Photo: swingfest.ru
Swing music was at the peak of its popularity in the 1930s and 1940s and became a subject of renewed interest beginning in the 1990s. Alongside swing music, a group of dances collectively known as swing dance developed. Social swing dancing is a popular hobby and pastime around the world. There are plenty of dance festivals organized by and for swing dance enthusiasts. One of them is SwingFest, which is held every summer in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

During the swing era, there were hundreds of styles of swing dancing, but only a few survived to our days. They include Lindy hop, Balboa, Collegiate shag, and Charleston. Swing dancing clubs and associations can be found around the world. They organize numerous contests and festivals where swing dance enthusiasts can show off their skills and simply have a good time.

Swing dancing has become increasingly popular in Russia over the past few years. One of the country’s leading dance events is SwingFest. Founded in 2001, it is held every summer in the city of Saint Petersburg. The festival focuses on four dance styles: Lindy hop, blues, Balboa and authentic jazz.

The program of SwingFest includes exciting workshops with the best teachers from Russia and abroad, dance competitions, live music and social dancing on four dance floors until the wee hours of the morning, lectures and talks on the history of jazz, guided city tours, parties, and more. Every year, the festival features internationally acclaimed instructors who are happy to share their experience and expertise with dancers.

Admission to the festival is paid. There are several participation packages with a different number of classes (6 to 12). Participants can choose from Lindy hop, blues, solo jazz and Balboa workshops for various levels of skill, from beginners to experienced dancers.

Besides, there are separate tickets to the grand opening, night parties, and after party. The number of tickets to parties is limited, so the organizers recommend that tickets be booked in advance. Foreign participants can take advantage of the early bird price by using a special promo code when signing up for the event and booking their tickets.

Dancers who want to participate in the contest also have to pay a fee for each category they are going to compete in. The categories include Jack’n’Jill Open Lindy Hop, Authentic Jazz, Jack’n’Jill Blues Open, and Solo Blues. Competition in each category consists of two rounds: audition and final.


Photo: Ti Na