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Positively the Heartland: Omaha Jitterbugs keep swing dancing alive in metro area

Posted at 8:18 AM, Mar 15, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — For over 20 years, the Omaha Jitterbugs have kept swing music alive in the city.

Swing is a unique dance, started in the United States and passed down through communities

"It’s considered a vernacular dance," said Lindsay Sobczyk, artistic director of Omaha Jitterbugs. "So, it’s like a street dance, kind of like hip hop today, swing was that in the spring era. It was spread by language. Instead of in a ballroom setting with patterns and things like that it was improvisational.”

The nonprofit began as part of the swing revival of the 1990s and now, in 2022, it's sharing the art with anyone who wants to learn.

"Just to preserve some little piece of this art form and kind of share the joy that it’s given me in my life," Sobczyk said.

On Mondays, they teach a children's class at Pear Tree Performing Arts and three times a week they have classes for adults.

"For one hour at a time, we kind of delve into different dances from the era," Sobczyk said.

On Fridays from 8 p.m. to midnight, the classroom becomes a dance hall with a little something for everyone.

"Everybody has a different motive for being here," Sobczyk said. "And that’s actually what makes it really special. Some people like the music, some people really like to move their bodies with another person, some people just come here and they talk the whole time they’re here."

You can find the Omaha Jitterbugs dance hall on the top floor of the Fraternal Order of Eagles at 201 S. 24th St.

March Classes:
Monday nights with Ben and Merinda (March 7-28)

  • 7 p.m. Swing Combinations for All Levels
  • 8 p.m. Intermediate Lindy Hop

Wednesday nights with Lindsay & Christy (March 2-30)

  • 7 p.m. Intermediate Lindy Hop
  • 8 p.m. Lindy Hop Routines: Al & Leon Shim Sham

Friday nights with Christy & Lindsay (March 4-25)

  •  7 p.m. Intro to Swing
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