Swing Dancing in Seoul

Lindy Hop is a dance that originated in Harlem during the 1920’s and 30’s along with Swing Jazz music. In the 60’s and 70’s it disappeared almost completely but a revival started in the 1980’s when some young dancers found the old timers who used to dance at the Savoy Ballroom and brought them out of retirement to teach the dance. Today the dance is growing all over the world and shared at events and dances.

Lindy hop is a high energy, fun, and playful dance that is a lot of fun to share. The dance community is very accepting and very friendly. Usually when you go to a dance as long as you are friendly and nice anyone you ask will be happy to dance with you for a song.

When the opportunity arose for me to spend a term studying in Seoul, South Korea I jumped at the chance. I have traveled the world to attend dance events and dance with as many dancers as I can. Everywhere I go I hear about the amazing dancing to be had in Seoul every night of the week with amazing dancers. Upon arriving I found that the rumors I heard were not exaggerations at all. There are multiple venues every night with amazing dancing, great dancers, and great music.

So far I have been really pleased with how great the dancing is here. There are amazing and friendly dancers at the dances every night. The dances usually start at 7pm and are usually busy from 8pm go until 11pm. Sometimes large numbers of dancers go out to eat and drink after dancing at restaurants nearby.

At the dances there are often songs that come on that the majority of lindy hoppers all over the world know the routines to. When these come on we all get together and perform those dances together and that is a lot of fun.

Dance admission usually ranges from 6,000 Won on weekdays to 8,000 Won on weekends and comes with a free non-alcoholic drink. Dancers usually don’t drink alcohol much when they are dancing because it negatively affects your skills so alcohol is not served at the dance venues. However there is plenty of drinking to be done at the after party if that is your thing.

 

1

 

Dancing with the amazing Crystal Lee. Crystal is a world class professional Lindy Hop instructor who lives and teaches in Seoul.

2

 

Dancing one night at Swing Time I met Gabriella who is a Hanyang student and together we started the Hanyang University Swing Dance Club to teach some beginner lessons and organize trips to go dancing together.

3

 

First swing dance class! Getting warmed up.

4

 

Here is a photo of us going for food and drinks after our first class. If anyone wants to join us you can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/372198729598551/

Dancing in Seoul can be found every night. Here is a list of where and what nights:

  • Monday at Big Apple
  • Tuesday at Swing time
  • Wednesday at Happy or Swing Time
  • Thursday at Boogie Woodgie or Sky
  • Friday at Happy
  • Saturday at Swing Time
  • Sunday at Big Apple

5

 

Here is the packed dance floor at Happy Bar in Hongdae (홍대).

 

6

Happy Bar

 

You can find Happy Bar here.

7

 

The packed floor at Swing Time near Seoul National University of Education (서울교대).

8

 

Usually about half way through the night they form a jam circle and put anyone with a birthday in the middle. Then the people in the circle take turns stealing the birthday boy or girl to dance for a chorus of music.

9

Swing Time

 

How to get to Swing Time!

10

 

 

My friends Mirhee and Hanah dancing at Happy Bar.

11

 

The packed floor at Happy Bar

12

Big Apple Bar

 

Me dancing at Big Apple Bar. I really enjoy dancing at Big Apple. It is bigger than the other two I mentioned above and has a great energy every time I go.

13

14

Big Apple Bar

 

Article by Read from Canada

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