Swing dancing coming to town

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By Wednesday of this week, some swing dancers were already warming up in their dungarees on the Wrigley Stage, putting on an impromptu show for residnets and visitors.

Organizers expect more than 400 swing dancers to attend the Catalina Swing Dance Festival this weekend from Friday, Nov. 9, to Sunday, Nov. 11.

Swing dancers from around the world will once again “cut a rug” all weekend in the beautiful Casino Ballroom on the island.

By Wednesday of this week, some swing dancers were already warming up in their dungarees on the Wrigley Stage, putting on an impromptu show for residnets and visitors.

Organizers expect more than 400 swing dancers to attend the Catalina Swing Dance Festival this weekend from Friday, Nov. 9, to Sunday, Nov. 11.

Swing dancers from around the world will once again “cut a rug” all weekend in the beautiful Casino Ballroom on the island.

The event will be filled with social dancing, workshops and live music during the evenings. Dancers at all levels are welcome for workshops and non-dancers are also welcome for the performances. The Dance Festival will be the only weekend event featuring what the building was originally built for, which is dancing.

The hardwood floor is constructed over layers of foam, pine and cork, all of which are suspended over five feet of air. It makes for a dancer’s dream, and eliminates all noise that could otherwise disturb the theater below.

“You will not find a more beautiful setting for an evening dance or weekend festival than the casino ballroom,” said Joel Plys, event organizer. “The long-term goal is to build the festival to a week-long event featuring live music and dancing throughout Avalon.”

The Casino Ballroom is located on Sugar Loaf Point at the northern end of Avalon Harbor. The Art Deco building was completed in the spring of 1929 and is an engineering masterpiece.

The Casino took its name from the Italian “place of entertainment,” and has never had gambling of any kind.  At the time of its construction, America was immersed in the Jazz Age and “swing fever” had taken hold, with large dance halls called “casinos” popping up throughout the country.

The Avalon Casino, by far one of the most spectacular ballrooms in the United States (and the largest circular ballroom in the world), drew thousands of dancers, who would come by steamship from the mainland.

Tickets are available at the door November 9-11. For more information and pricing, visit http://www.CatalinaSwingDanceFestival.com.

Swing dancing coming to town