Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lindy by the Lake: Taping Project Q in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum

Did you happen to notice a group of dancers by the bridge to the Milwaukee Art Museum on Sunday afternoon?  The sunshine and 40-degree temperature made for a beautiful afternoon by the lake so many people were out enjoying the day; several were surprised (and hopefully delighted) to find the some of the Brew City Hops crew filming a dance routine. We got several questions while we were dancing, and I thought I'd answer many of them here:

Who are you guys?

What are you taping this for?
  • We Lindy for Science!  (That's 'Science' with a capital 'S'.)  :)
  • More seriously: We hope our video will be chosen to be included in Krister Shalm's TEDx Talk on Quantum Physics---see here for more info on Project Q.  That's why we have the "1's" and "0's"; the wind forced us to bring some 'rocks' to hold the paper down while we danced. 
Where can I see the video?
Here's our favorite, but if you check out the BCH YouTube channel you can see other takes and lots more.

You guys are great; where can we see you dance again/where can we learn to dance?
  • We teach lessons every Monday night from 7-9.  February's focus has been on moves from Frankie Manning; March will be Lindy Hop with a focus on musicality and improv (check back for more info later this week).
  • We're throwing a dance at Bucketworks on March 9.  There will be a beginner lesson at 8 and the dancing begins at 9.  See here for more info on the Spring Swing Fling.
  • There's dancing every Tuesday at the Milwaukee Ale House and every Thursday at the Bay View Brew Haus--check them out!
  • We're excited to be back dancing at MAM in April, this time indoors. There will be a more in-depth post on MAM After Dark: Swing as it gets closer.  For now, put Friday, April 20 on your calendars as a date to do some dancing at the Milwaukee Art Museum!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Some FAQ's about Brew City Hops

What is Brew City Hops?

             Brew City Hops is an organization of Milwaukee swing dancers. Our goal is to spread the joy of swing dancing, and help our local dancers improve. Brew City Hops puts on weekly drop-in classes, and we teach a variety of dances from the Swing Era such as Lindy Hop,, 20’s and 30’s Charleston, and Shag. We also put on a number of other dances and workshops throughout the year, as well as try to support other dance groups and bands in the Milwaukee area.

Who is Brew City Hops?

             Brew City Hops is You! We strive to create a community that is welcoming to all, new and old dancers alike. Brew City Hops is currently administered by our teaching staff of Victoria Bahe, Justin Raibolt, Rebecca Brodie, Henry Boeh, and Kirsten Boeh.

Just what is it exactly that you teach?

             Brew City Hops classes are focused on a different theme each month. Each class can be taken as a stand alone lesson, but coming to all the classes in a month will help you gain a more complete view of that month’s theme. We try to tailor each class to the participants, so a newer dancer is just as welcome as a more experienced one. Throughout the year we cover topics such as: basic Lindy Hop, musicality, 20’s Charleston, solo dancing, single & double shag, tandem & side-by-side Charleston, spins & turns, and tricks & footwork.

Do I have to bring a partner?

 Nope! No partner necessary. We rotate regularly during our classes, so you will get the chance to dance with everyone in the room. But, by all means, bring your friends, the more the merrier! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This Sunday: Project Q taping details

Hello, Milwaukee Lindy Hoppers!  Science needs you. 

When:  Meet at 2:30 on Sunday, February 26. 
Where: Meet by "The Calling"/"The Sunburst"/"The Big Orange Thing" on E Wisconsin & Prospect so we can have a view of the Milwaukee Art Museum's Burke Brise Soleil behind us in the frame. 

Finishing up Frankie Manning Month!

Howdy Folks!

First a quick note. Adam Baus will be Djing the Thursday at the Bayview Brewhaus, so you know the music is gonna swing and we should be packing the dance floor!

On to business!

Monday will be our last February class and last Frankie Class.  Becky and I have had a blast teaching this month.  Last week's Project Q routine went so well!  This week we'll be focusing on getting a little silly, a lot fun, and more on the dance floor.  Check out this video of Frankie Manning and Dawn Hampton.  Even, at their age the know how to bring the fun and work the music and the crowd to their fullest.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rae Cassidy and the Chris Hanson Band

Milwaukee's got lots of talent when it comes to live swing. If you get a chance, check out the Chris Hanson Band, they play about once a month at Via Downer. The band consists of Glenn Asch (violin), Mike Britz (bass), John Parrott (rhythm guitar), and Chris Hanson (guitar), and they swing some fabulous Gypsy Jazz. A familiar face to Milwaukee swing dancers, Rae Cassidy sings with the band with a voice as full of soul as you'll ever hear. The band has been playing together for about a year, and Rae says that they are such great gentlemen. They have a ton of fun playing together, and their shows at Via make that really obvious! There isn't much of a dance floor, but the music and the food at Via makes spending a Monday night listening to the Chris Hansen Band a treat. Catch their next show on March 5th starting at 7:30. They play until 10, so plan on enjoying the end of their set after Brew City Hops Monday night class brings back Tory and Henry as instructors in March. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Project Q Routine This Monday!

Calling all Milwaukee Swing Dancers!

This Monday is your chance to learn the Project Q Lindy Hop routine!  This short routine is fun and filled with classic Lindy Hop moves, a great way to improve and add to you everyday dancing.  Project Q is: 

"The goal of Project Q is to bring Lindy Hoppers from around the globe to illustrate, in a visual way, the power behind future technologies that are based on the laws of quantum mechanics" 

For more info check out the Project Q page: 

We'll soon have dates/times/places for when we can get together practice the routine, and the perform it on camera to submit to Project Q.  This is great opportunity to show the world of Lindy Hop what Milwaukee is all about!

Here is the routine:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Milwaukee swing dancers supporting soldiers

This week at the Bay View Brew Haus--Milwaukee's Thursday night swing dancing venue, Cream City Swing is sponsoring a fundraiser for Mission Solider Adoption/On Purpose Journey.
Mission Soldier Adoption--a non-profit organization founded by swing dancer Mollie Voigt--sends care packages to soldiers overseas.  All proceeds collected at the door Thursday evening will be given to MSA.  Also, consider bringing an item to add to a care package.  See this list on their website, which includes Trail Mix, Gum, Jerky, and $$ for shipping. Notes and cards are also appreciated and extra will be available to sign on the 16th.
There will also be a silent auction for tickets to fun places all over the city, places like: Irish Fest, Summerfest, Next Act Theatre and *possibly* the Admirals & the Marcus Center.
Also coming up from Cream City Swing: two concurrent workshops on Saturday, March 10.  One for beginning Lindy Hop with Andrea and Tony, and the other is "Lindy Hop Inside Out" with Mallory Peterson and Andy Strong.  Find more info and register at
Hope to see you out this Thursday (February 16th) at the Bay View Brew Haus (2535 S Kinnickinnick Ave, Milwaukee) for great dancing and supporting a great cause.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mardi Gras in Milwaukee: Live music and dancing coming up

Yes, Mardi Gras is in full swing and Fat Tuesday is coming up in just over a week, but what does that have to do with Lindy Hoppers in Milwaukee?

Plenty!  Just as many folks don green clothes and find other means to celebrate (some semblance of) Irish culture on March 17th, the music and culture of New Orleans seems to come to the forefront here and everywhere during Mardi Gras.  Since NOLA is seen as the 'birthplace of jazz' and continues to be a hub for great jazz musicians, music from there is some of my favorite to dance to.

During the next couple weeks, there will be more opportunities to NOLA-style music right here--please add to this list if you know of more potential places to hear and perhaps dance to live music.

Friday, February 17
     Art After Dark @ the Milwaukee Art Museum
      (Not live music, djed by Marcus Doucette) 
 Have you seen the weekly Mardi Gras Moments features posted by Marcus Doucette on 88.9's website? For example, see this one on Buddy Bolden (and the ragtime to Dixieland jazz transitions) for some of the history behind the awesome music we dance to.
Sunday, February 19
     Extra Crispy Brass Band @ Hotel Foster

Fat Tuesday--February 21st
     88.9's Mardi Gras Party
     7pm @ Turner Hall
     featuring Mama Digdown's Brass Band and Paul Cebar

     ECBB and Uptown Savages 
     3-6 pm @ Maxie's Southern Comfort

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Ok, you caught us!  It's not quite spring, but by March 9th we'll be wishing it was.  What's the harm in getting into mood a little early?  Come on out to Bucketworks where you can start to turn those winter blues into some spring swingouts!

They'll be a beginner lesson at 8pm.  So if you've got friends who've never been out swing dancing this a great time to bring'em out!

At 9pm we'll start the dancing and we've got Lian Tarhay of Madison spinning the tunes!

Don't miss out on swingin' into Spring!

P.S.  This is a BYOB event.  All we ask is that you choose responsibly!  Also, be prepared to carry out your empties!  Thanks!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Baby Can Dance (And So Can You!)

Hey, Milwaukee!  I'm djing at Bay View Brew Haus tonight from 9-12--come out to play! 

Drink specials to include: $5 martinis, $2.50 old fashioneds
Music to include this great track:
Carsie Blanton's music is refreshing, and her "pay what you please" policy on music sales is an interesting read and great insight into the love she puts into her music.  You can download it Bandcamp, where you'll also find some of my other favorites like Tuba Skinny (more on them later this month).  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February is all about Frankie!

February is our Frankie Manning Month!

Each class this month will have a focus on one of the most influential and pioneering swing dancers of them all Frankie Manning!  We’ll be teaching classic Frankie moves and style all month.   Frankie spirit will be soaring this month! 

Also, on our third week (2/20/12), we’ll be teaching the Project Q/TED routine! 

For those interested, this routine will be filmed at a date yet to be announced and submitted online for a project to be presented at this year’s TED conference.  A routine like this one is definitely in the Frankie spirit and contains some classic moves.  Lots of fun!

Don’t forget about our new Monthly pass.  All 4 classes in February for just $24!!!  (Each class, separately is still $8, $5 for students)

Becky and Justin are excited and hope to see you out!