Wing Wing
  • After 15 1/2 years hosting Sunday Dances and welcoming thousands of swing dancers from all over the world to Tampa’s Biggest Swing Dance at the Zendah Grotto, Swing Gang will be saying goodbye to this building. The Grotto Club is getting ready for sale.

    In 1949, Zendah Grotto purchased this surplus Air Force mess hall from the US Government in Drew Park. They then began to remodel it for dances, club meetings, boy scouts, civic meetings and even a voting station for years. For decades the Zendah Grotto has housed the best floating hardwood dance floor in Tampa, and with the help of the internet the Zendah Grotto is famous among swing dancers all over the world.

    Swing Gang will continue to do swing dance events in the Tampa Bay area, so keep your subscription with the Swing Dance News for all the latest and the greatest. MOST OF ALL, we only have two Sundays left at the Zendah Grotto.

    This week is Sunday MAY 24th and Swing Gang will host a Big Swing Dance Party on Memorial Day Weekend with DJ Paul, Tom, Katy, Randy, Jeila and all the rest of the crew. There will be CAKE! Don’t miss it.

    The last Sunday is MAY 31st and it will be a Grand Reunion Finale like we have never had before. You will see dancers that haven’t been together in forever to re-experience the good times and honor and say goodbye to this historic swing dance venue.

    Let’s make these last two Sundays at the Grotto the very best!

    —See you there—

The Legendary George “Shorty” Snowden and his partner Big Bea in 1937. He was a first Generation Lindy Hopper first captured on film in the 1920’s in the short “After Seven”.
Shorty George is not only credited for giving the dance it’s name “The Lindy Hop” but also the name in which the Jazz vernacular step “the shorty george” came from.
for more information:

This commercial for Gap Khakis from 1998 helped propel swing music back into the mainstream and publicized the swing revival of the late 90’s (of which we are currently a part of).

Joel Plys, Gina Helfrich, Crista Seipp doing the Tranky Doo at Swing Dance USA 2010

Swing music began as a form of jazz developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1935 in the United States. Big Band Swing uses a strong rhythm section of double bass and drums as the anchor for a lead section of brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones, woodwinds including saxophones and clarinets, and sometimes stringed instruments such as violin and guitar, medium to fast tempos, and a “lilting” swing time rhythm. Large ensemble Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement. The danceable swing style of bandleaders such as Benny Goodman and Count Basie became the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1945.

The term “to swing” is praise for music with a strong rhythmic “groove” or drive.