Group continues to grow FM swing dance community

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Lindy Hop, the Charleston and Jitterbug are all popular styles of swing dancing. The style was big during the 1930's, but there are still people in the valley that practice swing.

Valley News Team's Ashley Bishop joined members of Fargo Swing Dancing on the Valley Today Thursday morning to learn the art of swing.

"Swing dancing is sort of this low to the floor street dance and it is kind of upbeat and exciting," explained FM Swing Dance President, Jordan Regan.

Regan along with 30 to 40 people come to downtown Fargo and swing dance regularly.

"Dancing is my happiest place in life," said Emily Larson.

Larson is a swing dance instructor at the non-profit Great Plains Dance. Her group offers swing dance lessons on Sunday nights in Fargo for five dollars. The F-M swing dance community has been around for about 15 years, but recently groups like Lindy of the North and FM Swing Dance are trying to get more people interested in the style.

"It hasn't been a huge thing, it's kind of been this little tiny subculture that people from all over the place go to, but we are trying to build it into something really big," said Larson.

"It's so much fun to get into a dance that is actually 100% an American Dance, I mean this was created by Americans," said Regan.

Regan says the dance was started in Harlem, New York and spread across the country. There are between six and seven types of swing dances, which include the Charleston and country swing.

The style is also big in Minneapolis, along with other cities across the U.S. Regan and Larson both say swing dancing gives them a workout in addition to meeting other people.

"It's like; how do I meet new people? Swing dancing is great because you are switching partners during the lesson and you are asking new people to dance," explained Regan.

"I think that everybody should try this at some point in their life," said Larson. "It's so much fun!"

Larson says another fun aspect to swing is dressing in swing era clothing.

"They come together not only just the dancing, but the style too. It is so much fun to see everyone dressed up," said Larson.

Larson says she often buys her vintage swing clothing at resale shops and relates it to treasure hunting.

Fargo Swing Dance is partnering with FM Kicks Jazz Band to bring a live band back to the FM swing dance scene. The event is Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for students and $8 for adults at the Ecce Art Gallery in downtown Fargo.

If you have never participated in swing dancing, don't worry. Lessons start at 7 p.m.

The Fargo Swing Dance group meets twice a month on Thursdays. The group has partnered up with Great Plains Dance, a non-profit group that teaches swings dancing to people on Sunday nights in downtown Fargo.