopez to an audience that included Brad Pitt, shamed New York governor Eliot Spitzer, and the ghost of King Lear, "are Silly Putty, Pixar films, carbohydrates, Friday Night Swing, and books by George Saunders." Lopez opened the envelope and feigned a look of surprise. "The winner is Friday Night Swing!"

Autumn LaVarta, who attended with an adoring Jessica Alba, accepted the award on his own behalf, saying, "I knew Friday Night Swing was better than Silly Putty -- but better than carbs? I'm humbled. Thank you to everyone who makes Friday Night Swing possible, which is mostly me!"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jane Turns 30, Reveals Secret Past

For many people, turning 30 is a time to reconcile with one's past and make plans for the future. This milestone birthday has been known to cause people to make jaw-dropping confessions to their loved ones -- secrets ranging from being an FBI agent trapped in the body of a postal worker to having a meth lab in the basement. But no 30th-birthday confession has ever been as shocking as the one to which you are about to bear witness.

Yes, after plumbing the depths of her soul, Jane has confessed to being one of the original cast members of TV's long-running sitcom The Brady Bunch.

Few people know that there was never intended to be a "Greg Brady." The original eldest son of Mike Brady was not a son at all -- she was a daughter named Greta, played by our very own Jane. According to scripts obtained from a high-security vault, the lyrics to the second verse of the infamous theme song originally went like this: It's the story of a man named Brady who was busy with three kids of his own. They were three men and a little lady, but they were all alone.

After just one episode -- in which Jane's character Greta is kicked out of a ballet recital for being too clumsy and then takes up tap dancing, only to annoy her whole family while practicing her new tap moves at home -- the creator, Sherwood Schwartz, determined that Jane was "far too modern" for the show, and that she seemed to have "come from the future." He tore up her contract and hired Barry Williams to take her place -- not as Greta, but as Greg.

"I'm glad this is finally out in the open," Jane told a crowd of onlookers. "Unburdening myself of this double life is my birthday present to myself."

(Please join us in wishing Jane the very happiest of 30th birthdays!)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Forecast: Blazing Hot With a Chance of Lindy Hop

Is it hot enough for you? Did you just get a bag of frozen peas out of the freezer and press it against your face? Come on, you can tell us. Did you have a pint of Häagen-Dazs raspberry sorbet for lunch? How embarrassing!

But let's get to the point here. Are you thinking of staying in tonight to watch the "Ice Worlds" episode of Planet Earth with a cold, wet washcloth around your neck? Because if you do that, you may stay cool -- but you will also be uncool, if you know what we mean. Don't risk it. Come on out and dance!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Friday Night Swing Class To Be Held in Black and White

In a tip of the hat to such classic films as Citizen Kane, Dr. Strangelove, and The Maltese Falcon, this week's dance lesson will be held in black and white. A delicate interplay of light and shadows will alternately conceal and reveal students and instructors alike. Don't miss out on the Hitchcockian fun -- join Autumn and Lynne this Friday at 8:15 sharp!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Frankie and Johnny Wins FNS Song Poll

Sam Cooke's legendary rendition of Frankie and Johnny won by a landslide in our first-ever song poll.

Clocking in at a distant second place was Ray Charles' Ain't That Love with 31% of the votes, followed by Lou Rawls' Fine Brown Frame (25%) and Cab Calloway's Everybody Eats When They Come to My House (12%). Louis Jordan's Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby, Martin Sexton's 13 Step Boogie, and Roger Miller's King of the Road tied for last place.

"The people have spoken," said Autumn LaVarta, who has agreed in writing to play the hugely popular Sam Cooke song at least once per hour at every Friday Night Swing from here on out.

According to Wikipedia, the first published version of the music to Frankie and Johnny appeared in 1904 and was credited to Hughie Cannon. The online encyclopedia also notes that there are at least 256 different recordings of Frankie and Johnny, including versions by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, and Count Basie. But Wikipedia also claims that elephants are egg-laying invertebrates. Which they aren't. Right?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Angie Turns 10 + 10 + 10

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Lindy hopper extraordinaire Angie Gango is turning 9 x 3 + 3!*

Friday Night Swing's own bubbly blonde, whose performance in last year's "Jingle & Rock" brought audiences to their knees, has been a lindy hop devotee for about two years. She made headlines earlier this month when she publicly denounced "boring old walking" and now perambulates exclusively by doing the Charleston, leading herself in a swingout, or spinning in an eight-count beat. She is pictured here doing the Charleston on her way to a pick up some drycleaning.

"It takes a little longer, but it's plenty more fun," Angie said.

Join us this Friday as we celebrate this Momentous Occasion with a birthday jam to Martin Sexton's "30-step Boogie." With your help, this will be a birthday jam to remember!

*Please note that this is distinct from turning 9 x (3 + 3). That won't happen until 2032.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Friday Night Swing Goes Green

In a daring effort to raise awareness of the urgent need for energy conservation, Autumn dimmed the lights at last week's Friday Night Swing. Instead of illuminating the dance floor with dozens of wasteful overhead halogens, he put several multi-colored strands of Christmas lights in strategic locations throughout the space, creating eco-friendly ambient lighting (EFAL).

"Sure, we've got fancy footwork," Autumn explained. "But that doesn't mean we should have a fancy carbon footprint."

Compiled by lightbulb specialists, this graph (click to enlarge) shows that incandescent 240V and 120V lightbulbs consume what scientists call "a crapload" of energy. But while most consumers think they're doing the planet a favor by replacing their standard bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL), they're really just kidding themselves -- and sticking it to Mother Nature at the same time.

According to new research published by the Christmas Lights Institute of Technology, Christmas lights use less than half of the energy consumed by CFLs, last fifteen times as long, and have an unprecedented Initial Luminous Flux.

"When you're dancing, you're in the moment," Autumn said. "But when it comes to protecting our planet, you've got to be forward-looking."

Speaking of forward-looking, you have a lot of Friday Night Swing to look forward to -- and we look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Night Swing Celebrates the Return of Captain Face-Paint

Much has been said about Andy, that lean, mean dancing machine who was a regular back in the Block Party days. Many say he's an evil mastermind plotting to take over frozen-foods aisles everywhere. Some say he's a madman in disguise, while others suggest that he's a madman without a disguise. But most people just know him as real-life superhero Captain Face-Paint, whose dedication to spectacular acts of derring-do in the public interest is his most defining feature.

As is the case with most superheroes -- like Batman, Superman, and Plastic Man -- Captain Face-Paint's appearances are sporadic and difficult to predict. But one thing is certain. Whenever there's a swing dancer in need (of a leader), Captain Face-Paint will swoop in and save the day!

But tonight, it's our turn to save Captain Face-Paint -- from the creeping vortex of old age. Let's gather forces to fend off the necroplasmic armor-wearing WrinkleBots with a birthday jam to remember!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Autumn Confirmed as ABC's Next 'Bachelor'

ABC has announced its selection for season thirteen of its wildly popular reality dating show, The Bachelor -- and he's none other than our very own Autumn LaVarta!

In "The Bachelor: Babes by the Bay," which begins filming in May and premieres on September 22, bachelor Autumn will be courted by 25 stunning women. He will go on a series of dates -- some group, some one-on-one -- with blonde, brunette, and red-haired bombshells, and at the end of each show, a preselected number of women will be eliminated until only one woman remains.

But this time, there's a twist. Traditionally, the elimination takes place during a rose ceremony: the bachelor offers a rose to each woman he wants to continue dating, and those who do not receive a rose are sent packing (only after they are interviewed in tears, of course).

This season, the elimination ceremony will take place at Friday Night Swing! The beauties will attend our weekly swing party, and over the course of the evening, Autumn will ask some of them to dance. So, rather than "Will you accept this rose?" this season's crucial question will be, "May I have this dance?" Those who are not asked to dance will be kicked to the curb.

Will Autumn find true love? Will he propose to the last woman standing? Will you fall for this absurd April Fool's Day prank? Tune in to ABC to find out!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

People Love Us on Yelp!

How about a round of applause? Friday Night Swing now has its own entry on Yelp, and we've clocked in at five stars -- the highest possible rating! According to one reviewer, FNS is "the best place to swing dance in the Bay area." Another Yelper says, "I feel just as loved there as if it were my very own home." And reviewer D.B. notes that great music is "one of the main reasons I enjoy Friday Night Swing."

What do you love about Friday Night Swing? The venue? The people? The music? The teachers? The snacks? The slick floor? The snowballs and birthday jams? The, ahem, amazing blog? Whatever your reasons for loving Friday Night Swing, we invite you to go tell it on the mountain!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday Night Swing To Honor Shirley's Birth

You may recognize Shirley from her show-stopping performance in the Metronome's most recent winter showcase, Jingle & Rock. You may recognize her fiery red hair and contagious smile, which transcended the constraints of space and time to inspire the romantic poetry of William Wordsworth, John Keats, and Percy Shelley. If you know what's good for you, you'll join us this Friday to help celebrate the birthday of the one, the only, the magnificent Shirley!

Friday, March 14, 2008

First Birthday Jam in the New Space!

Join us tonight at our new venue for an event that will blow your mind! No, it's not a monster truck rally. Nope, not an invasion by a robot army from the future. No, no, no--there'll be no motocross racing, no mud-wrestling, and no lindyhopping on the ceiling. (Now you're being ridiculous.)

The not-to-be-missed event in question is--dramatic pause--the first-ever birthday jam in our new space!

The occasion for tonight's birthday jam? None other than the nth anniversary of my arrival on this weird planet! If you miss out on this momentous occasion, you'll be despondent for weeks--so put on your party face, grab your swing shoes, and come on out to Friday Night Swing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Friday Night Swing Enters New Era

Everyone knows that Friday Night Swing doesn't skip a beat. We just said farewell to the Block Party last week, and this Friday we'll be saying hello to our new location at 1500 16th Street.

You'll have to pardon our stardust, as the venue is not yet in its final form. Afraid you'll get lost trying to find the new space? Well, don't worry! It's right around the corner from the Block Party. Need a map?

Contrary to rumors, presidential drop-out Mike Huckabee will not be cutting the ceremonial ribbon this Friday night. You might say he won't Hucka-bee there. In fact, there will be no ribbon-cutting ceremony -- just a whole lot of swing dancing! So come on out and join in the fun.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Our Last Night in the Block Party!

The Block Party. It's a loft-like space in Potrero Hill, just around the corner from the Metronome's main ballroom. There are benches along three walls, a fully mirrored fourth wall, and a high, slanting ceiling with exposed rafters and a disco ball. The deejay booth sits in the back left corner. Just beyond it, there's a kitchenette, and beyond that, there's a staircase leading up to a mezzanine that overlooks the main floor. The color scheme? Purple and turquoise. Dance-related art on the walls? Yes.

Diane Jarmolow opened the doors to the Block Party in 1995 for Paul and Sharon at the start of the swing renaissance. Many teachers have followed in their footsteps, including our beloved Autumn LaVarta.

Just think of all the dancing feet--night after night, year after year--that boogied on the smooth Block Party floor. Think of all the swingouts, the inside turns and Frankie kicks, all the snowballs and birthday jams. Think of the rush you felt when your favorite swing song came on, or when you checked yourself out in the mirror mid-dance and thought you looked pretty damned good. Think of all the friendships that were made and the couples who met (or re-met) in this very room. Think of what this space has meant to you.

We're excited about our new location, but we're sad to see the Block Party go, and it deserves a farewell befitting our warm memories. This Friday is the last night of dancing this floor will ever see, so come out this Friday and help us tear it apart with our swing shoes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Change in Store for Friday Night Swing

You may have heard it through the grapevine. You may have heard it on the evening news. You may even have heard it from Autumn himself. Yes, a big change is on the horizon for Friday Night Swing!

The details remain unconfirmed, but we do know that Friday Night Swing will be moving to a new location in the next few weeks. Don't worry -- we won't be moving far. In fact, you could probably stand at the entrance to the Block Party, throw a rock, and hit the new location. This is not recommended, however.

Of course, we'll be having a grand celebration on the last Friday Night Swing at the Block Party, and a grand celebration on the first Friday Night Swing in the new location. Stay tuned for the latest information on the move. But for now, we will see you tonight at the usual time and place!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Piglet with Heart-Shaped Marking To Crash Friday Night Swing!

Mark your calendars for a Friday Night Swing you won't soon forget! This Friday, February 15th, we'll be celebrating the day after Valentine's Day with a dance-stravaganza.

Valentine's Day decorations procured at half price -- pink and red balloons and crepe-paper streamers, heart-shaped confetti on the tables, cupid cutouts on the walls -- will set the mood for a spectacular evening of swing dancing. Plus, there'll be special music from Autumn's vast collection, and a table full of mouth-watering delectables -- including Elise's world-famous pineapple upside-down cake.

And as if that weren't enough to tempt you away from your couch and remote control, there will also be a surprise appearance from Valentine, the adorable piglet with a heart-shaped marking, at midnight on the nose.

Want to volunteer to bring additional treats for this special occasion? Of course you do! Email

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Frankie Manning Weekend Nearly Here!

Guys, get out your suspenders and newsboy caps. Gals, put on your shiny stockings. As we recently reported, legendary lindy hopper Frankie Manning is returning to Oakland for the Frankie Manning 2008 Workshop Weekend. For the first time, there will be three nights of live music: Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers on Friday, the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra on Saturday, and the Tipsy Gypsy Trio on Sunday.

As always, there are two full days of workshops -- and you know you want to tell your family and friends that Frankie Manning taught you how to lindy hop. The last day to register online is February 13.

Please note that we suggest foregoing the Friday night dance in favor of attending Friday Night Swing. Stay tuned for details about our post-Valentine's-Day dance-stravaganza!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Roof Raised at Friday Night Swing

Raising a roof is not easy. Even the simplest ridged roof consists of inclined rafters, the top ends of which must meet at the horizontal ridge beam, with horizontal purlins fixed to them in order to support the roof covering. Ceiling joists are connected between the lower ends of opposite rafters to prevent them from spreading and forcing the walls apart. Then, you need collar ties, and really, it's just a whole lot of hard work.

Fortunately, the swing dancers at last night's party raised the proverbial roof -- which is easier and more fun. Winnie, a lindy hopper visiting all the way from Beijing, joined in the fun as we celebrated Nick's birthday with a spectacular jam and a mouth-watering Boston cream cake. The joint was jumping until the wee hours.

If you stayed home and watched the Bob Saget-hosted game show 1 vs. 100, you really shouldn't have -- for so many reasons. We expect to see you at the next Friday Night Swing!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Birthday Jam Arrives in the 'Nick' of Time

The folks at Friday Night Swing have been wondering when the next birthday jam will take place. Thanks to Nick, we'll be having one this Friday!

A San Francisco native, Nick is new to the lindy hop scene and boasts fancy footwork, a penchant for Smurf t-shirts, and an uncanny ability to blow up his cheeks and then immediately release the air by slapping his own face. You may recognize him from his jaw-dropping performance in the dance showcase Jingle & Rock.

As previously noted, in a birthday jam, the birthday girl or boy begins in the middle of the circle, dancing with one partner -- and before they know it, dancers on the outskirts start cutting in and stealing the celebrant for as many moves as they can fit in before the next steal.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Night Swing a Projected Winner

Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and republican contenders Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani will enter a new and perplexing phase of the presidential race on Friday night. For the first time in U.S. history, a weekly swing dancing event will declare its intention to run for president of the United States of America.

"Friday Night Swing is not a viable candidate for president," the visibly shaken Giuliani said during a press conference at Burger King this afternoon. "If you vote for Friday Night Swing, the terrorists win."

"I cannot now say whether or not I will make a bid for the White House," Friday Night Swing told CNN's Larry King. "What I can say is that whoever wishes to see an historic and unprecedented announcement must come to Friday Night Swing -- that's me -- on Friday, January 25 -- that's tonight."

Senator Swing added that there may or may not be balloons and crepe-paper streamers at the swing dancing event.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Autumn Thanks His Lucky Stars

I feel lucky to have all of you who come week after week to Friday Night Swing. You come to the lesson, you show up early, you show up late, you dance, you mingle and make friends, you sometimes stay away and I miss you, but you come back eventually and fit like you've never been gone. You're all the friends of Friday Night Swing and I'm lucky to have you.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dancers Take Little Stock of Troubled Economy

As they excitedly grease their shoes, fill their water bottles, and practice their swivels in anticipation of this week's Friday Night Swing, the Bay area swing dancing community seems unfazed by reports of an ever-weakening economy.

Amid breaking news of the Dow Jones industrial average dropping 136 points, or 1.1 percent, to 12,330.00, local dancers remain serenely unruffled. And today's news of Merrill Lynch's historical fourth-quarter loss of $9.8 billion didn't even make it onto their radar.

"Stocks are slumping, but that doesn't mean I have to slump," said a source close to the organizers of Friday Night Swing.

"Going to Friday Night Swing is a terrific investment in your health and well being," according to Dr. Dan Salott, a local physician and avid lindy hopper. "Besides, it's $14 for the whole shebang, and only $8 for the party alone. You can't beat that -- even during a recession."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ambassador of Lindy Hop Comes to Oakland

Legendary lindy hopper Frankie Manning -- the only surviving member of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, star of Hellzapoppin', and inventor of the aerial -- is returning to Oakland for the Frankie Manning 2008 Workshop Weekend. If 93-year-old Frankie is up for three days of lectures, workshops, and dance parties, then you should be, too. So get out your calendars and reserve February 15-17. More details coming soon from the Northern California Lindy Society.

Brush up on your swing history with his best-selling autobiography, Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop. You can buy an autographed copy, or just get a plain one (I'll autograph it for you).

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Birthday Jam for Marilyn This Friday!

Join us at Friday Night Swing this week and help celebrate the birthday of everyone's favorite flapper -- Marilyn! If you haven't seen her dancing at FNS, you are probably overdue to crawl out from under your rock. Marilyn has been a regular for a couple of years now, and she has appeared to rave reviews in such dance showcases as Cheek to Cheek, A Holiday Cabaret, For the Love of Dance, and Jingle & Rock.

In a birthday jam, the birthday girl or boy begins in the middle of the circle, dancing with one partner -- and before they know it, leads and follows from the circle start cutting in and stealing the celebrant for as many moves as they can fit in before the next steal.

Want to be the center of attention on your birthday? It's okay if you don't. But if you do, be sure to let us know when it is!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Friday Night Swing Takes City by 'Storm'

In spite of torrential rainfall and gusting winds, we had a great turnout at Friday Night Swing. From beginning dancers to Metronome vets, the dance floor was hopping to Louie Prima, Bull Moose Jackson, Nathaniel Mayer, and others.

If you're one of the few who stayed home and bundled up with a good book and a hot cup of Earl Grey, don't make the same mistake on Friday, January 11th!

Friday, January 4, 2008

It's Raining Cats, Dogs, and Swingouts?

Take one look at this beleaguered, drenched city and you'll come to one irrefutable conclusion:
It's time to go swing dancing.

According to scientists and physicians, swing dancing is the only effective antidote to the rainstorm blues. So get out your galoshes and your bumbershoot and head on down to Friday Night Swing!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Jump Start 2008 at Friday Night Swing!

What better way to kick off the New Year than swing dancing?

Join Autumn and Jane for a showstopping all-levels swing lesson on Friday, January 4th, from 8:15-9:00, and then dance until midnight to a fun and eclectic set of deejayed swing music.

Lesson & party - $14
Party only - $8

The Metronome Block Party is located in Potrero Hill at 300 De Haro Street, between 16th and 17th. Need a map?

See you on Friday night!