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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Club Night Review: Swing Goth at Fat City

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Swing Goth
Fat City
Last Seen: January 13, 2009
Review and Photos by Crystal Akins

Better than: Dirty Dancing. Eat your heart out, Patrick Swayze!

If the swing revival in the '90s left a weird taste in your mouth, get a load of this: Swing Goth founder Brian Gardner hosts swing dancing every Tuesday nights at Fat City to contemporary hits ranging from Hot Head Swing Band to Jesus and Mary Chain. How progressive!

"It's alternative crowds wanting to dance traditional dances but not to traditional music," Gardner tells us.

Don't be ashamed if you've been relegated the misfortune of two left feet, are devoid of rhythm, or are always flying solo. For the $5 drop-in fee, Gardner, an avid swing dancer, offers basic dancing lessons tailored to fit the skill level of the group -- no partners required. During the lessons, Gardner (wearing a dashing cranberry corset on this particular night) has his students gather in a circle while he demonstrates manageable moves and counts his students off with "one, two, back step!" Several rotations of this ensue and Gardner makes the rounds, giving extra help to those looking a wee bit lost.

Take a break, though, and don't sweat it. During the lesson, you're given

intermittent breathers where you can grab water or a drink from the

bar. 9 p.m. marks the commencement of "open dancing," where individuals

or couples take advantage of the dancefloor and show off back-breaking moves. Dips, tosses and spins (being spun around on the ground,

even) are coupled with genres that progress from swing to indie to goth

into the night.

The crowd (which was "all-inclusive," according to Gardner) was an

assortment of gothic types and everyday Joes just wanting to dance.

Stereotypes are tricky, aren't they? If we want to go by

clothing, that included bondage pants alongside pretty dresses and heels.

The black brick interior and orange gothic antique-looking lamps did,

however, heighten the dark ambiance at the event ...

Let's be honest, though. At the end of the day we're not striving to be

contestants on Dancing With the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance,

meaning this place is a good start for newbies. Fun is really the

objective, and Gardner encourages his students to take the moves

they learned and personalize them. He's pretty funny, too, which

helps alleviate those first-time jitters.

Overall, the event seems to have a pretty tight niche market, and it may

not be for everyone. But if you're willing to try everything at least

once, I'd give it a go.


Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Some call me hipster. However, I teetered

on the precipice of wanting to tear up the dancefloor after observing

the lessons. Do I regret not doing it? Yes. Next time ... next time.

Random Detail:
A substantial number of first-timers were present. Don't be scared.

By the Way: In the future, the event has live bands lined up to perform

while you dance. Next band playing will be Fromagique on 2/10/09.

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About The Author

Crystal Akins


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