SwingColumbus is a community-driven collaboration of people who love to swing dance. All organizers volunteer their time to run dances, teach workshops, DJ, maintain the web site, and communicate with the public about upcoming events. SwingColumbus is a not-for-profit organization and all income from events is used to keep swing dancing growing in Central Ohio.
Our dancers often open their own homes to host out-of-town dancers. Input and aid are welcomed from any and all who choose to be part of the community. Respect, friendship, and generosity are the norm.
SwingColumbus is a not-for-profit educational organization which is dedicated to the preservation, study, teaching, enjoyment and continuing evolution of all forms of swing dance which commonly refers to, but is not limited to, a group of American Rhythm dances that developed concurrently with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s and is identified primarily by 6-beat and 8-beat patterns.
SwingColumbus is not just a not-for-profit organization, it’s a community. It evolved as an affiliation of Lindy Hoppers around 2001 after the previous leadership of the Columbus Lindy Hop scene moved away.
A group of dancers met, agreed to organize events and lessons, and began combining their resources and talents to create a cohesive community of swing dancers in Columbus. Columbus monthly dances quickly became Midwest events as dancers from around Ohio and surrounding states discovered that Columbus’s central location and the scene’s hospitality allowed them to travel just an hour or two to dance all night with old friends and meet new ones.
SwingColumbus continues to welcome dancers who are new to dancing, or new to Columbus. The scene includes several different groups who teach lessons, offer weekly events, and perform regularly; each group supports the others by sharing resources and cross-promoting.
In 2005, SwingColumbus hosted its first exchange, the Columbus Lindy & Blues Weekend (CBUS). A swing dance exchange is when an organization shoves as many social dances into a single weekend to maximize learning on the dance floor. A typical schedule would include a Friday evening welcome dance, a late night blues dance until 4 AM, a Saturday afternoon dance with a BBQ catered lunch, Saturday evening formal dance with a live band, another late night, and finally a Sunday afternoon farewell dance. The weekend was an instant success and has become an annual tradition with dancers traveling from all corners of the country and even Canada to attend. Another SwingColumbus tradition is “Lindy Bombing” local venues that feature favorite blues and jazz bands.
In 2009, SwingColumbus expanded its efforts by offering a workshop weekend, the Rocktober Lindy Hop Workshop Weekend (Rocktober). Instructors who travel the world are flown in to inspire and encourage dancers to up their game. In 2011, the format changed to having an audition via video track; this track gets ten hours of focused instruction to break down your fundamentals and build you back up. Open and Novice tracks were added to encourage all levels and spread the joy of lindy.
With the onset of the global pandemic in 2020, SwingColumbus shut down all operations to protect its members. Outdoor in-person dancing resumed for a couple dances in 2021, and as of 2022, we are resuming drop-in lessons, joining monthly dances hosted by the Central Ohio Hot Jazz Society, and more.