The Friday Night Swing Dance Club hosts Dances with live music almost every Friday night in the Towson American Legion’s big, beautiful, unobstructed, air-conditioned 9,500 square foot Grand Ballroom! With the exception of major holidays, blizzards, and a 2-3 week July break for floor refinishing, weekly Friday night Dances attract a diverse group of 100-200 friendly dancers of all ages and abilities.
Don’t Have a Partner?
No worries, NO partners required! There are plenty of friendly singles to dance with, and most couples also rotate dance partners. In fact, singles usually outnumber couples. Regardless of status, many people have discovered that Friday Night Swing dancing provides a safe social network and a fun, healthy way to overcome challenging life situations such as a recent move, divorce, or death of a loved one. Our emphasis is on dancing not dating, and inappropriate behavior isn’t tolerated! That said, we’ve seen several weddings over the years, so discovering a soulmate is possible, but not the purpose of our organization.
Do Have a Partner?
About 30% of our attendees are coupled – and most of our regular couples dance with a variety of other people throughout the evening. Although there’s no pressure to switch partners, there are numerous benefits. The best way to become a better Leader or Follower is to practice dancing with a variety of partners. Our closest couples have discovered that dancing with different partners is a refreshing change from dancing with the same person repeating the same moves – and same mistakes – for three hours! Your life partner is in a safe environment, and will ultimately become a much better – and happier – dance partner for you!
You’re not alone! Be sure to arrive one hour before the Dance for the basic beginner Swing Lesson. It’s included in your admission, and is a great way to get started and meet other new people. If you’re more serious about dancing, you might want to jumpstart your learning curve by joining one of our monthly series of four weeknight Beginning Swing classes.
What to Wear?
Attire ranges from casual to slightly dressy. On theme nights, like Halloween, Hawaiian night, and the annual Spring Prom spoof, you’ll see a variety of costumes, and we encourage you to get into the spirit!
Whatever you wear, dancing is an aerobic activity, and you’re likely to get warm! For every season we suggest that you layer light, breathable fabrics which can be removed or added to keep you comfortable. Please avoid dangly jewelry and scarves which can get caught or damaged while dancing. Most men wear short sleeved shirts and light weight pants. Jeans are acceptable, but can be too hot for active dancers. Ties are rare unless it’s a special occasion or dress-up theme dance.
Comfortable smooth-soled shoes (preferably leather) that stay securely on your feet are best for dancing. Ladies, for your safety and success please ensure that your shoe supports your entire foot – no flip-flops or backless slip-on shoes! New dancers do best wearing flat or low heeled shoes with an enclosed toe to protect feet from being stepped on.
A Coat closet is provided for outerwear, and any Lost & Found items, but we cannot be responsible for the security of your belongings. Many women prefer to keep their purse tucked under a chair in the Ballroom. Fortunately, we’ve never had a theft, but advise you not to bring valuables.
What’s the Friday Night Format?
Beginning Swing Dance Lesson: 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Band: 8:30 – 11:30 p.m., with two DJ’d segments during the Band breaks.
We host a wide range of Bands with varying styles, but all of them play consistently danceable Swing rhythms, along with a few other dance tempos. During the two DJ’d Band breaks, we enjoy a smorgasbord of Ballroom and Latin dances. Friday Night Swing is a rare gem where dancers can “have their cake and eat it too!”
You may notice that we don’t have tables in the Ballroom. Chairs line the perimeter of the room like an old-fashioned high school Dance. Not only does this increase the dance space, but we find that it’s a much better way to facilitate interaction and get people dancing!
If you’re new to partner dancing, please observe the rules of the road. During dances that progress around the room, the traffic, or “Line of Dance” flows counter-clockwise around the outer circle of the room. As with driving, Leaders are responsible for not bumping into the couples in front of you. Those doing Swing and other more stationary dances should dance in the center of the room.
Try to dance with a variety of people. It’s okay for either men or women to request a dance. Be kind and courteous, especially if for some reason you must decline an invitation to dance – no one likes rejection. Thank your partner after each dance before moving on to dance with someone else. Miss Manners approves when gentlemen escort the lady back to her seat, but it’s not required. Above all, have Fun!!!
Snacks, water and soda are included with admission, but are restricted to the refreshment area in order to prevent spills, falls, and damage to our marvelous maple dance floor. Likewise, alcoholic beverages can be purchased downstairs in the Legion Bar, but must be consumed in the Bar. NO alcohol or smoking is permitted in the Ballroom! Most dancers prefer to hydrate with water, and we try to foster a wholesome atmosphere for our underage dancers.
What’s the Cost and Currency?
$15 general admission; $12 for Discount Card holders and full time students with I.D.
Admission includes one hour Beginning Swing Lesson, Dance with Band & 2 DJ’d breaks, light refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages.
$25 Discount Cards go on sale every August and are valid through September 1st of the following year, providing a great savings for dancers who plan to attend more than 8 Dances during the year!
In order to keep prices low, we only accept good old Greenbacks and personal checks. If you forget to bring cash, there is an ATM near the Bar on the Legion’s lower level. For access from the parking lot, ring the bell at the “Members” door.
Tips for Success
Bring a positive attitude! If you’re completely new to partner dancing, be willing to relax and try something new. Smile! Plan to take the beginner Swing lesson at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays. Be proactive! Ladies, it’s okay to ask guys to dance! And don’t hesitate to let a partner know that you’re just learning. Be kind if you absolutely must decline an invitation to dance – nobody likes rejection. Newcomers who look interested and mingle in the refreshment area typically get more invitations to dance than those who stay glued to a chair on the sidelines.
To further increase your enjoyment and chances of success, consider taking our 4-week series of one hour Beginning East Coast Swing Classes offered on weeknights; days and times rotate each month.