The Fort Worth Swing Dance Syndicate, a local dance organization, threw another successful dance last Thursday night at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.
The FWSDS hosts drop-in friendly beginner classes every Thursday at 8 p.m., followed by a dance from 9:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Families, experienced dancers and beginners all come out to hang out, listen to music and swing dance.
“I love all the people it brings in,” said FWSDS President Maggie Maxtin. “I love getting to meet people from all walks of life.”
Maxtin, who’s 25-years-old, has been swing dancing since her freshman year of high school.
“I love the ability to share such an American art form,” Maxtin said. “Swing dance was created here, it is part of our history.”
Dancers are encouraged to dress in comfortable shoes and clothing. However, many dancers dress in full vintage attire.
The organization has accumulated a diverse group of regular attendees since it started 12 years ago.
Fort Worth native, Chandler Smith, taught swing dancing classes in Los Angles for four years before moving back to Texas. He also taught a four-hour credit swing dance class at TCU.
Dennis Beck, who is 71-years-old, has been swing dancing for about 15 years. He currently teaches Tai Chi at TCU.
“My favorite thing about it is the joy that you get when you dance,” said Beck. “Every now and then the rhythm, the music, you and above all your partner – the woman you are dancing with – communicate in a way that is pure joy.”
About 50 to 60 people come to the dance class each week. The organization also hosts a yearly event called “Sundance Swing Out” on October 21-23 that brings in over a hundred people.
“My goal is to just keep growing, keep sharing the swing dance love, keep having new people come out and try it and keep having old folks come back and dance again,” said Maxtin. “Also, to just become a bigger presence in the scene, the city, and wherever.”