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Swing Time Newsletter — Tuesday APR 3rd 2007

Dear Swingsters,

This Thursday, April 5th, begins the 3rd month of the Swing Centro Thursday dances.  Over the last two months, hundreds have visited and danced in the Grand Ballroom of Centro Asturiano, and this new night has been slowly but surely growing.  With the exception of the Open House, the last two weeks have been the biggest yet.  The event is currently attracting 60-80+ dancers each week, which is great for a brand new dance.  But we need to bring this average attendance up to 100+ by this summer, and we need your help to reach this target.  Here's the bottom line -- if we can bring a slightly larger crowd during April and May, then the future of this Thursday night dance at the amazing Centro Asturiano should be secure for years to come!  But if we can't, Tampa Bay's swing dancers can forever kiss this venue good-bye.  As organizers, as supporters of the dance & musical arts, and as swing enthusiasts who appreciate the unique opportunity to dance in such a grand vintage ballroom, we'd hate to see the latter happen, and so we're working hard behind the scenes and are doing everything possible to spread the word about Swing Centro and to make it the best swing/dance experience it can be!  But ultimately, the success of this night isn't up to the organizers, but it rests with you, the dancers.  So we're asking for your support, and sooner (during the months of April & May) rather than later.  Please read on for details on how you can help.

We've planned an excellent schedule of classes -- all free with paid admission to the event -- where you can supercharge your swing dancing with Lindy Hop, Charleston, Shim Sham, and more!  We're offering a number of wild promotions ... including one where you can earn a Free Swing Time All-Access Pass, good at any of our events (on both sides of the Bay) for the entire month of June!  We're launching a DJ Talent Search and planning future band nights and special events.  Please read on for all the great info!



So what's in it for me, you ask?
1) You'll have an amazing place to dance Thursdays for years to come!
2) Exciting live-band nights and special events are in the works; help make April and May a success and we'll bring the first band come July!
3) Bragging rights for years to come... you'll be able to say that you were one of the original Centro Asturiano dancers who helped make the night a success!  Your name will be enshrined in the Swing Time online Walk of Fame!
4) Earn Amazing VIP Prizes!
        6/9 Prize - One Event Free Pass!  Attend six out of the nine Thursdays in April & May to receive a free pass, valid any one Thursday in June.  Pretty Cool...
        7/9 Prize - Four Event Free Pass!  Attend seven out of the nine Thursdays in April & May to receive an all-June Swing Centro pass, good for free admission to Swing Centro the entire month of June... four events total!  But wait, it gets better...
        8/9 Prize - Swing Time All-Access Pass!  Attend eight out of the nine Thursdays in April & May to receive a Swing Time All-Access Pass, good at any and all Swing Time events during the month of June! ...this includes the Thursday Swing Centro events, the Wednesday Gulfport Casino Swing Nights, and the Friday June 8th Swing Time live-music & dance event featuring the Juke Joint Kings!  Wow!...
        9/9 Prize - Swing Time All-Access Pass + Centro Live Event!  Attend all nine Thursdays in April & May, and your perfect attendance will net you the aforementioned Swing-Time All-Access Pass, plus a free pass to July's band night at Centro Asturiano!  (and last but not least, our ever-lasting gratitude!)

        To receive the above VIP Prizes, you have to let us know you were at the Thursday events in April & May by dropping your completed prize-entry form in the prize entry box each week; print legibly your first and last name, plus some contact info so we can mail you the VIP Prize you earn!

So what can I do, you ask?  1) Attend! ...every Thursday if you can during April & May, and don't wait for June, because April & May are the critical months for this new dance.  A decent showing in April & May will buy Swing Centro a lot of time to grow to its full potential.  2) Be social! ...and dance with the new folks!  Make a special effort to go outside your usual circle and to introduce yourself to some new dancers.  Welcome the new folks and they will be back; they will even bring friends.  While some new folks are beginning dancers, many new faces are actually expert dancers who are visiting or who've just moved here.  And before you go promoting every dance in town to the newcomers (and many regulars make a habit of this), invite them to come back next week to Centro Asturiano; tell them you'll be there to dance with them again.  If you want to meet a lot of new folks (and maybe learn a new step or two), we encourage all levels to attend the dance lesson; it's always great to have some experienced dancers in the rotation.  3) Spread the word! ...it's always more fun with more of your friends there!


A few weeks back, we taught a 1-hour Charleston mini-workshop during the 7-8pm Centro Asturiano dance lesson (which went very well), and we promised a variety of swing-related mini workshops would follow.  Well, now they're ready!  Starting this Thursday (April 5th), Swing Time is launching a new mini-workshop format for the 7-8pm dance lessons at Centro Asturiano.  Lessons will still be free (with paid admission to the event) and can be still be attended by dancers of all levels, either with or without a partner.  But we're greatly expanding the repertoire of swing dances and swing-dance moves covered in the lessons, without repeating any of the 20+ lessons that we teach at the Gulfport Casino!  Learn a variety of swing dances, plus new moves, steps, and techniques in East-Coast Swing, Lindy Hop (that other swing dance), partner Charleston (which can be incorporated into most swing dances), Shim Sham, and more!  Gain added versatility and experience more dance excitement on the floor!

April & May 2007 Schedule of Centro Asturiano Mini-Workshop Classes
Apr  5 (Thu): PRETZELS - Pretzel Night 2007!
Apr 12 (Thu): CHARLESTONS - Front-to-Front Moves
Apr 19 (Thu): LINDY HOP - Open Swingouts, Breaks & Turns
Apr 26 (Thu): CHARLESTONS - Front-to-Back Moves
May  3 (Thu): LINDY HOP - Close Swingouts, Circles & Turns
May 10 (Thu): CHARLESTONS - Side-by-Side Moves
May 17 (Thu): LINDY HOP - Swingout Moves & Variations
May 24 (Thu): SHIM SHAM
May 31 (Thu): SWING RUEDA

Workshop Descriptions...

This Thursday's (April 5th) lesson topic is Pretzels!  In celebration of Pretzel Night 2007, Swing Time is offering an in-depth look at that fun & twisty dance move, the Pretzel!  But wait, there's not just one pretzel, but pretzels come in many varieties...  We'll cover the Men's Pretzel, the Men's Reverse Pretzel, the Ladies Pretzel, the Ladies Reverse Pretzel, and Back-to-Back Switching.  Plus you'll learn everything you need to know to dance those pretzels, including the East-Coast Swing (6-Count) footwork and armwork, plus various turns that you can do on their own or as a lead-in/follow-up to the pretzels!

Charleston Mini-Workshops (April 12, April 26 & May 10)  Learn the Charleston steps, plus how to work not just your legs but your arms and body into the dance.  We'll cover partnering, leading and following, various styles and variations of Charleston, plus how to work the Charleston into your swing dancing.  The moves and styles and variations taught will vary from week to week.  Moves and variations will include a variety of Side-BY-Side, Side-TO-Side, Hand-to-Hand, Front-to-Front, and Front-to-Back Charlestons!  The Charleston mini-workshops offer something for everyone from the beginning to the more advanced dancer.  All three classes stand on their own; you need not take one to take any of the others; but the more you take, the better your Charleston dancing will be!  There are no prerequisites, and no partner is needed.

Lindy Hop Mini-Workshops (April 19, May 3 & May 17)  Learn Lindy Hop, the original swing dance!  Our innovative teaching methods (no math or counting required) will have you swinging & grooving to the Lindy Hop in no time!  We'll cover single-time & triple-time Lindy Hop footwork, arms, open & closed body positions, partnering, leading & following, and numerous techniques, styles, moves and variations.  Moves will include the Swing Out from Open Position, Swing Out from Closed Position, Lindy Circle, Tuck & Double Turn, Open Break, Outside Swingout Turn, Inside Swingout Turn, Free Swingout Turn, Texas Tommy, and more!  You'll learn how to incorporate Charleston into your Lindy Hop and how to mix Lindy Hop with East-Coast Swing. Whether you're new to Lindy Hop or have taken several classes, try these out -- we know you'll like them!  The Lindy Hop mini-workshops offer something for everyone from the beginning to the more advanced dancer.  All three classes stand on their own; you need not take one to take any of the others; but the more you take, the better your Lindy Hopping will be!  There are no prerequisites, and no partner is needed.

Shim Sham Mini-Workshop (May 24)  Learn the Shim Sham, plus useful jazz steps for swing dancing, all in one accelerated 60-minute session!  The Shim Sham is a swing line-dance & mixer that goes back to the early days of swing, jazz & tap dance.  It has become a tradition at swing dances across the world, and is a fun & energetic part of just about every swing dance in the Tampa Bay area!  There are no prerequisites, and no partner is needed.

Swing Rueda Mini-Workshop (May 31)  Swing Rueda is an exciting group swing-dance based on the Lindy Hop, where moves are called out by a caller, and all participants dance the called moves to transition from one partner to the next.  Besides learning Swing Rueda, you'll also gain valuable experience Lindy Hopping!  Prior Lindy Hop experience is helpful if you're taking this class (ie, taking the Lindy Hop mini workshops is recommended) but not absolutely required.  No partner is needed.

To add these new & exciting things to your swing dancing, just arrive at Centro Asturiano by 7pm for each class!  See below for event details and directions.  With the recent opening of Swing Centro, we no longer had a spare night available for teaching our full repertoire of swing-dance classes.  So now we're bringing a lot of that great dance material to Swing Centro!  These mini-workshops are condensed versions of the popular Swing Time dance series that we normally charge $10-$12 per class to take... but now they're yours free! ...with paid admission to Swing Centro.


PRETZEL NIGHT 2007!  Thursday April 5th - One Night Only!  In honor of that much loved and sometimes reviled swing-dance move, The Pretzel, Swing Time presents... Pretzel Night 2007!  Free admission to anyone whose first or last name starts with the letter "P"!  (Must show driver's license; first or last names only, as shown on license)  Free pretzels for everyone!  (Beer can be purchased at the bar to go with your pretzels.)  Enter the prize drawing to win free passes and free chocolate-covered pretzels!  Learn a variety of pretzel moves in the 7-8pm dance lesson!  (See description above.)  What started as a dance lesson has now gotten way out of hand... come experience the craziness this Thursday!

HCC PROMO  Thursday April 12th - One Night Only!  Free admission to Hillsborough Community College students, faculty & staff!  (Must show valid HCC ID)

LAKELAND / POLK COUNTY PROMO  Thursday April 19th - One Night Only!  Free admission to anyone from Polk County!  (as shown on driver's license only)

2-FOR-1 "STUDENT" ADMISSION  Every Thursday!  It's not just for students... We want the new Swing Centro to be affordable for young folks and students, so every Thursday we're offering 2-for-1 "Student" Admission!  If you're 24 or under, you automatically get the 2-for-1 Student Admission -- just show your driver's license!  Otherwise, show a valid Student ID, whether you're in college, grad school, law school, med school, nursing school, etc...  And here's the best part... if you arrive in pairs or even numbers, 2-for-1 admission means each cover charge admits two "students";  if you arrive by yourself or have an extra person, one cover charge buys you an admission that night, plus a free pass good any Thursday in the upcoming months!

EVERY THURSDAY in Ybor City (Tampa, FL)

Swing Music & Dancing,  8pm-Midnight
Dance Lesson,  7-8pm  (no partner needed)

Exciting Social Atmosphere!
Fabulous Vintage Grand Ballroom
Huge Floating-Wood Dance Floor

*  All Ages  *  Smoke-Free  *  Full Bar  *  Prize Giveaways  * 
Admission $7  (includes Free Lesson);  Free Gated Parking
Students Get  2-for-1 Admission!

Swing music & dancing has returned to Centro Asturiano in Ybor City, the same grand ballroom where big bands such as Count Basie's and Woody Herman's once played.  Every Thursday night, swingsters of all ages gather for this new night known as Swing Centro.  Dancers swing & move, shake & groove to music ranging from big band to jazz & blues to early rock'n'roll to modern/neo swing.  Every Swing Centro event starts with a group swing-dance lesson (7-8pm), where no partner is needed and no prior dance experience is necessary.  Every event continues with music & dancing, 8pm-midnight.  Vintage attire is encouraged, and many people come decked out in styles from the 20's-50's, or with a combination of vintage and modern flair.  Centro Asturiano is located at 1913 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa FL 33602 (at the corner of Palm Ave. & Nebraska Ave. in Ybor City).

[Photos]     [Map & Directions]     [More Info]


...Let's find out!  As some of you know, DJ Paul has been taking a long break from doing any DJing.  As of two days ago, he said he might or might not come back to DJing, but if he did it would be on a limited basis.  One of the reasons he cited for taking a break from DJing was that he was tired of playing the same old stuff over and over again for the last 10 years  ...which got me thinking that there hasn't been any new blood to enter the Swing DJ arena these last many years, even though Tampa Bay could definitely use some!  One reason is that no organizer is willing to trust an established dance to a new DJ; anyone without lots of Swing-DJ experience would have to navigate treacherous waters (and would likely be eaten by sharks along the way).  However, there must be a way for talented individuals with DJ potential to gain that much-needed experience.

Swing Time is introducing a new system of Swing DJ tryouts and competitions to find and develop the best talent available!  Potential DJs will compete, trying their skills in front of an audience of dancers, with one major objective -- to get people dancing.  In addition to cash prizes, winners will advance to subsequent rounds, will gain more & more DJ experience, and will ultimately get paid DJing opportunities.  All DJ entrants will receive an unbiased summary of their performance each night.

Interested?  Email us to get more info.  Full details are currently being written and will be available soon.  Competitions will start soon.  Whether or not you currently consider yourself a DJ, whether or not you have any audio equipment, and whatever the size of your current swing-music collection, we encourage anyone to email us who has an interest in DJing and who thinks they might have the talent for it. 

Swing Time! -- Upcoming Events
Read on for the full scoop about each event...

   EVERY WEDNESDAY: Gulfport Casino Swing Night

    EVERY THURSDAY: Swing Centro

Apr 13, 2007 (Fri): Swing Time! at the Gulfport Casino
                    featuring...  Dr Zoot!  ( all the way from Pittsburgh! ) 
                    Modern & Exciting 7-Piece Swing Band w/ Horns!!
                    Tickets: $12/advance or $15/day of event
                    Click here for Ticket Info or to Purchase Tickets!

 The SECOND FRIDAY  Swing Time! at the Gulfport Casino
    of EVERY MONTH: Live Music & Dancing!

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