The three-minute romance

By G. Martinez Cabrera

I had heard that there were free swing dance lessons given in Golden Gate Park every Sunday from 11am to 2pm, and being a lover of all things quirky, I thought it might be worth seeing just how many people showed up. When I stopped by a few weeks ago, I assumed I’d find a few couples, some guys in fedoras and black and white wing tips, maybe a few women in chiffon. But what I found instead was a group of probably three hundred dancers of all ages, races, and ethnicities.

The day I visited, San Francisco was host to something called a Dance Exchange—think dance convention with 2,000 swing dancers from all over the US converging on the city for three days and nights of swing-a-ling fun. In part, this explained the huge turn out, though I’m told that Lindy in the Park (www.lindyinthepark.com) regularly pulls in about 100 dancers every week.

Swing dancing is not hip anymore, but I mean that as high praise.

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