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Swinging and shaking in style with Electro Swing Vancouver

The Canvas Lounge opened their doors post-Valentine's day for a night of smooth beats, sassy burlesque, and classic swing, from the Charleston and Fox Trot, to the Balboa and Lindy Hop. Teaming up with Electro Swing Club they hosted a theme party set in 1929. People came out dressed to impress in their finest 1920s/30s/40s vintage with red being the dominant color. It was interesting to see the various interpretations of the attire in that era with outfits hitting all extremes of Steam-punk, Silent movie style, and Victorian.

One reason why one might be discouraged from an event like this is their lack of skill in that specific type of dance. Unlike other dance styles where there is more time to fuddle through steps and you can get by following, swing is high energy, quick paced and is almost as individual-focused as it is partner-focused. To put those at ease who were less confident with their Charleston and to refresh the memory of those who've danced it in the past, there was a free dance lesson by Night and Day Dance. The lesson was well-taught and at a relative pace to the collective group's ability to pick it up. Everyone appeared to be having fun and it showed on the dance floor that night that those "experts" seemed to have picked up a thing or two from the lesson.

Then the real practice began as the band, Hot Foot Five, took control of the night and led the evening of dance that unfolded. Hot Foot Five is a spicy trad jazz group responsible for inciting impromptu dance sessions on the streets of Vancouver. They are often seen at the Hennessey spreading the Swing fever across the dance floor every time they play. Tonight was no exception. Also in attendance that evening was the swing dance crew from who lit up the floor all night long dancing with those attending the event. 

After the band ended resident DJs Spry & Rudy brought a fresh live mix of sultry vintage sounds, mixing up modern beats while keeping the electro swing music prevalent.

The somewhat trendy concept of including Burlesque performances was with no surprise incorporated in to the event with performances by Mz B Haven of Cheesecake Burlesque Revue. However there was a twist on this burlesque show. Immediately following Mz B Haven was, my favorite part of the night, Blue Morris and His Guitars, the "boylesque" dancer. Not something you get to see everyday unless you have a man in your life who regularly strips down while strumming a guitar. There was also a performance by Julia Barnscher who wowed the crowd dressed in her red corset as she twisted, flipped and hung from a hoop suspended above the crowd.

Welcome to the retro-future. With living expenses at an all time high it was about time we reveled in the glory of the depression era days. This event brought just that; a chance to swing and shake in style as if there wasn't a care in the world. 

Stay tuned to more from the Electro Swing Club including the Electro Vaudeville Fest on March 23rd.

For more pictures of the event click here. 

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