The Dallas Swing Dance Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We hold dances most Saturdays throughout the year and provide lessons, workshops, and special events.
The Dallas Swing Dance Society is dedicated to the preservation and education of the public in the Swing dancing of the early 20th century.
Direct Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer Service: 214-843-0918
3630 Harry Hines Blvd
Dallas, TX 75219
In 1998 the swing dance community in Dallas experienced a great surge in interest and participation. On the heels of that summer, some groups of dancers were filling their 5-6 night per week habit with lessons, workshops, contests, social dancing, and the occasional all-nighter of dancing at someone’s house. But October and the beginning of November was both a great time and a tenuous time for swing dancing in Dallas. In addition to the regular happenings at the SandCastle, Jet Lounge and other all-swing dance clubs, there was Indigo Swing at the Gypsy Tea Room, the Red Jacket contest, the Vintage Fashion Show at the Velvet Hammer, the second Hop-Up aerials workshop, Jay & Benet''''s aerials class, a Mitch & Elaine workshop. However, the scene also saw the closing of One Foot in Da Bayou and the Velvet Hammer, along with a serious lack of dance space.
In mid-November, four adventurous swing dancers found themselves sitting in a hotel room in Pasadena, California during the Harvest Moon Workshop. They were spending a weekend with Erin Stevens, Steven Mitchell, the Rhythm Hot Shots, and Lindy-Hop legend Frankie Manning, discovering a whole new Lindy Hop experience. There had been some talk back in Dallas about the concern over the fragility of the Dallas dance scene, and the four started talking seriously about doing something rather than depend on what clubs would offer. They imagined an organization to generate interest in swing dancing; teach people how to dance, about the history, and about the music; and hold dances with lessons and danceable music. All of this could happen on a comfortably sized floor, in a safe environment, and be open to people of all ages. Maybe they could put together an organization dedicated to sharing their newfound passion of dance.
Back in Dallas, some time after the Thanksgiving holiday, an initial planning meeting was called. Key people from different parts of the Dallas swing dance community were invited to lunch at Café Brazil in Richardson. The hope from the start was to try to get people involved from all areas of the Dallas swing dance community. It was decided to give some initial assignments to people to explore what might be needed for a non-profit dance society.
The first DSDS members’ meeting was at Adriene Medina’s condo rec room on January 10, 1999. The word got out via e-mail, and there were approximately 35 people in attendance. After a half hour of discussion and a vote, the official name was chosen to be the Dallas Swing Dance Society. In order to officially incorporate before the February members meeting, Dan Ascenzo, Deborah Merritt, and Becky Ghent were elected as temporary officers. All in all, it was a very positive beginning.
The next few weeks saw several very late nights at Dan’s house. As the February 6 members’ meeting fast approached, the group still had not figured out how to incorporate as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. There was no way to formally accept members if the group wasn’t official, and yet membership and a broadly based board of directors were needed in order to get things done. Finally, with some excellent help from the Sammons Center for the Arts, the organization officially incorporated on February 4, 1999. Frantic preparations were made for the member meeting, preparing initial by-laws and a meeting agenda. It was not known what to expect for the February 6th meeting. E-mails were sent and forwarded to as many people as possible. Thirty- three people came to the Sammons Center that afternoon, and amazingly, all of them actually joined as the first paid members of the Dallas Swing Dance Society. A large concern amongst those dreamers of DSDS was that along with the DSDS itself, the Board of Directors should consist of people from differing parts of the swing dance community. It was not to be a little club formed around a small group of dancers, but a proactive organization to ensure that the whole scene prospered. Fifteen people were elected to the board from a wide variety of professions, age groups, dance backgrounds, and social groups.