Mar 31, 2016

Swingology School: April 2016 Lindy Basics


This 4-week lesson series are held WEDNESDAYS in April 6 – 27, 2016.

Even better, pricing includes the basic swing lesson from 7:30 – 8:00 PM AND the dancing at Swingin’ Wednesdays at NYOH’s! This means you can practice your dance moves with expert and beginner swing dancers all night!

You must attend the first class to join the entire series.

  • Lindy Basics Lesson Series: 6:30 – 7:20 PM
    Lindy Hop is the vintage swing dance of the 1940’s, and now is your chance to learn it from scratch. Hew and Rachel Keller will start with the fundamentals and teach you everything you need to know to start lindy hopping! No experience necessary and no partner necessary!

Where: Nyoh’s Buckeye Bar & Grill – 2871 Olentangy River Rd Columbus, OH 43202
Free parking in the shopping center lot.

Class Option General Public Students/Members
First Class Only $15 $15
Lindy Basics Series (includes dance/live bands) $45 $40


Mar 2, 2016

March 2016 Shim Sham Crash Course


This one time crash course will be Wednesday March 30, 2016.

Pricing includes admission to Swingin’ Wednesdays at NYOH’s and the basic swing dance lesson! This means you will be able to practice your dance moves with expert and beginner swing dancers all night!

  • Shim Sham Crash Course: 6:30 PM – 7:20 PM
    Come join Binaebi Calkins and Lee Conley as they break down the line dance anthem of the swing community!
    It started as a tap dance in the 1920s and 30s, and you see its current form every Wednesday – now learn Frankie Manning’s classic Shim Sham choreography for yourself! Dance along with friends and gain more confidence in your solo movement. No experience necessary! No partner necessary!
  • Beginner Swing Dance Lesson: 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    East coast swing dance basics will get you social dancing in no time!

Where: Nyoh’s Buckeye Bar & Grill – 2871 Olentangy River Rd Columbus, OH 43202
Free parking in the shopping center lot.

Class Option General Public Students
Crash Course $10 $8


The Birth of Jazz – A Short and Sweet Summary

Unknown Location. New Orleans 1950's

We have a lot of dedicated DJs in Columbus who come out every Wednesday to make sure that we have great swing music to dance to at Nyoh’s. But have you ever wondered what makes a song great for swing dancing? Swing dancing and traditional jazz music evolved together, so let’s take a quick journey together to the start of the the century when jazz was born! – we’ll learn the big important facts about where swing music came from, what makes it what it is, and hopefully pick up some more inspiration for our dancing!

If you think of traditional jazz as belonging to a family, its parents would be blues and ragtime. Blues is one of the first and very possibly the most influential of American art forms ever created. Blues began in African-American communities in the deep south, a powerful combination of traditional African music and European-American folk music, blues appears in nearly every genre you hear today, including jazz, R&B, and rock and roll.

A man named Alan Lomax went to great lengths to record and preserve the music of the original blues artists; here’s one of his recordings – Fred McDowell performing “Soon One Mornin’.”

Ragtime also came from African-American communities and got its name from it’s syncopated, or “ragged” rhythm – a syncopation that would develop to be called swing. (Not sure what this syncopation is? Check out this super-useful Wikipedia article.) Ragtime drew on traditional African music, as well, while also modifying the march. Scott Joplin (whose name you might recognize) was an extremely popular ragtime composer and musician, made famous by his song “Maple Leaf Rag”, one of the most renowned ragtime songs of all time – you might already know it!

Jazz itself was born in turn-of-the-century New Orleans – conceived of blues, ragtime, and marches, and played by dance bands, funeral processions, and jazz musicians in the brothels of the red light district. While a man known as Jelly Roll Morton did not invent jazz (as he claimed), he was the first person to put it on paper, making “Jelly Roll Blues” the first jazz arrangement in print in the year 1915. Here’s a recording of it by Jelly Roll himself, 11 years after its publication.

From here swing dances – Charleston, Balboa, and Lindy Hop, etc. – began to form alongside this new, exciting, and powerful music. Artists such as Sidney Bechet, Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong, and King Oliver came along, developing jazz and inspiring dancers across the country. One of my personal favorite swing songs is “Sing You Sinners” by Fletcher Henderson. Here’s a version recorded in 1937.

Chick Webb was a phenomenal drummer who played frequently at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, the birthplace of Lindy Hop; home of the famous Whitey’s Lindyhoppers and of Frankie Manning – the Ambassador of Swing! Here’s a song by Chick Webb and his Orchestra called “Lindyhopper’s Delight” with good reason!

Traditional Jazz isn’t the only kind of swing music – from it came the big band tunes, the “Rat Pack era” (if you will), jump blues, and eventually rock & roll, all of which have songs that swing deeply and inspire great ways to move to the music. For many dancers, though, nothing can quite compare to the energy and improvisation of traditional jazz (also shortened to “trad jazz” or called “Dixieland Jazz”, “New Orleans Jazz”, or “Hot Jazz.”)

We encourage you to explore the rich history of jazz and swing music! Lindy hop wouldn’t exist without it; in a very real sense, it truly don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.


Mar 1, 2016

April 6 Swingin’ Wednesdays: College ID Night!


Hey everyone, quick heads up that we’re switching the College ID night for the month of April!

Usually, we have College ID night on the second Wednesday of the month. This month, it will be the first Wednesday, which is April 6, 2016. Please tell your friends!

College ID night allows students with active student IDs free entry to the SwingColumbus beginner lesson and DJ’d dance.

See you there!

7:30 – 8:00pm: Beginner Swing Dance Lesson
8:00 – 11:00pm: Dancing to DJ

Pricing: Free for students! otherwise, $5 cash or check only
Location: Nyoh’s Buckeye Bar (2871 Olentangy River Rd Columbus, OH 43202)

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