Arthouse Swing

Arthouse Swing

For the Love of Swing!

Category: Social Dancing / Date: 30th May / Written By: Michelle Robinson

After finishing my classes last Wednesday I headed to what I thought was just another dance night in Adelaide. How wrong I was...

I jumped in the car and drove in the pouring rain to Franklin Street and managed to find a carpark within walking distance of the Publisher's Hotel. I gathered my camera and of course my dance shoes and ran, puddles splashing up against my legs, down the tiny side street to the Published Arthouse.

Once inside the sound of the band filled the air. Trumpets, drums, sax and the smooth vocals of William Parton. I turned the corner and was amazed to find such an expansive space could be hidden so well from the street.


How can such a big open space feel so warm and inviting? The warehouse was flooded with moving lights of magenta, fuchsia and red, climbing up the walls and across the floor rhythmically to the music. The smoke machine released a soft cloud of rolling fog across the dance floor which was alive with swaying, dancing bodies.

My eyes were immediately attracted to the 12 foot walls covered in street art giving the room a special flavour and energy. This graffiti was now lending the swing the kind of grungy, cool atmosphere it deserves to be danced in.

I put my bag down next to one of the many oak barrels and got myself a drink at the bar before hitting the dance floor.

'April in Paris' comes on loud and the floor is full once again. The band strikes up hit after hit, every classic swing song you could wish to dance to and even some you never would have imagined! Their specialty is a swing cover of ACDC Shook Me All Night Long and I have a feeling this will become a crowd favourite.

Once the band finished up it was over to the DJ that kept the swing dance tunes coming and the dance floor jumpin'.

Over the course of the evening dancers would come and go, taking advantage of the incredible restaurant attached and having a bite to eat to keep the energy up but always returning for 'one more dance'.

I have not been to a swing event quite like this. Anywhere.

It's the perfect combination of an expansive and talented band, a fantastic grungy location in the heart of the city and the friendly faces of the Adelaide swing scene. This is a night that I believe will help to put Adelaide on the dancing map.

But what will it take for this to happen?

Well we all know the drill by now. A dance night starts up in a pub or a bar and slowly builds up over a couple of months. Gradually more and more dancers attend and by the time the numbers of attendees are up the venue decides it's not making enough money over the bar to sustain it and the night is cancelled with the dance club are looking for a new home. Adelaide Dance Industry (you know who you are) let's not let this happen to what could be the most funky swing night in the country!

What will it take? Lots of dancers attending monthly, bringing friends, drinking at the bar and spreading the word!

Why not have dinner in the bar beforehand and support the venue that supports live music and dancers? (It's delicious!)

Arthouse Swing is on the last Wednesday of every month and I expect to see you there with your dance shoes on.

Mish xo

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