Category Archives: Jive Junction

The Big Apple

At October’s Jive Junction, we had the pleasure of having several Big Apple Newbies join us for the Big Apple. They did a REALLY good job, and we had so much fun with them in the circle!

The Big Apple


Jive Junction!

As you probably know, we’ve moved out of the West Des Moines Community Center for the summer – they were planning to undergo some renovations and promised a better space for the fall. Unfortunately, I think they ran into some trouble getting things started over there, so no renovations or repairs took place.

Even more unfortunately, that week that we received untold quantities of rain, it all leaked in the unrepaired windows and through the unrepaired roof, and completely ruined the floor of the ballroom. We’re not quite sure what the future holds for the Community Center, but they suggested we find somewhere else for the next several months at least.

Living History Farms has been awesome for hosting us this summer, but our agreement with them was not long-term, and we’re not able to stay past August. We have a location for October (the new community center in Colby Park!), but are still looking for September.

So… stay tuned. I know it’s hard to keep us on your schedule when you don’t know where we’ll be, but we’re doing our best. Thanks!

Dance Floor Etiquette, Part 1

Oh, yes, one other thing I observed at February’s dance was that perhaps it’s time for a refresher on dance floor etiquette!

Proper etiquette on a dance floor is basically an extension of the Golden Rule – treat others as you want to be treated. What does this mean, practically speaking?

  • Try not to run into others. Leaders, be sure that you keep an eye on your surroundings as you lead your partner, and try not to toss her into other couples.
  • If you do run into someone else, just apologize. You can make eye contact and mouth “sorry,” you can kind of holler it over your shoulder, or you can even find the person you ran into after the song is over and just say “hey, sorry about running into you there!” Most people are super nice about the occasional dance-floor collision.
  • If you are enjoying a dance that progresses around the floor at Jive Junction, where the vast majority of dancers are swing dancing (in one spot), please be aware that you will need to maneuver around numerous couples who won’t be looking out for you. If you do happen to collide with another couple, be sure to apologize (see above).
  • And, if you happen to be enjoying a swing dance among a mostly ballroom crowd (such as at Lake Robbins), please stay in the center of the floor and be aware that you will need to avoid getting in the way of the couples progressing around the perimeter of the floor. Again, apologize if you do collide.

See? Easy.

The next installment will be about respectfully dealing with your dance partner – do you need to apologize? what if you don’t want to dance with someone who asks you? and help! my partner just broke my arm!

I would like to conclude by saying that if anyone at a Swing Des Moines event acts inappropriately or makes you uncomfortable with their actions or words, please seek out a board member and let us know. Not sure who the board members are? Ask the DJ.

Simpson College Social Dance Classes

The fifth annual (can you believe it?) No Sweetheart Required Valentine’s Dance was awesome! Great attendance, lots of energy. It looked like everyone got in a lot of good dancing, with one notable exception – we had one attendee with her arm in a cast!

A big thank you to the Simpson students who attended. The aforementioned cast-wearing woman was an instructor at Simpson College (my alma mater) who works in the costume shop at the theater (where I used to work!) and who also teaches social dancing classes – for credit – through the PE program. How awesome is that?!?

Why we do what we do (part 2) – music at dances

“The DJ at Jive Junction never plays my favorite song!”

There is a strong possibility that the DJ at Jive Junction would play your favorite song if asked!

Our DJs try their very best to play music that will get the largest number of people dancing, interspersed with more specialized songs that appeal to a smaller group. They try to read the group and respond to the group’s actions – when do people dance, when do people sit down, etc.

But if there’s something you particularly enjoy dancing to, please ask! If we have it, we’ll try to accommodate your request if at all possible!

Jive Junction was AWESOME tonight!

We just got home from Jive Junction, and I have to say – it was awesome tonight!

Things are heating up on the dance floor!

We had about 15 people present about midway through our beginning lesson (about 8:15), and I was not going to be at all surprised of that’s all we had. After all, it was about 20 below with wind chill, and who really wants to get out in that kind of cold??

But, all told, we had over 4 times that number just an hour later. It was great! We had four or five birthdays this month, so it was one super busy birthday jam, as well!

Many of those in attendance tonight had never been to Jive Junction before, and several had never been to a dance before. It was great to see all these new faces! And, as always, we love seeing the “old” faces, as well.

Thanks to all who came out tonight. I hope you had as great of a time as I did!

PS, more pictures here.

Lighten Up, Iowa!

Capitol City Swing, our performance troupe, is participating in Lighten Up, Iowa! The program starts tomorrow, so if you’re interested, there’s still time to form your own team, or to join as an individual.

The goal is to increase our level of activity, so we’ll be logging our activity each week, and keeping an eye on our total minutes of activity. Perhaps this will mean we’ll each be rehearsing more and getting just that much better!

Janet is kindly leading the group, and I’ll admit that my level of awareness of what we’re supposed to be doing is really low, but I do know that I’m planning to start Yoga tomorrow, and to actually reach my goal of 10,000 steps on a regular basis. (Right now, I only hit it on Mondays when we have rehearsal and Wednesdays when we have class!)

We all will be logging quite a bit of activity this weekend – Jive Junction is Friday and we have a performance at Living History Farms on Saturday. Want to log some activity of your own? Join us for three awesome hours of activity on Friday, 8-11, at the Community Center.