ABOUT

SwingDance.LA is my contribution to the Southern California Swing dance community, which has given so much to me. I want this site to be a positive influence on the local Swing dance community inspired by the ideals of Frankie Manning, and free from drama and negativity.

About Me and This Site

I don’t really want this site to be about me. It’s about swing dancing. But, if you are curious about the person behind this, read on!

  • Who are you?
    I am a hard-core swing dancer from L.A. and Orange County.
  • What is the purpose of this site?
    To promote Swing dancing and provide the latest Swing dance information for Los Angeles and Orange County. Basically, this is the place to go to figure out the best places to go Swing dancing, and for beginners to learn about lessons.
  • What dances do you cover?
    Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing (sometimes called Jitterbug), Balboa, Shag, and Charleston. I also cover rockabilly, western swing, and some blues events because many swing dancers attend those events. I don’t cover West Coast Swing, ballroom, or Salsa events. I don’t cover events outside of LA/OC. I usually won’t put a swing music event on the calendar if there is no place to dance (such as a concert at the Disney Concert Hall or something like that). This is all to minimize clutter on the calendar, so that you can see at a glance where to go SWING DANCING in LA and Orange County.
  • What are your favorite venues?
    All of them are special and I want to promote swing dancing at ALL LA/Orange County venues on this website! Currently, I’ve been going to Happy Feet Mondays at Joe’s Bar the most. I also tend to like the ones with a more upscale nightclub atmosphere like Clifton’s, the Cicada Club, and the Edison. However, I also like our weekly events like Lindygroove, Lindy Loft, PBDA, Rusty’s Rhythm Club, Atomic Ballroom, Strutter’s and Memories! All are important to the swing scene.
  • When did you start Swing dancing?
    I started swing dancing in January 1998 during the neo swing craze. The first swing club I went to was the Derby, and I took the lessons from Kim and Dave and later Erik and Sylvia. I attended a swing camp called “Monsters of Swing” in Ventura, and that’s when I really became a fanatic. The Monday morning after, I signed up for as many classes as I could find, driving all the way from the West Side to PBDA in Pasadena a couple times a week. I went swing dancing four to five times a week, sometimes more (back when the Derby had a live swing band every night of the week). I went to a whole bunch of swing camps from Camp Hollywood to Swing Camp Catalina. I entered a few contests and made it to the semifinals at Jitterbug Jam 2001, and at the Great Southwestern Swing-Off 2003, and the top five at the Paseo Colorado Swing Contest in 2008. I’ve taught swing classes at the Derby and other events. But mostly I just like going swing dancing and meeting people!
  • Why did you start this site?
    One day in late July 2008, I went to my favorite swing website, nocturne.com, and found that it had been hacked and was down indefinitely! This had been the best source of swing dancing events info for Los Angeles. Since I couldn’t find a good alternative, I quickly started my own site and had it up and running the weekend before Camp Hollywood. Since I do this research for myself anyway, I figured I might as well post it for everyone. It has been a lot of fun!
  • What is the history of the site (technical)?
    In August 2010, I began work on version 2.0, completely re-vamping the site using Dreamweaver and a new server. I updated the color scheme with CSS styling, added a comment box where people can post events, added newsfeeds, put up a Google map showing all of the main swing venues in LA/OC, and added a Links page with links to swing teachers and bands. In 2011, I re-wrote the calendar engine in PHP and JavaScript. The huge breakthrough was when I programmed the site to scan the venue websites and populate the calendar automatically every day, instead of having to do it manually. Now, it’s always up to date (as long as the venue sites are up to date, that is). In 2012, I added Facebook integration, and I  converted the site to a full custom WordPress site in December 2012. In September 2014, I converted the site to a WordPress Foundation framework, utilizing the latest mobile design elements.  In February 2015, I changed the name of the site from LALindyHop.com to SwingDance.LA.
  • Do you get paid to write reviews and promote events?
    No, but sometimes I get free admission.  I recommend bands, venues, and events based on what I think swing dancers will enjoy.  I am not paid by venues or promoters to write endorsements or recommend events, other than sometimes getting on the guest list, which is much appreciated. I am not doing this to make money, but rather to give back. I get a tiny bit of income from the ads.
  • What else do you do?
    I am a web developer and blogger. I specialize in developing custom WordPress sites and mobile web applications.
    Check out some of my personal sites:
    DisableMyCable.com – a “how to” site about getting free hi-def TV.
    LA Date Ideas – cool things to do in Los Angeles and Orange County!
    LifeTricks3.com – a “how-to” guide on lots of topics, sort of like Lifehacker.
    Webtricks – tips for web developers.
    I attend Pacific Crossroads Church in Santa Monica.

Thanks for visiting SwingDance.LA! Hope to see you dancing soon. – Brian

  • Ronaldo

    Hi Brian,
    This is an amazing lifeline for me as a dancer, I can’t thank you enough for putting this work together and continuing it while living afar – wow, truly a work of love! The site is accurate and excellently developed. Thanks again!

    Ronaldo

    • Hi Ronaldo,

      Thank you for your kind words. I am so glad this site is useful to you! I am actually back in LA now, so I hope to see you out dancing.

      Thanks,
      Brian

  • Anonymous

    Brian,
    I’ve been looking at this amazing site for the past year or so and I finally decided to read the “About” pages today. I was shocked to read that you were in Providence for a bit! I’m from LA but go to school in Providence (entering my final year in the fall) and am actually the President of the Brown Swing Club there, which has grown a lot more on campus the past year. I just thought it was a crazy coincidence and I wanted to give a shout out and say a thank you for all your great work on this site. I wish there was a site like this for the Northeast!

    Thanks for everything!
    Luke

    • Luke,

      Thanks for writing and for your kind words about the site! Yes, I spent over three years in Providence, and I did attend some Brown swing dance events. I went to Providence Swings pretty often, and also Boston Swing Central on Fridays. Thanks for saying hi and best wishes!

      Brian

  • Jeanette Fruta

    Hi Brian,

    It sounds like you may be the person who migh tbe able to help me. I have inherited 3 sets of Swing music. They are in excellent condition. I am looking to find someone who may be interested. Please contact me and I can give you more details on the sets.

    thank you,
    J-

    • Hi Jeanette,

      Thanks for your post! I would recommend checking the So Cal Facebook Group for any interested takers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/socalswing/

      Thanks,
      Brian

      • Jeanette Fruta

        Hi Brian,
        Thank you for the recommendation. I will try it out.
        Jeanette