Thursday, March 29, 2012

Swing Big, Swing Small!

April's classes will be all about swinging BIG and swinging small, spacing and pacing.  Learn some new combinations, new technique, and new ways to look at how to dance to different tempos.

PLEASE NOTE:  We have 5 Mondays this month, which means the 5th Monday will bring something a little different.  Watch this space for more information!

Brew City Hops - Swing and Lindy Hop Dance Class
Mondays, $8, Students w/ID $5, Monthly Pass $24 (4 classes)
7:00 - 9:00
All Ages; No Partner Required
Summerfield United Methodist Church
728 E. Juneau

And now for your view pleasure, one of my favorite routines:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Brew Haus Bummer--Share your favorite BVBH stories

Opening night @ the BVBH
Cream City Swing has been sponsoring Thursday Night Swing at the Bay View Brew Haus for two and a half years, so it was quite a shock to hear that the Brew Haus is becoming the Down and Over.  The last planned night of swing dancing at this great venue is tomorrow nigh-don't miss out!  There will be dj'ed dancing from 9 until at least 11, and the event is BYOB (short for Bring Your Own Brandy Old-Fashioned, I'm sure).

Codi is--of course--a trucker, while Steve is looking lovely as Flo (the truck stop waitress)
I've met many great friends, had many fun dances, and admit to many pints poured by Steve and Codi.  I'll look back on nights at the BVBH fondly, and I look forward to whatever CCSwing has in store for the future.  Thanks to Andrea and the gang for all you do for swing dancing in Milwaukee.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lindy like a Lion? Or a Lamb?

Tory and Henry have got several things they're hoping to fit into their last March class. 
Watch some of the thoughts from last week's class below, and we hope to see you Monday from 7-9.

Also, registration for BluesSHOUT! opens tomorrow morning at 8:30.  Check out for more details and a sweet early bird discount.

Friday, March 23, 2012


A very common question of new and old dancers is "What kind of shoes should I wear to dance in?"

While there is no right answer to this question, there are some guidelines that might help you out in your decision.The main consideration is how well do your shoes slide, and how well do they stay on your feet. Flip flops for example, may have smooth bottoms, but they are not very likely to stay put while swinging out (Also not so good if someone *gasp* steps on your tootsies!). Sneakers on the other hand may stay on your feet really well, but your feet will stick to the ground (Your knees are not big fans of yours when your body twists and your feet don't follow).
The best dance shoes are a good balance of fit, comfort and slidey-ness. Here's where the rules stop. Some dancers love to dance in leather soled dance shoes. You can get these at stores that specialize in dance shoes, or online. A great place to find shoes for swing dancing online is They specialize in shoes and clothing made just for us swing dancers. While there is nothing better than struttin' your stuff in a pair of vintage inspired heels made to keep you on the dance floor until the wee hours of the morning, sometimes our wallets are a little thin for "real" dance shoes.

City Sneaks
A great alternative are any regular shoes with a smooth bottom. I LOVE payless' knockoff keds. They are very comfy, go with anything, and work really well for dancing. I wear them around outside, on concrete, etc, until the bottoms are worn down and smooth, clean them off, and they are ready for the dance floor. Just remember any bits on your shoes that are made to improve your traction, will do just that -and traction is not really what we are going for here!

 If you are looking for even more control, consider augmenting the bottom of your shoes to improve their dancability. For the quick fix, cut a piece of moleskin to fit the sole of your shoe and slap it on. I tried this for a Halloween costume to make a pair of boots into dance shoes, and it worked really well. It lasted for longer than I thought it would too! When you want your regular shoes back, peal off the moleskin, and remove the sticky lingering glue with some goo-gone.You can also go the more professional route of suedeing the bottom of your shoes. I've never done this myself, but it is doable. If you are not a DIY'er you can also take your chosen shoes to a shoe repair shop to have the bottoms sueded. A great benefit of sueded leather is that you can control your slidey-ness. As you wear your shoes they will get slipperyer and slidey-er. Just take a wire brush to the bottom of the shoe and you can rough them back up to your preferred level of zippyness.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hit the brakes!

Tonight's Lindy Hop class at Brew City Hops will be all about breaks.

We'll be concentrating on listening to music with "Big, Whack-You-Over-The-Head Breaks" like Shout, Sister, Shout! by Sister Rosetta Tharpe  and Long Gone John by Gordon Webster.

Project Q is happening on Wednesday!

Krister Shalm has announced that Project Q will be incorporated into his talk at TEDxWaterloo on March 21st (this Wednesday). The talk will take place just after 2:00 PM and can be watched live over the internet at

So excited!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Upcoming out of town workshops

Jamison's got three great events over the next two weekends: Blues and Lindy your heart out with Mike (the Girl) and Dan next weekend, and catch Jamison with Angie today in Madison.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lend me your ears! Music in Milwaukee on the Ides of March (and this summer too)

Tonight at 8:30--Extra Crispy Brass Band at the Uptowner
See their Reverb Nation page for a map and to hear a song or two to get you in the mood.  This show is free (though I'm guessing the band would certainly appreciate your tips as much as they appreciate your dancing skills).  I'm going to catch the first set and then head to Bay View for the balance of the evening because...

Tonight at 9:00--Rebecca is Djing at the Bay View Brew Haus
Rebecca was kind enough to give me a sneak peek at the songs she might be spinning tonight, and I'm pumped!  Look forward to some classics by Billie Holiday and Sidney Bechet, and some fun new surprises as well. 

Jazz in the Park 2012
It feels like summer outside the past couple days, and I think the East Town Association is feeling it too, because today is the first day I've seen their summer Jazz in the Park music lineup listed.  Check out the schedule on their website, and get ready for the first swingouts of summer. 

Which bands are you most excited to hear at JitP?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Paris in the Springtime: French Swing Music

I'm DJing a house party with a French theme tonight so I have been digging through my music collection, scouring the interwebs, and asking recommendations for people's favorite swing music with a French flavor.  In the interest of balancing my desire to share all of the great music I've been listening to with my desire not to bore you, I'm sharing four of my favorites.

Since no French swing set should be complete without Django Reinhardt and his Hot Club, start by checking out track 9 "You're Driving Me Crazy" by Django Reinhardt and St├ęphane Grapelli (embedded from

Monday, March 5, 2012

On why swinging out is awesome

I love this so much.  Rockin' awesome swingouts may not solve all the world's problems, but they sure make my day.

Tonight's lesson will start with Lindy Hop foundations to make sure your swingouts are comfortably led and followed.  We've also got a ton of variations to play with to keep it interesting (although Dargoff and Brittany proved you don't need a lot of flash to make a dance amazing).  See you tonight from 7-9 at Summerfield Methodist Church, 728 E Juneau.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Theme and Variations: BCH's March classes

Brew City Hop's Monday night classes for the month of March will focus on Lindy Hop and musicality.  Tory and Henry are excited to be back teaching Lindy Hop after a few months of Charleston and Collegiate Shag, but don't think they'll let you get by with super slow tempos!  See below for brief descriptions of this month's lesson plans:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

2012 Lindy Bomb #1: Milwaukee Public Market

Still on a "Lindy High" after taping the Project Q routine, some of us continued on to the Milwaukee Public Market.  We had some tasty snacks--I can't think of another place in town can where you get fried cheese curds, falafel & papadam, a salad, a bottle of champagne, and a half pound of chocolate truffle seconds(!)--and were still in the mood to dance when we'd finished.