When most people think about Christmas parties, dancing is not the first thing on their mind. Cookies, punch, and other goodies would usually be the first that most would think about. When I went to the American Czechoslovakian Club in Dayton this past Tuesday, the Gem City Swing Dance Club had all those and more.
The American Czechoslovakian Club is the home of Gem City Swing’s weekly Tuesday night dance. It appears from the road as a smaller building just a short walk from the nearest Children’s Hospital, and at first, doesn’t look like it has a lot of room for parking. But as I found while driving up, looks can be very deceiving. My first impression in front of the building was “No one’s here!” When we drove to the back: “EVERYONE’S here!”
Walking up to the building brought with it the feeling I always love and associate with the swing dance community: the faint strands of music from a good band that gets your toe tapping, the murmurs and laughter from a decent crowd of people, and the smells of good food waiting for the taking. Once inside the club, I knew that this group knew the right way to do things. The room was slightly chilly, but I knew I’d appreciate the chill after dancing with my partner. We’ve been told that we only have one gear, and that gear is set to fast.
The band onstage was Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers, and they set the mood and tone of the entire holiday scene. The dance floor was a delightful wooden floor which had just the right amount of slide for hip swivels, heel slides, and tornado spins, which my partner took full advantage of. Before long, I was happy that I had brought my hand fan. Dancing is great for heat generation.
The members of Gem City were warm and inviting, and I had many lovely conversations over punch and cookies. I look forward to the next time that I’m able to visit and dance with them again!
To learn more about various Ohio Swing Dance venues, click here!