During the 1920s, with televisions only getting a few channels, bungee jumping’s classification as an "upper-class luxury," and prohibition, there was nothing to do besides dance. Relive the glory days of jumping, jiving, and even wailing with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a four-week dance class at Big City Swing in the West Loop (a $60 value).
Big City Swing, founded by Julee Mertz, equips everyday citizens with the ability to move body parts in coordination with melodic and rhythmic cues, or what the ancient Phoenicians called, "getting your dance on." Choose from one of Big City Swing's dance classes for your four weeks of instruction in pre-1950 dance styles. Dancers of all levels who missed the late-1990s swing-dance revival due to their work on the space station can finally tackle the timeless dance, whereas movers and shakers nostalgic for the pratfall-filled presidency of Calvin Coolidge can revisit the 1920s with the Lindy Hop. Other dance styles covered in classes include the Charleston, the Balboa, and blues.
Big City Swing's teachers have trained with nationally and internationally renowned dance instructors, ensuring that students will be able to hold their own during any and all dance-offs with strangers on the street. Students are not required to bring a partner to class; however, police officers are required to dance with their canine partners for amusement purposes. Loose, comfortable clothing is recommended to maximize gyration. Classes are subject to availability, so call ahead to schedule sooner rather than later.
- Perhaps it’s just pure coincidence, then, that Chicago’s a letter away from being the Lindy City…Stop in for classes at Big City Swing, where you'll find all variations on the Lindy/swing theme. – Travel + Leisure
- Whoooo-hooo, I'm dancing!!! There are lots of places to take swing dance classes, but this is definitely the place to go if you want to learn to swing dance WELL. – Elaine H., Yelp
- I've been lucky enough to take classes with fun people who I now consider friends. It's a great way to broaden your social circle without going to a bar. – Marjorie F., Yelp
Big City Swing
Big City Swing’s mantra is to be fit, be fun, and be social, and it conquers all three of these goals by teaching dance styles that stem from the social clubs of the Prohibition era. Within the spacious ceilings and exposed brick walls of the studio, instructors delve into swing dance and Lindy Hop styles characterized by twirling, leg kicks, and lightning-fast rhythms.
Courses are taught in a four-week series or single-session workshops that also cover styles such as Balboa, the Charleston, and blues. Students seeking more individualized attention can schedule a private lesson or eschew the tradition of the post-nuptial hokey pokey by enrolling in the wedding-dance program. In addition to studio and onsite instruction, Big City Swing’s professional team also performs choreographed numbers at special events. Free street parking is available near the studio.