As we roll through another century, we cycle back around to the ‘20’s; trying to bring back the moxie and up-beat energy America once glorified by celebrating with champagne, golden parties, flappers, and live music. Although, years later, it is easy to get lost in today’s fads and negative media, one trend still stands just as strong as it did centuries ago.
Since the year 1895, jazz music has played a part as a form of human expression. Ranging from the blues, which portray a feeling of melancholy and remors, to swing, which typically consists of a snappy beat with an allegro tempo. Live music brings a certain feel and freeness to a crowd that is something American culture cannot give up. Despite all the trends that have been lost and adopted throughout the years, we still insist on keeping the art of swing, live music, and dance alive.
Corvallis Swing Dance Society celebrates its 10th anniversary with a weekend long jazz festival. The Odd Fellows Hall flooded with life as crowds came through to put on their dancing shoes while live bands such as Stealin’ Apples Jazz Band with Jen Hodge, Cherry Blossom, and Breakers Yard set the mood with energetic swing music. Dancers of all experience levels came through and were welcomed with occasional lessons sprinkled throughout the weekend.
With events starting as early as 1 p.m. and lasting as late as 12:30 a.m., Nina Jin and Nick Davis shimmied their way into teaching an hour long swing class and goofed their way through the lessons of a collegiate shag-type dance. This dance originates from the 1920’s between two partners dancing to uptempo at 185-250+ beats per minute. The class was held in the Odd Fellow Hall in downtown Corvallis at 6 p.m. last Saturday. The crowd followed Jin’s and Davis’ enthusiastic energy while switching off partners with all levels of experience.
The party then started shortly after lessons, when the dance floor flooded with a fearless group of people enjoying the night by blindy hopping all the way until the morning. People of all ages glided throughout the dance floor through the several venues such as Odd Fellows Hall, Imagine Coffee, Old World Deli, and the OSU Womens Building. Stealin’ Apples Jazz Band and Jen Hodge stole the night while performing live music with smooth swing compositions shortly after being played on by DJ Nick Davis. Davis is just one of the many DJs that the Corvallis Swing Dance Society was able to snatch for the weekend festival.
All donations collected are going back to fund the Corvallis Swing Dance Society as well as the musicians who helped create the lighthearted atmosphere with playful music, as well as an open environment that promotes anyone with the spirit and readiness to jump at the jay bird.
Story and Photos by Mckenna Christmas