Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Swing Sundays 2010 Beginning and Intermediate Swing Classes

Sundays beginning January 3rd
4:30PM-5:30PM Beginning Lindy Hop/East Coast Swing

Learn the basics—8 count and 6 count timing, sugar push and passes, swingout and circle, turns and tuck turn, and Charleston. In this unique class, initially you'll learn the "feel" of the patterns first before the footwork, so even if you have decent grasp of the patterns and their footwork, this would be a great class if you want to improve your "feel" and connection.
$18 drop-in, $68 4 weeks

5:30PM-6:00PM Free practice
Stay after class or come early. I'll be there to work with you, answer answer questions, and give you feedback.

Intermediate Lindy Hop
In this class you'll learn to lead and follow the essential 6 and 8 count Lindy Hop patterns including various turns, swingout and Charleston variations.
$68 for 4 Weeks or $18 per class.

**Note that there will be no classes on January 17th**

Happy New Year,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last Friday Night Swing in Current Location!

As you may have read in last Sunday's New York Times, this Friday will be your last chance to experience Friday Night Swing at its 1500 16th Street space. Please join us in a rollicking farewell to the venue that has been our stomping grounds since March 2008. We won't be crying — we'll be dancing! And probably eating! But not at the same time!

Beginning on Friday, January 8, 2010, FNS will move to its new location at 1830 17th Street, just one block away. This is the main site of Cheryl Burke Dance, and we've got the Mezzanine all to ourselves. If you know what's good for you, you'll swing by every Friday night! Stay tuned for details.

In the meantime, check out the schedule (on the right-hand side) for details on what's happening this Friday night. We hope to see you there!

Happy Holidays,
Autumn LaVarta

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This Friday, It's Free-day Night Swing!

When Autumn LaVarta was born, he cried hysterically. He wailed and wailed. He screamed at the top of his tiny, not-yet-fully-formed lungs. He cried so hard, he turned pink.

Now you might be thinking, "Big deal! Most babies cry when they're born!" But Autumn did not cry for the usual reasons. He was not cold. He was not confused. He was distraught because he wanted to dance, and yet he had no rhythm, no coordination, no dance shoes! He knew that it would be a year at least before he would be able to stand, and even then, he would not be tall enough to reach the radio, and even if he could reach it, he would not have the fine motor skills required to turn the knob to a station playing swing music.

Oh, why must he be a swing dancer trapped in a baby's tiny, ineffectual body?

And so he bawled day and night, night and day, and his parents slept not a wink. But in the brief moments between crying and drooling and peeing and pooping, six-pound Autumn hatched a plan. Yes, on his thirty-third birthday, when he was big and tall and had complete control over his bodily functions, he would open the doors to his Friday Night Swing party to the people and let them dance the night away at no cost to themselves! Yes, they would enjoy the swinging tunes of guest deejays Mike "Moondog" Quebec and Sarah "Webbed Fingers" Quan, both of whom will also be full-sized adults, and whose fine motor skills will allow them to freely manipulate the music machine!

But baby Autumn did not stop there. He determined, gripping his Sesame Street blankie in his tiny fists and shaking it relentlessly, that the people would not only enjoy free admission, popping tunes, incredible dancing, and the company of friends both new and old, but also pumpkin pie! There would be no stopping him, and as he took comfort in this knowledge, he caught his breath and ceased crying. But then he realized he was cold and hungry and had wet his diaper, and the wailing began anew.

Please join us this Friday night for the realization of baby Autumn's plan, hatched thirty-three years ago today!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FNS This Week? Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope

Yip yip yip yip yip, you heard correctly -- there will be no Friday Night Swing this week (10/30). Nope nope nope nope nope. Now before you start complaining, hear us out! In the middle of the night, some creatures came down from outer space and they asked Autumn to go up with them. Unfortunately, this incredible incident was not captured on film, but some kindly felt puppets have agreed to reenact the event for your amusement.

Upon meeting the martians' demands for oatmeal, yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip, oatmeal, yip yip yip, Autumn will be returned safely to earth. He is expected to arrive over the weekend.

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about next week's Friday Night Swing!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Swing Dance for Life with Autumn This Saturday

Friday Night Swing's own Autumn LaVarta invites you to join him in raising money for a worthy cause! He's excited to be teaching an all-levels class this Saturday, August 15, as part of the Swing Dance for Life! Cancer Benefit. The full-event includes several all-levels workshops, a number of intermediate/advanced classes, a lesson for total beginners, and even a swing clinic!

Plus, you'd be a fool to miss the evening dance featuring live music from The Red Light Abatements, Gaucho Gypsy Jazz, and The Jelly Roll Souls. Tickets for the workshop and dance are $65 online ($75 at the door), workshop-only tickets are $50 online ($60 at the door), and dance-only tickets are $20 online ($30 at the door). The event will take place at CCSF's Wellness Center.

All proceeds benefit City of Hope cancer research and treatment hospital and are a tax-deductible donation.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cops Crack Down on Swing Dancing

Every Sunday from 11am-2pm for the past 13 years, swing dance aficionados have been gathering in Golden Gate Park to lindy hop, socialize, and generally terrorize parkgoers. Officials have come to their senses and are finally cracking down on the lawlessness that is Lindy in the Park.

"Enough is enough," said one passerby who asked to remain anonymous. "The joy, the amusement, the toe-tapping music -- I can't take it anymore! I'm glad the city is putting the screws to these thugs once and for all."

In an impressive display of priority-setting and all-around competence, local agencies have reassigned 380 police officers to bolster the fight against swing dancing in the park. Although no timeline has been established, one source said that 90% of the city's law enforcement resources will be diverted to the swing-dancing clampdown for "as long as it takes."

"And if we have to raise taxes to get the job done," said a source close to the mayor, "then so be it. The bottom line is, we're taking our park back from these punks."

"I go to the park to get high, mug tourists, and sell weed to children," said a teenager dressed in black and wearing a ski mask. "I shouldn't have to witness this upbeat, adorable fun. And I most certainly should have to feel compelled to take advantage of their free dance lessons."

"This Sunday's surprise raid on the dancers won't be easy," said a local park ranger. "Those swingouts are fast. That music is distracting. You storm in to make an arrest, and suddenly you see this older couple doing the side-by-side Charleston and you can't help but get misty-eyed. Reminds you of your grandparents. You sort of want to boogie. But you've got to stick to the mission. Snap out of it, Johnson! Don't let them dancers get in your head like that."

By its own admission, Lindy in the Park is "open to dancers of all ages and levels." According to verbiage collected by forensic analysts from the group's web site, "There is space to sit, take a breather, chat with friends and strangers, dancers and tourists, and otherwise enjoy the fresh outdoor air."

These lawless lindy hoppers had better enjoy the "fresh outdoor air" as much as they can, because there's no fresh outdoor air in the joint, the slammer, the big house -- and by all accounts, that's where they're headed.

"I want to go to the museum, look at the art, go back to my hotel, and take a nap," said a man visiting San Francisco for the first time. "I want to see San Franciso the way God intended it, and God never intended for anyone to dance."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Adam Lambert Invited to Friday Night Swing

Adam Lambert, the American Idol contestant and gender-bending hearththrob with a falsetto that would send a tear of joy down the cheek of Kim Jong Il, is a hot topic in the San Francisco lindy scene.

In our recent scientific poll, asking visitors whom they'd rather swing dance with, Lambert received the highest number of votes.

"He received twice as many votes as Hulk Hogan," said a source close to the FNS blog. "It was a landslide."

Some critics are saying that the sample was not large enough to be scientifically viable.

"There were only seven votes altogether," said associate professor of statistics Buzz McKill. "And actually, Lambert's two votes puts him in a three-way tie with Jon Stewart and Pope Benedict the XVI. So the whole thing is kind of dumb."

"The swing-dancing community has spoken," said the anonymous FNS source. "They were given four choices, and Lambert emerged as a clear winner."

On the heels of this historic win, Mr. Lambert has been invited to attend Friday Night Swing free of charge. The value of this prize package is $14 if he attends the lesson before the party, which he is encouraged to do.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bandit Steals Hearts at Friday Night Swing

There's a new swing dancer in town, people, and his name is Bandit. A one-time motorcycle enthusiast whose owner could no longer take care of him, Bandit was adopted by Jack, a Cheryl Burke regular with a weakness for homeless puppies. Predictably, Jack now goes by "Smokey."

After only ten days in his new home, the eight-week-old lab/shepherd mix has been transformed into the youngest -- and cutest -- lindyhopper on record, ever, in the history and future of everything, both written and unwritten.

"I was scared to dance at first," he woofed. "I thought I had four left paws! But once I hit the floor, it became clear that I was born to dance...right into your hearts."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Live Music Returns April 24th

The news that the Midnight Sessions will be returning to Friday Night Swing on April 24 has taken the blogosphere by storm. Just hours after Autumn LaVarta made the official announcement via his chat status message last week, the news had been picked up by every blog of note and all of the major news networks.

The Huffington Post, Boing Boing, and Perez Hilton immediately pounced on the announcement, each one claiming to have broken the news first.

"We haven't heard of the Midnight Sessions," said a spokesperson for The Huffington Post, apparently trying to distance the hugely popular blog from the controversy. "We're sure they're quite good, but we have made no mention of them on our site. We wish them, and Friday Night Swing, all the best."

Spokespeople for Boing Boing and Perez Hilton had not returned our calls as of press time.

CNN's Anderson Cooper will be airing a 60-minute investigative report on the Midnight Sessions upcoming stint at Friday Night Swing on tomorrow night's Anderson Cooper 360°. The special -- called The Midnight Sessions and Friday Night Swing: Smashdown to the Armageddon? -- is expected to be Cooper's most-watched show and is the odds-on favorite to dominate next year's Peabody Awards.

"The implication that we're doing a show on the Midnight Sessions playing at Friday Night Swing is preposterous," said one of Cooper's executive producers. "I haven't even been interviewed about this. Everything I'm being quoted as saying right now is entirely fabricated."

The bottom line? You would have to be completely out of your mind to miss the Midnight Sessions playing their sweet swing tunes live at Friday Night Swing on April 24th. Any swing band capable of generating this level of buzz and controversy -- collectively known as "buzztroversy" -- is not to be missed!

And that's the truthiness.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Live Swing Band to Play at Friday Night Swing

After being hounded off and on for three years, Autumn has finally agreed to let local swing band The Midnight Sessions play at Friday Night Swing.

"They wouldn't leave me alone," Autumn said. "They started leaving strange packages on my doorstep. On Monday, the drummer left a series of weird messages on my answering machine, saying things like, 'You still have an answering machine? Ha ha!' Finally, I caved in. Against my wishes, they're playing at Friday Night Swing on March 6th."

"It's very unfair for Autumn to imply that we've been hounding him," said Emily Wade, the band's vocalist. "The fact of the matter is that Autumn has been harassing us -- showing up at our workplaces, leaving bizarre messages on our cell phones, giving our addresses to Mormon missionaries. After our restraining order against him failed to give us peace of mind, we agreed to his demands. So yes, we're playing against our will at Friday Night Swing on March 6th."

Who is telling the truth? Has Autumn been tormenting a local swing band? Have The Midnight Sessions been forcing swing-dancing venues to let them play? There is only one way for you to find out -- and that is to attend Friday Night Swing on March 6th.

The intermediate swing class starts at 7:30, with a beginning class at 8:15. Then dance all night to the slick rhythmns of the greatest swing band in the history of everything!