Excelling in the art of dance requires patience, swanlike grace, and a pair of feet strong enough to squeeze two lumps of coal until milk comes out. Massage coal-teats into a dance-bucket with today’s Groupon: for $8, you get two adult admissions to drop-in swing dance lessons at Suburban Swing, located on Essendene Avenue (up to a $16 value).
Opened in April 2000 by Crystal and Jason Warner, Suburban Swing is Western Canada’s oldest and largest swing-dance club, bringing swing-dance lessons, workshops, events, and uncontrollable bouts of shimmying, shaking, and general jiving to the community every week. Stop by for Sunday Night Swing and dance your patent-leather lace-ups back into beefy slabs with the tunes of jazzy throwback bands. Newcomers needn’t fret, as every Sunday drop-in lessons are held from 7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., right before the weekly dances. Each lesson is centered on a different style of swing dance and taught by a member of Suburban Swing’s fun and dedicated staff, many of who have deep roots in the swing-dance community. Learn the steps of East Coast Swing, an upbeat six-count dance that can accompany rock and roll, boogie-woogie, and the sounds of stray cats loitering outside a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Or sidle up to the Lindy Hop, a Harlem-based cousin of the Charleston. Those hoping to snuggle with their partners, or at least get close enough to determine the quality of their pheromones, will appreciate learning the Balboa—a dance characterized by close embrace and full-body connection.
In addition to its popular Sunday lessons and dances, Suburban Swing also hosts special events of all sorts, including weddings, school socials, movie viewings, and community gatherings. Private lessons are available, as well.
When a motorcycle accident blew out his knee, avid swing dancer Jason Warner drew emotional and physical strength from the growing dance community he and his wife, Crystal, had created at Suburban Swing. Warner had danced for three years prior to the injury in 2000, the same year he began hosting lessons, swing dance parties, and fetes-for-hire at pubs and performance halls around town. The Langley Advance reported that a significant part of his 18-month recovery was dance, which his doctor had green lighted as a safe way to ease back into movement. More than a decade later, Warner is the bedrock of a community devoted to East Coast swing, lindy hop, balboa, and blues dancing as an instructor, a DJ, and the founder of Swing Summit, an annual training camp.
The couple keeps their footwork fancy with regular workshops, and both have contributed to television shows such as Smallville and CTV's Robson Arms. Demonstrating their care for the world beyond brass bands and pompadour wrangling, the two increased their class and party fees by a quarter so they could donate all of the additional revenue to sponsor children in need via World Vision Canada.
33889 Essendene Ave.
Abbotsford, British Columbia V2S 2H6Get Directions