Weekly swing dance builds community and dancing skills

Every Tuesday night at the Olympia Eagles Ballroom, people in the community come together for a night of lively swing dancing.

Admission is $5, and all ages are welcome. Anyone can feel free to come alone, since people rotate partners between each song.

Jordan Biscay, a South Puget Sound Community College student who is “addicted to swing dancing,” said she loves switching partners, because she gets to dance with everyone and meet lots of new people.

There is a quick beginning swing dance lesson at 7 p.m., hosted by Christine Corey, so new swing dancers can find their rhythm. From 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. the floor is open for dancing.

According to long-time swing dancer, Xavia Olson, people shouldn’t be worried about messing up or getting the moves right.

“Just focus on the people, the movement of dancing, and laughing at your mistakes,” she said.

When Gus Tistern first started dancing a year ago, he felt like he had “two left feet,” but with gradual improvements, he is now a “smooth and steady” dancer.

“I’m the one helping people learn to swing around and do the turns now,” said Tistern.

Swing dancing — and dancing in general — is a great way to burn calories while having fun, said Olson.

Cut out the repetitiveness of the gym and come dance the night away, she said.

On Thursdays, Olyswing hosts a night of Blues Dancing. From 9 p.m. to 9:20 p.m. is introductory blues dance lessons and warm ups. Open dance floor is from 9:20 p.m. to midnight.

New series classes are offered every month from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday nights. In these classes people learn more advanced steps and get extra practice to improve their dancing. The series class is usually $12 per class. People can also buy the package deal which includes three to four hour-long classes and brings each individual class down to $10 in most cases. The cost of a series class includes admission to the open dance later on.

Right now, the series class is Lindy Hop, which began on March 5. The past few series classes have featured the East Coast Swing and Charleston Basics.

The Eagles Ballroom is located at 805 E 4th Ave in downtown Olympia.

For more information about OlySwing Dance or private dance lessons, you can contact olyswing@gmail.com.