Friday, December 7, 2012

Swing Dancing on the YouTubes

I've been home sick for a couple days.  Besides lots of sleeping and reading, I've managed to squeeze in a bit of video watching.  Here's a random smattering of my favorites:

Zombies + Blues + Lindy?  Yes, please.  For more of this Greek band's first EP, check out The Speakeasies' Swing Band! on CDBaby.

Boilermakers + a jam circle?  Yes again.  I'm partial to clarinet players in general, it's true, but I do love Paul Cosentino.  See the Boilermaker's page to sample more of their music, including one of my favorites: Minor Swing.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Rattle Them Bones Dance Project

Brew City Hops (Milwaukee, WI) charlestons their way through "She's Always Right" off of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's latest album, "Rattle Them Bones". All choreography was taught as a part of Brew City Hops' weekly swing classes, and choreographed by Tory Bahe and Henry Boeh. Special thanks to all of the Milwaukee dancers who participated!

December Classes with BCH


Beginning Air steps
Join Kirsten and Henry Boeh on Monday, December 3rd for an intro to Air Steps. These flashy moves are great fun to learn and look great in a jam or performance routine.  What are air steps? Air steps and aerials are swing dance moves where a dancer's feet leave the ground. Aerials involve a flip of some kind, but the air step moves we will be learning will keep our feet underneath us. Please note that the moves taught in this class will be athletic (you'll need to be able to jump and squat), and should not be used in social dancing for safety reasons.
Monday, December 3rd, $8 ($5 students)

A Formal Affair
Planning to attend the Winter Dance Card Formal, but a little nervous about partner dancing? Guest instructor Adam Baus returns to join Tory Bahe to teach tips and tricks for tackling ballroom dances on Monday, December 10th .
Monday, December 10th, $8 ($5 students)

Lindy Moves
Justin Raibolt and Becky Brodie will be back to share some fun hops to put in your lindy. Get into the holiday spirit on Monday, December 17th and swing out!
Monday, December 17th, $8 ($5 students)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Between the Beats: Milwaukee dance opportunties this week

Mondays in November: Charleston
Teachers:    Tory Bahe & Henry Boeh
This week:    Continuing with hand-to-hand and side-to-side Charleston, including some flashy moves for the camera (and your social dancing!)
On deck:       Tandem Charleston, transitions between different types of Charleston

Video Project: Sunday, November 18

If you’ve been taking the Charleston classes, here’s your chance to show off your new moves.  If you haven’t been able to take the classes but are up for a fun afternoon of Charleston-bombing about Milwaukee, this afternoon is for you too!  We’ll meet up and carpool to a few locations around Milwaukee, filming both choreography and social dancing (as well as dancing some tunes without the camera rolling just for fun). 

When:      2-4 pm, Sunday, November 19
Where:     Meet at the Sunburst sculpture (aka “The Calling”) (aka the big orange thing) at the east end of Wisconsin Avenue, carpool to various other locations for more merriment
(Different routine, different video project, same starting location.)

Solomon Douglas Quartet + Glenn Crytzer 
This Friday, November 16
Where:     Mercy Hill Church in The Hide House
                 2625 S Greely Street, Milwaukee 53207
When:      7pm beginning East Coast lesson
                 8-11pm Live music
Cover:       $5 + 2 non-perishable food items OR
                 $10 ($5 of which will be donated to Hunger Task Force)
Other:      BYOB
                 Hardwood floor
                 Free street parking
Here's a video of Glenn Crytzer and his Syncopators with Solomon Douglas--not exactly the same configuration of musicians we'll hear this week, but enough to get you ready to come hear these guys in person!

Other live music this week:
4th Street Elevator
Where:      Great Lakes Distillery (616 W Virginia Ave, Milwaukee)
When:       7:00 – 9:30pm
Directly followed by: More dancing at the Down and Over (2535 S KK, Milwaukee) DJ’ed by Dave Klemens DJ
Here’s a video from their last show at the Distillery

Monday, October 15, 2012

5th Monday: Swing, Soul, Shirts & 'Storming

We've got big plans for October's 5th Monday with Brew City Hops!  October 29 will be a half-priced ($4) class full of funky movement and fun times.

Swing & Soul

This Swing and Soul line dance choreographed by Peter Strom is a ton of fun.  We'll learn the steps, get the choreo in our muscle memory, and think through how to add it all to your partnered dancing.  We'll also work on personal accents to make this dance your own--check out Julie Brown's version below. 

We're planning for the S&S portion of the evening to take the first hour and a half of class, leaving the last half an hour for the final two pieces: Shirts and 'Storming. 


You know your size and your style much better than we do.  We've got the equipment for you to lay out and print your own Brew City Hops gear: bring a t-shirt with you to class that night and head home with some wearable art.  You can print on anything cloth; if you're not feeling all about the BCH tee, you might want to jazz up your cloth shopping bag or skirt or sweat rag or.... 

 See more photos from our last screen printing event here.


In September, we choreographed a routine for the first half of "She's Always Right, I'm Never Wrong" from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's new album.  Check out the video below, and get pumped up for round 2 of Charleston in November.  Henry and I have got some great hand-to-hand and tandem Charleston movement that we'd like to work on, but we'd like to get your input on this video project before we start our month of classes. 

Here's the story: BBVD upped the ante.  They originally asked for videos of swing dancing to be posted to their website without much info of what they'd do with the submitted, now they've turned it into a contest with prize money.  We'd like to do some brainstorming with you about your thoughts on this new development, and together we might be able to put together something really great!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

October Swing Dance Classes

October Classes with Justin and Becky

October class are just a couple days away!  Becky and I have decided to split this month into two themes!

First up on 10/1 and 10/8:

"You Can't Go Wrong With the Classics!"

These first two weeks will be spent on learning classic moves that are universally recognized in any swing scene in the world.  Of course we'll be taking a little liberty and adding some of our own twists.  If you've recently taken one of our Beginning Lindy Hop series these classes will introduce you to new material that will fit right in where your classes left off.

Next on 10/15 and 10/22:

"Slow Swing and Lindy"

By popular demand, we'll be spending these two weeks working on slower tempos; we'll show you how to make these tempos exciting and energetic.  Since "slow" is a relative term, we'll be working within a good size range of tempos to even the classes out.

Fifth Monday:  Each month that has a 5th Monday BCH will bring something new and different to the table.  Keep an eye out for details for this coming Fifth Monday on 10/29!

BCH Monday Classes
Summerfield United Methodist Church
728 E Juneau Ave
Milwuakee, WI

7pm - 9pm

Month Pass - $24 (4 classes)

Individual Class - $8
Individual Class w/Student ID $5

Come Join us in October!

Justin and Becky
...and now for your view pleasure, a jaw dropping video from the International Lindy Hop Championships the Junior (17 years old and under!) division winner:

Friday, September 7, 2012

September Swings: A BCH Dance at Bucketworks

September Swings: BCH Dance at Bucketworks
Come join Brew City Hops for our September Dance at Bucketworks on September 21! Justin Raibolt and Henry Boeh will be spinning some swinging tunes for your happy feet.

Cost: Only $5

8:00 Beginner Lesson: Come on out and learn how to swing! No experience, or partner necessary.

9:00 to 12:00: Open Dancing with DJ's Justin and Henry
Find out more on the Facebook event page

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Dance Classes: Charleston and a Video Project

September's Brew City Hops classes with Tory and Henry will focus on Charleston!  Each lesson will start with some solo Charleston work to get our bodies warmed up and our feet in the right places.  We'll work on a different form of partnered Charleston each week, and finish the night by learning some choreography for our upcoming video project. 

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's new album came out today, September 4, and they've asked for submissions of videos of swing dancing to one of their new tracks.  You can download "She's Always Right" by visiting BBVD's website, you can check out BCH's last video project below, and you can be a part of the Brew City Hops submission to BBVD this month!

If you'd like to work on your Charleston but would prefer not to show off your mad skills on YouTube, that's ok by us.  All the skills we cover in class are meant for the social floor (but also look rockin' awesome).  If you'd like to be on the "behind the scenes" video crew (instead of or in addition to dancing on camera), we'd love help in that department as well. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

International Lindy Hop Championships: Home Viewers' Guide

The International Lindy Hop Championships--ILHC--are this weekend.  Short of flying to DC and being there in person, you can watch live on Yehoodi or play catchup on YouTube all year.  Here are some potential highlights to watch live, with the video of last year's winners to whet your appetite. 

Friday 8/24
10:05 -- Lindy Hop Classic Pro
2011 winners:  Skye and Frida

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

September Swings: Beginning Lindy Hop Classes

Brew City Hops is proud to present our second Beginning Lindy Hop series this September as part our our September Swings fall kick off!

Justin and Becky will be teaching the 3 class series on Mondays in September (except Labor Day!).  This class is geared to those who want to get into Lindy Hop or step up from east coast basic swing, or even for those who would like to review/tune up their basics.  If you're a current lindy hopper on the scene and have been wanting to get friends or family interested, this is the class for them!

Register for all three class at just $18!  Registration is easy: just email us at and let us know you're signing up.  Payment will be due at the first class, Sept. 10th.  Cash or check is accepted.

Beginning Lindy Hop w/Justin and Becky
Mondays in September (10th, 17th, and 24th)

3 Classes:  $18

7PM - 9PM

Summerfield United Methodist Church
728 E Juneau Ave
Milwaukee, WI

For more information or questions/concerns leave a comment below or email us at:

***Normal Monday night classes will continue as usual with Tory and Henry***

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Classes with Justin and Becky

Creativity and the Social Dance Floor

Have you ever felt yourself doing a series swing-outs without end?  Ever feel like inside turn, outside turn, texas tommy is getting a little stale for you?  This month we're gonna focus on getting creative and learning to trust ourselves more on the social dance floor.  We'll work through fun exercises that unleash your inner creative beasts and get your body...your WHOLE body...moving.  Learning about musicality will be key.  To keep things simple, we'll focus on 10 or fewer songs for the whole month to see just how our dance changes as we create.  Looking forward to seeing you in class!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Free Dance Lessons @ Summer Sizzle: Milwaukee Dances Outdoors volume 3

Brew City Hops will be teaching two FREE lessons at the Historic Third Ward's Summer Sizzle Jazz Festival on Saturday, August 4.  Both lessons will take place at the Milwaukee Public Market Stage, on the 300 block of North Broadway towards the north end of the festivities. 

See the jam-packed Summer Sizzle lineup for more info on who's playing at each of the 4 stages during the day; join us before these two bands get yourself ready to move and to meet other folks who are in the mood to dance.
From our last Lindy bomb @ the Market

1:00--Basic Charleston lesson
      1:30--Bourbon Street Stompers

8:00--Basic East Coast Swing lesson
      8:30--Swing Nouveau

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Milwakee Dances Outdoors volume 2: Washington Park

Michael and Tory dancing at the Emil Blatz Temple of Music, circa August 2011. 
Thanks to Sabrina Price and Justin Raibolt for the photo!

I moved to Milwaukee several years ago in late August.  During my first year here, people would ask how I was liking the city thus far; no matter what I'd answer, they always seemed to assure me "You'll LOVE Milwaukee in the summer."  I thought it was a little weird to hear this same statement from so many people...I mean, isn't it the same city all year round??  

 When summer finally rolled around, I understood what they meant.  I finally enjoyed glass of wine at the Joe Table--before it even had a name--at Jazz in the Park, Chilled on the Hill, and canoed to River Rhythms with the Urban Ecology Center Urban Adventures crew.  (And swam in Lake Michigan, ate a ton of custard and enjoyed many of the other finer points of MKE, but that has little to do with dancing....)  Fast forward several years, and I still love picnicking and dancing with friends all over Milwaukee, and there's a lot I'm looking to forward to over the next few weeks. 

The "At the Shell" concert series in Washington Park has a great lineup this year, and I'm planning to camp out there the next two weeks.  Here's the top 5 reasons you should too:

1. The South End Blues Band is playing 6:00-8:30 on July 25th.  Their singer Julie has been to several BCH classes and is a great swing dancer, so hopefully she'll have a few songs away from the band to dance!

2. The Mood Swing Orchestra is playing 6:00-8:30 on August 1st.  I haven't heard this band before but it comes recommended.  Check out some of the tracks on their website and then check them out live on the 1st. 

3.  You can use all the fun stuff you learn at this Monday night's class: "It's too damned hot to touch each other: partner movement in open"  7-9, Summerfield Methodist, Tory and Henry's last class till after Labor Day.  We're concentrating on swingout variations in open, solo movement incorporated into partner dancing, and generally not dying while still dancing in the crazy heat.  (Don't forget, no class on July 30th....tailgate with us at the Brewer's game instead!

Remember When...'Music Under the Stars' was young?
Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Public Library

4.  "Music Under the Stars" concerts in the late 30's and 40's were THE place to be; they're still the place to be as far as I'm concerned, but there's more room for picnicking these days.  (Also, the parking situation is much better than JitP.)

5. The bandshell is actually called the Emil Blatz Temple of Music.   Emil Blatz Temple of Music!  I can't think of a better name for a Milwaukee summer music venue.  (I'm pretty sure you can drink beverages other than Blatz, if that's an issue.)

---Tory for Brew City Hops

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Milwaukee Dances Outdoors: Bastille Days

The East Town Association's Bastille Days in and around Cathedral Square Park is one of the best free festivals in Milwaukee--where else can you find a great music lineup, beignets, and a waiter/ess race all in one place?  This year's music selections won't disappoint. 

Thursday, July 12
Davina & the Vagabonds
7:15 - Cathedral Square Stage
You may remember these fun and talented performers from last fall's exchange.  We're looking forward to hearing them again, and you should plan to check them out too!

Shaker and the Egg
9:30 - Beaux Arts Stage
I had never heard of "Green Bay's first original swing/funk band" before seeing them in the Bastille Days lineup, but their tagline sold me.  :)

Friday, July 13
Chris Hanson Band
7:15 - Beaux Arts Stage
Milwaukee's very own Chris Hanson Band (featuring swing songbird Rae Cassidy) are always lovely.  This is one of your last chances to hear Rae before she leaves us for NYC!  Check out the true and kind words ThirdCoast Digest had to say about Rae. 

Saturday, July 14
 King Comets
7:15 - Beaux Arts Stage
This jump swing quartet is a favorite of local dancers.  You can hear and download a few of their tracks at their website before coming out to dance to them live on Saturday.

Extra Crispy Brass Band
10:00 - Beaux Arts Stage
They know us, they love us; we know them, we love them.  Stick around till the end of the night and dance to some authentic NOLA 2nd line tunes

Next week Thursday, July 19th
Also, Tory is DJing at the Down and Over the Thursday following Bastille Days.  She's been away for almost a month, experienced some amazing dancing with Swedes and Muscovites, and is feeling refreshed, inspired and excited to spin for you all!  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

September Swings: A BCH Dance at Bucketworks

September Swings: BCH Dance at Bucketworks
Come join Brew City Hops for our September Dance at Bucketworks on September 21! Justin Raibolt and Henry Boeh will be spinning some swinging tunes for your happy feet.

Cost: Only $5

8:00 Beginner Lesson: Come on out and learn how to swing! No experience, or partner necessary.

9:00 to 12:00: Open Dancing with DJ's Justin and Henry
Find out more on the Facebook event page

Adding some Sizzle to your Summer Dancing

Have you been wanting to add a little something extra to your swing out? Join Brew City Hops this July for some sugar and spice to season your dancing. The best part of swing dancing is that it can be a nonverbal conversation between two people. Kirsten and Henry will be teaching some adorable little extras to throw in some sass on July 2nd and 9th. We'll be talking about how to use humor and maybe a little sizzle to make your dances even more fun. Tory, our world traveler, will return to teach some more goodies with Henry during the second half of July. 


Make sure to mark your calendars for July’s 5th Monday special event, Brew City Hops will be Lindy Bombing the Brewer’s Game on July 30th!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Swing-outs, Swivels, Circles and S’more!

June class will be all about Swing-outs, Swivels, Circles and s’more!  Swing-outs are our basic steps, but when done just right and at just the right time, can be some of the most powerful dancing to be had on the social dance floor.  Swivels come in all sizes, shapes, and speeds and can be made to fit any song you find yourselves dancing to.  Lindy Circles can seem a bit plain at first sight, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find there is so much more to be done in that elliptical path.

Becky and Justin will be teaching variations in foot work and rhythm as well as helping you find styles that work for you and your swing-outs, swivels, and circles.


Also in June we’ll be having a special Beginning Lindy Hop Series being taught by Henry and Kirsten Boeh in an upstairs classroom.  This is a perfect class for those of you may only know east coast basics or are just beginning to add Lindy Hop to your repertoire.   For those more experienced dancers, this is the perfect time to bring in those friends you’ve been bragging to about your mad skills and get them hooked on this thing we call Swing.

Just $24 for the entire Month of June (4 two hour classes)!

Check it out here:


Check out our Summer Music and Outdoor dancing blog post:

We’ll be hitting a number of venues this summer and making the most of our opportunities to dance outdoors! 

Keep an eye out for upcoming Lindybombs as well!


Check out scenes from our last dance, Mayday! @ Bucketworks:


And now for your viewing pleasure:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Music and Outdoor Dancing: A Preview

Well folks, Memorial Day has come and gone and it certainly feels like summer to me.  With summer comes great opportunities to dance outdoors.  Milwaukee and its surrounding area give us a summer filled with free outdoor concerts, a wide variety of festivals, and more!

Jazz In The Park is a well known and well attended event each Thursday evening from 6pm -9pm throughout the summer, kicking off  next week, June 7th with Rev. Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys, a local blues band.  The fun keeps rolling through the second week.  I'm really looking forward to June 14th as JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, a Chicago-based soul and funk band.  I've listened to their music, and it sounds like a lot of fun to dance to.  More opportunities in bands such as The New Orleans Suspects and The Right Now await us later in the summer.

River Rhythms(Marquette Pere Park, Wednesday evenings) and Concerts in the Park(various Milwaukee County Parks, various evenings) also hold some great opportunities to dance.  Blues bands, swing orchestras, and some out-of-ordinary-for-lindy-hopper bands such as Tweed Funk will fill out the rest of summer.

As is typical at these free, in the park events, we like to gather with our tables-in-bags, blankets, food, and drink and really enjoy ourselves.  You can check our calendar for these events and know when Brew City Hops will be out. 

Local festivals such as Bastille Days(no schedule out yet) and the Third Ward's Summer Sizzle Jazz Fest also feature bands that get our feet moving.  Summer Sizzle will have Bourbon Street Stompers as well as local favorite Swing Nouveau.  Bastille Days band schedule has yet to be released, but has been pretty reliable in have at least one swingable band.

Of course there will be other small events popping up here and there throughout the summer and BCH is also looking to drop a few Lindybombs around town, so keep an eye on this blog and let us know if you see something that might be a fun time!

Looking forward to dance filled summer!  See you out there!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beginning Lindy Hop Class Series

Come learn to Swing Dance with Henry and Kirsten

This 4 week beginner series will teach you all the basics of the Lindy Hop. In these 4 sessions you'll learn solid technique, in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. If you have always wanted to learn how to Lindy, this class is for you! 

No experience necessary, no partner required.

$24: Class meets 7:00-9:00 on Monday nights in June
(6/4, 6/11, 6/18, 6/25)

Classes held at:
Summerfield Methodist Church
728 E. Juneau Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Sign up for this special series by emailing brewcityhops 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mad Hot Ballroom

We'd like to promote a really cool event this weekend, and if you are free, they are looking for volunteers! If you are interested in helping out at the 6th Annual Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Competition, please contact  Please contact Liz Tesch at (414) 277-8480 ext.6003 or via email. Minimum shifts are two hours between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

It's here—one of Danceworks' most inspiring events of the year...

The 6th Annual Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Competition!


The Bradley Center
1001 N. 4th Street
Milwaukee, WI  53203


May 12, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tap Competition First Heat: 10:10 a.m.
Final Round, Tap: 12:40 p.m.
Ballroom Competition First Heat: 1:30 p.m.
Final Round, Ballroom: 4:05 p.m.

FREE and open to the public, the citywide MHBT Competition showcases nearly
2,200 fourth through sixth grade students from 43 Milwaukee Schools. They’ll
tap dance Funky, Latin and Swing styles and show off their ballroom dance
skills in the Samba, Jitterbug and Tango. Join friends and family to cheer on
the participants of Danceworks’ signature arts education program!

Inspired by the hit documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, Danceworks MHBT teaches life
skills and impacts school engagement by integrating tap and ballroom dance
classes into the regular school curriculum. Students receive 24 hours of
instruction from professional teaching artists over the course of 12 weeks,
culminating at the Competition. The day includes an opening ceremony featuring
teachers and principals from participating schools; school team “All Stars,”
who are selected through MHBT instructor nomination or election among student
peers; and special performances by Danceworks Youth Performance Company, a new
troupe of advanced dance students ages 10-16, many of whom have come from MHBT
in past years.

Come and join the fun…it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Check out ALBA School getting started with MHBT!

Danceworks instructors provide tap and ballroom dance instruction to 4th and
5th grade classes (tap) and 5th and 6th grade classes (ballroom) two times per
week for twelve weeks at participating schools. MHBT culminates with a citywide
competition and exhibition for all students at the Bradley Center in May. Last
year nearly 6,500 friends and family joined us for the fifth annual MHBT
competition to cheer on our young dancers.

Watch this Funky Tap clip from the 2011 Competition!

Want to help support this exciting program?

Call 414-277-8480 or stop in to Danceworks and order your own custom Alterra
Mad Hot and Bold blend coffee and one-of-a-kind mug. All proceeds go to the
Danceworks' Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap program!

1661 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 277-8480

Follow Danceworks on Twitter or on Facebook!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Psychology of Swing

This month, I want to apply some of my knowledge gained as a psychology Ph.D. student to the joys of swing dancing.  Let's use psychology to explore our dancing potential!

People come in all shapes and sizes.  The same can be said about people's personalities, and dancing is one of the time honored methods of expressing those personalities.  As we begin growing as dancers, it can be easy to lose a sense of individuality while learning all the moves and steps.  Infusing some of your unique personality into your dance can make all the difference in the world, and your partner will love you for it!

In order to pursue personalizing our dancing, Brew City Hops teachers Henry Boeh and Tory Bahe will be giving a shout-out this month to a psychology legend, Carl Jung.  His theories surrounding personalty types led to the development of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a questionnaire used to identify personality traits across 4 domains.  These include:
  • Extroversion/Introversion (how much we like interacting with the external world versus internal ideas)
  • Sensing/Intuition (how much we like concrete evidence versus acting on hunches)
  • Thinking/Feeling (whether we prefer to make decisions using logic versus emotion and empathy)
  • Judging/Perception (how much we interact with the world with thinking and feeling versus sensing and intuiting)

We will give you the chance to discover your own MBTI profile in class this month.  Then, we will share fun insight into what these personality characteristics may mean about you and your dancing!  You may be thinking, are we even going to dance this month?  Fear not!  We will be dancing just as much as ever in class.  All of this psychology mumbo jumbo will simply provide a fun and unique lens with which to look at your dancing.  By the end of the month, I hope we are all dancing with a bit more personality!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First Thursday? Uptowner!

Did you see the Shepherd last week? Tea Krulos wrote a glowing review of the ECBB and their Thursday night shows at the Uptowner, titled "The Extra Crispy Brass Band's Hot Jazz".  Trombonist Greg Kramer gives a shout out to the (now Grammy-winning) Rebirth Brass Band he used to hear regularly when he lived in NOLA. (I'll admit, I'm a little jealous.)

We "swing-dancing friends" even get a quick mention in the article: 
"The most exciting audience members to watch are the band's swing-dancing fans. They sometimes offer free dance-step lessons before the show and then perform some ballroom-sized moves in the Uptowner's modest space."

Meet Henry and I between 7:45 and 8:30 for a mini-Charleston lesson; band begins at 8:30.

See their Facebook event for more info.  Hope to see you at the Uptowner on Thursday. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fifth Monday

Fifth Mondays happen more than blue moons, but we at Brew City Hops think they're rare enough to warrant a celebration.  Get ready to kick up your heels with us this Monday, April 30th! We've got a special lineup planned, and we think there's something for everyone this week.

7:00--Lindy Hop Basics class
     This is your chance to lay down the foundation for a tricky dance from the ground up, a chance to strengthen your basics so you have more to play with, and a chance to meet and dance with new folks.  No experience necessary.  Bring your friends who have been meaning to try out dancing, or bring yourself and give it a shot.

8:15--Mini-DJ Battle
   Our MAYDAY! dance will be a DJ battle.  Representing Milwaukee that evening will be......well, that's your call!  Justin & Tory will be spinning music for social dancing after the class; vote for the tracks that inspire your best dances and the songs you just can't sit still to.

7:00-9:00--Screen printing
   BYOTshirt, or whatever you'd like to have BCH'ed.  Rather than printing a bunch of shirts in the wrong size (or a color you hate), we invite you to bring a shirt you love and screen print it yourself.  You get a chance to be creative on the dance floor and crafty with paint all in the same event.  Win.

After class--The fun continues
   Chat with new and old friends over pizza, ice cream, beer, chicken strips, and whatever else you can find on Pizza Shuttle's menu.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Frankie Manning (May 26, 1914-April 27, 2009)

April 27 marks three years since Frankie Manning's passing.  He was creative and energetic as a young dancer at the Savoy, and remains an inspiring and influential figure as swing dancing continues today.  

I'll certainly never forget the dance I was lucky enough to have with him several years ago.  I was nervous enough to even be chatting with Frankie; when he asked me to dance, I was initially terrified I'd step on his feet or forget how to follow or move my own feet or....well, any number of possible nightmares.  I never got around to creating an exhaustive list though, because he just made it so easy to dance with him.  Frankie grinned ear to ear as he swung me out and generally put me at ease.  Ambassador of Lindy Hop indeed.  We shared a short but truly lovely dance, and it's one of the moments in my life I'll never forget.  Thanks again, Frankie.

If you've never seen this clip from Hellzapoppin', today's a great day to watch it. 

So you've seen it a million times?  Understood.  But have you seen Clayzapoppin'?  :)

Posted by Tory, for Brew City Hops

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Milwaukee Returns from Hawkeye

Milwaukee Dancers @ Saturday Evening Dance

Milwaukee-are swing dancers, traveling in 8 carpools, headed out to invade Iowa this past April 13th.  Hawkeye Swing Festival was the destination, and the event played host to 20 dancers from the Milwaukee-area swing dance scene. Oh, yeah and 300 or so other dancers from around the country.

 It's a rarity for a large number of Milwaukee-area dancers to attend one event outside the state so it

 cannot be understated how impressive a showing 20 dancers was.  I for one am extremely proud of the turnout.

Jazz Hands!

The event, in its 7th year, featured dances, workshops, competitions, and an array of all-star jazz musicians from around the country.  Milwaukee pride was shown during classes on Saturday, as many dancers chose to wear Milwaukee related/inspired T-Shirts.  Even better, Trevor Williams and Tory Bahe won a spot in the Strictly Lindy Open Division Finals! What a fantastic way to show the country that we got some dancers in Milwaukee! (Check out the video below)

If you've never been to a weekend long Lindy Hop event, it's an incredible way to improve your dance skills, meet dancers from all corners and walks of life, fall in love with new music, and of course, have the time of your life. I think I can speak for all 20 who went to Hawkeye when I say: "Fantastic times had by all!"

The weekend is also challenging in that it features 15 hours of dancing and 2 full days of workshops.  Even the fittest among us came home sore.  Sleep is an endangered species.

And the music, oh the music.  Hawkeye brought not just a few well known bands (Solomon Douglas, The Careless Lovers), but also an all star cast of musicians such as Bria Skonberg, Freddie Dickinson, and Chase Garrett. 

In then end, Milwaukee represented Milwaukee at a large swing dance event and I believe a lot of dancers went home to their corner of the swing world remembering their dances with the folks in this corner of the swing world.

Let's see if we can invade other cities, other events in the near future.  Let us know if you'd like to join us!

Monday, April 23, 2012

MAM After Dark

I love the Milwaukee Art Museum's MAM After Dark series; it's generally a great chance to try out something that my not have been on my radar, and it's also just fun to go out to such a unique place on a Friday night.  This month's Swing event was perhaps that chance to test out a new skill for some folks in the crowd; judging by the amount of fun people seemed to be having, I hope it's not the only time they give swing a chance!  
Michelle DuVall, Doug Brown and their band played swinging music at a variety of tempos and kept the cavernous room of people dancing all night long.  The energy of the crowd, great music, the gorgeous vintage-inspired outfits and updos, and the architecture and ambiance of the venue seemed to combine to produce a buzz that put a smile on everyone's face and a triple in everyone's step.  
Thanks to MAM for hosting such a great event, to Cream City Swing for teaching a beginner lesson in a challenging situation and for manning (womaning?) the table all night to get the word out about swing dancing in Milwaukee.  Thanks to Dave Klemmens for spinning great music between the band's sets and to Henry Boeh for taking all these great photos.  Thanks to everyone--experienced dancers and those testing it out for the first or second time--for a great evening.