Finally, it’s the Queen City’s turn to shine during this year’s CincyLX.
The second annual Lindy exchange in Cincinnati, Ohio brought dancers in from all over the country and showcased some of the city’s most beautiful places and still kept true to the heart of the dance scene in Cincinnati.
The geniuses at CincyLX managed to find the Cincinnati Club, right in the middle of Downtown. This gorgeous building is usually reserved for wedding receptions and other such things, but swing dancers and jazz music reigned that night and the sweet sounds of Hepcat Revival filled the air. You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Friday night. And that is the night I finally became a proud owner of a unique hair accessory courtesy of Follow Fashions by our very own Lisa Curry.
Te Friday late night dance was held at Step-N-Out dance studio in Covington, Kentucky, barely a jump across the mighty Ohio River (of course, any of you living in this area know that northern Kentucky is really just part of Cincinnati). As an avid blueser, late nights are always a highlight of these exchanges for me, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. Sexy smooth blues abounded with the magnificent DJs present this weekend, a list of whom you can find here.
Saturday afternoon, I discovered what could be called one of Cincinnati’s best kept secrets: Mt. Echo Park. Once again the CincyLX committee outdid themselves when they brought a caravan of swing dancers to see this gorgeous vista of the iconic Queen City skyline. It was absolutely stunning. Between the dancing, the music, the popsicle and the view, Mt. Echo was probably one of the best parts of the whole weekend.
After a short dinner break, dancing recommenced in one of the original swing dancing venues: Bogart’s. Bogart’s mostly plays host to rock concerts these recent years, but back in the day, it saw the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and a few other names I’m sure you’d recognize. Swing music and dancers once again packed the hall with Blue Sky 5 leading the way. I gotta say, that band can play. And dance. I stole a dance from a certain saxophone player (aka Tommy Greco) and wow…that man can dance. We were graced with the vocals of Christina Crerar, a woman for whose voice I would die to have.
Once again, dancer bluesed it up at Step-N-Out for the Saturday late night. After a long day out and about in the city it was nice to come back to something familiar and cozy.
Anyone who has ever lived in this area knows just how crazy Cincinnati weather can be. Saturday night brought along another kind of blues in the form of an epic thunderstorm. I watched the lightning as I was driving back to my home-for-the-weekend at about four in the morning, but the real fireworks didn’t begin until about five or six. I can’t attest to that myself because I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and didn’t wake up again until 11:oo the next morning.
After surviving the storm, Sunday brought a home cooked breakfast (courtesy of Jon Fisk’s mother, Rhonda) an, of course, more dancing. And not just once more round of dancing, oh no, but two. The CincyLX committee went above and beyond any exchange I’ve attended and had both a Sunday afternoon and evening dance.
Sunday afternoon took us to the Wyoming Arts Center and also brought us the swingin’ sounds of Cincinnati native and CCM grad, John Zappa and Rich Uncle Skeleton. Rich uncle Skeleton is also a CincyLX alum, as he played the Friday night dance last year. They played a wonderful mix of fast paced, up beat songs and slower, jazzier numbers, perfect for a bunch of tired dancers on a Sunday.
The Sunday evening dance as held at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, another familiar venue to Cincinnati dancers. CincySwing holds its monthly dances here. Above the bustling pub is a room lined with windows that give the room a wide open feel even when it’s packed with bodies. The wooded floor provides plenty of dancing space and the small bar has an endless supply of free water (and alcohol, too). There’s room enough for a band as well. And it’s a good ing too, because there was still more live music to be had in the form of The Makeshifts. This is at the second time I’ve seen this band in this same venue. They played at one of the monthly dances not all that long ago. And you may remember the name from a past interview on this very website! Rockability and Jump Blues are specialties of theirs, and what better way to end the weekend? I can’t really think of one.
Honestly I think CincyLX might be the best exchange I’ve been to so far (and I’m not just saying that because it’s my hometown). People literally came in from all over the country. I personally met someone who came from San Francisco.
A huge thank you has to go out to the CincyLX committee: Ryan Quatman, Adam Curry, Lisa Curry, Terry Thompson-Cannon and Joel Domoe. Another thank you needs to go out to Keith and Megan Jones, Melanie Myers and Greta Schraer and to all the volunteers who helped pull this thing together. You all put on a fabulous exchange and made it a weekend to remember!
I also need to say thank you to Jon Fisk for hosting me and a large quantity of my friends as well as all the other hosts for the weekend. This experience would not have been possible with out all of you.