Summer, sizzle and swing

Laughter and chatter uniting strangers. Wind blowing through your hair. Couples dancing on a gazebo. This summer if you are interested in trying something new and exciting and want to meet new people, the Concordia Swing Society (CSS) has the solution. Why don’t you swing by the gazebo on Mount Royal Park for the free swing dance lessons being offered through their “Swing Dance in the Park” event held every Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. until Sunday, August 25.
Whether you are a beginner or a pro, the CSS wants to enable all levels of swing dancers to enjoy themselves. Following the beginner lesson at 2 p.m., an advanced lesson takes place at 2:30 p.m. with the meeting wrapping up after an open dance floor from
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Begun in 1999, the CSS was the brainchild of Belinda Roth whose love for swing dancing led to the formation of the club. Getting her husband Ryan involved, Roth was able to bring the beauty of the dance to her fellow Concordia students.
Ian Bartczak, the host of “Swing Dance in the Park,” is the head teacher and the current acting president of the CSS. Having taught swing for four years, he encourages interested people to give swing dancing a try. “It’s dynamic [and] social,” he grins. “Everyone smiles. A lot of people [are in it] for exercise, for friends.”
Last year, he says about 30 people would show up for the CSS’s free swing dance lessons in the Hall Building. Starting in September, anyone interested in giving swing a try can come by the Mezzanine in the Hall Building on Monday nights from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and strut his or her stuff.
There are many types of swing, and Bartczak says the lindy hop, the east coast swing, the west coast swing, the jive and the Charleston are the most popular types in Montreal. While his specialty is the east coast swing, he teaches the lindy hop. The original swing dance is the lindy hop, known as the jitterbug and swing as a type of dance can be traced all the way back to the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem in 1926. It is a fun dance that not only ensures a good work out, but a good time as well.
“I find swing is expressive,” he says. “I teach the swing that’s more fast. You can put tons of energy in it [and] be more laid back.”
When it comes to his own reasons for dancing, however, Bartczak has quite a few.
“I like to dance. I like to see people dance. I feel good when people are
getting it.”
Caia Miller is one such person who knows what she is doing. The French studies student at Universit


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