On the night of Jan. 25, LIVE on Elgin, a downtown performance venue, came alive with Oxford shoes, twirling skirts, and fast-paced jazz beats, as local swing dance group Bytown Swing hosted a community dance night.
While smaller than its Toronto and Montréal counterparts, Ottawa’s swing dance community is vibrant and active, as seen from one Wednesday night. Dancers of all ages and varied skill levels came to jitterbug and lindy hop to the fast-paced beats of ragtime and swing jazz.
Swing dance is a category of partner dance originating from the 1920s Jazz Age. It was developed alongside the popularization of ragtime and jazz music up until the 1940s. There are many variations of swing dance, with the most popular being the Lindy Hop, a swing dance that emerged from Harlem during the era of 1940s jazz. It’s a fast-paced dance style often involving swinging, flipping, and throwing of dancers.
Take a glimpse into a night out swing dancing in the following photos!