Bringing Lindy Hop to New England since 1995!

Syndicate content

Beantown 2016 Photo Booth

Beantown 2017 is scheduled from June 22-29. We have an excellent lineup of world class instructors, some very exciting plans for 5 nights of live music, plus many extras and fun activities throughout the week.

Do the Whole Shebang or Week option to get the full load of track classes, mini-tracks, as well as optional and specialty classes. Each day brings its own special features. You won’t want to miss them!

Registration is going live on Tuesday, February 7! Here are some things to look out for:

  • 4 Tiers Early Registration First Timer Discounts 
  • 4 Tiers Early Registration Discounts
  • International Discounts
  • On-Campus Housing Options

Jam with Campus Five

Hope you’ve been having a fantastic summer! We’ve been having good weather here in the Boston area, getting us out to enjoy the great outdoors. Time has flown since camp ended, although there’s been a lot of “Beantown” still going on at our house, wrapping things up for 2016.

Planning starts early each year, and with it being our 20th, we wanted it to be extra special. Somehow, no matter how last minute things ended up, our plans all came together. However, that is only part of the story. The atmosphere at camp was so fantastic from the very start to the very finish. The happy faces, the heartfelt moments and the sheer joy was what it all comes down to.

Camp Social

Our vision for Beantown from the beginning, which we still feel today, is for a week of complete immersion in dance, learning, challenge, inspiration, positivity, camaraderie and a whole lot of fun. Being on the Endicott campus has enabled us to do so much, with the fantastic facilities, the beautiful beaches, and the perfect setting. There’s the convenience of living on campus, sharing meals, creating our own little community. The weekend can be super busy, but then there is the rest of the week, allowing a chance for other activities, more time for classes, social dancing and hanging with fellow Beantowners. It adds so much to the whole experience.

Soul Party

When we started, we didn’t think about the future and how long we’d be going. It is amazing that it has been 20 years! Over time there have been a lot of changes, and each year we take a fresh look to make plans for the next one. As for 2016, Beantown was pretty much everything we had hoped it would be. We loved the amazing spirit on campus, we loved seeing so much participation, and we loved all the smiles. Beantown would never be what it is without the help and contributions of so many people, some behind-the-scenes and some front and center.

First there is our long time team of friends who help with setting up camp and preparing for opening day, as well as handling duties during the week. They are the go-to people in time of need and we don’t know how we could do Beantown without them. Rachelle Gaudet, Suzanne Gaudet, Joe Toth, Martin Frechette, Meredith Patneaude, Denyce Zabrecky, Benson Wong, Betty Stone and Margaret Marks, thanks for always being willing to help us with the craziness.

Norma Miller

Next up we would like to thank Beantown’s very special guest, the legendary Queen of Swing, Norma Miller! This year she was everywhere. She sang with the bands, she danced with Nathan’s tap group, she entertained us with her stories.

Instructors

Classes are a major component of Beantown and therefore require an excellent cast of instructors. However, the role of instructors is much greater than teaching. Beantown is a week full of activities and the teachers are involved in so many of them. We are a team, all working together to create the best experience possible. That requires not only talented dancers and teachers, but just as important, fantastic people.

Many of our instructors have been with us a long time, and we could easily single out each one, however, we want to mention a few who have been a big part of all that Beantown has become.

Peter Strom is so much Beantown. Over the years he’s given us many laughs, wonderful presentations, Beantown Bounce finales, as well as hosting the late night Soul Party. There is something special about those Beantown Soul Parties, bringing everyone together, letting loose and just having fun!

Bobby White always brings something great with his “bar talks” and presentations. One of the best ever was this year’s presentation with Norma. We especially enjoyed the clip of Norma that she got so excited about. Maybe something she’s never seen before.

Beantown Bounce with Michael, Nathan and Evita

Evita Arce has been doing the majority of organizing Beantown Bounce the last few years and it is always a highlight of the week. This year’s overflowed with talent, one fantastic number after another. Thank you so much to everyone who performed and gave us such a spectacular show. The creativity and how everything gets pulled together in so little time never ceases to amaze.

Jon Tigert has kind of grown up during his years at Beantown and he even shares his birthday with us. We call him the “entertainment director” because pretty much everything Jon does is entertaining. We appreciate all of it, most especially his constant smile, exuberant attitude and willingness to jump into anything we ask him to.

Gordon Webster and Friends

Another big component of Beantown is the social dancing and for that you need fantastic music. We certainly had that, starting off the weekend with Taryn Newborne and The Real Deal, making their Beantown debut. It’s always a treat to have Jonathan Stout & his Campus Five, and this year was extra wonderful with Hilary Alexander back with the band. As for many years, the perfect way to finish off the week with Gordon Webster & Friends. With a line-up like this to count on, you know you can’t go wrong!

The DJ crew rounded out the music and did an excellent job. Special thanks to Allen Kerr. As Head DJ at Beantown, there are a lot of extra activities he was involved with that are not usually part of the job. No matter what we asked, Allen has always delivered and is a pleasure to have on the team.

MC Edgar Herwick

Emcees are key to an event as they often set the tone and create atmosphere. Besides Jon, Edgar Herwick is often on the mic, adding so much to everything he does. Besides his easygoing style, what we appreciate so much about Edgar is how he takes what you ask him and always pulls it off in just the right way. Thanks also to Jasmin Hains for handling the meal time announcements. Jasmin may worry that his English isn’t perfect, but what he doesn’t realize is that announcements are more enjoyable with a lovely French accent!

We’ve worked with Judy Pritchett with the Frankie Manning Foundation Ambassador program, but this year was the first time she actually attended Beantown. It was a big pleasure having Judy on campus all week, plus she gave two presentations, one on Frankie Manning and one on the Big Apple. Both were wonderful and included things even long timers like us haven’t seen before.

Beantown's Got Talent

There’s a lot going on with a week of Beantown and all the planning in the world is not enough without a fantastic team to make it happen.

Michael Strickland came early to set up all the sound systems and handle the bands for the first half of the week. We have a lot of rooms, so that means a lot to set up. Maduka Chidebelu-Eze handled the 2nd half of the week, with special activities to set up along with the live music and breaking down all the equipment.

Jason Volk was our lead support this year, doing some of many things, including helping Michael and Maduka, some staff pick-ups, setting up for different activities and breaking camp. One of those jobs that requires being ready whenever something is needed.

Davis Thurber is our head videographer, with help from Chris Hugo. This year Davis was especially quick with getting videos out. As an example, the Wednesday late afternoon class performances were up on YouTube before dinner! Because of the great job he did while at camp, we were able to get the class review online downloads and DVDs done in record time this year.

Advanced Jack and Jill Finals with Campus Five

Jenna Applegarth is in charge of both the competitions and the auditions/track placements. Despite that they are both happening during the same time period, she handles everything with calm and control. Jenna’s job is extra challenging at Beantown due to the different options for attending, adding multi layers into the track placement process. Thanks also to the judges and everyone on Jenna’s crew for making these challenging activities run so smoothly.

Steve Berman and Charlie Wieprecht were our main drivers this year. This is a job that most people at camp wouldn’t notice, although to us, it is an amazing help to have the right people handling it. We have a lot of staff to get to and from the campus. The job may start out straightforward, but then there are shifted travel plans, delayed or cancelled flights and unexpected last minute additions. Enough to drive a person crazy! These guys couldn’t have been more patient and gracious. Thanks also to everyone else who filled in where we needed help.

Tom Hagar and Robert Hatcher handled photography for this year and it’s been great seeing the photos rolling out on Facebook since Beantown. They did a great job of capturing all the fun we had! Thanks also to Byron Hon. He should just be on the crew as he must devote just as much time to all the wonderful photos he takes.

Photo Booth

Our good friend Don Fish once again did a fantastic job with the graphics for the t-shirts and hoodies, photo booth banner, buttons and wherever else we used his images. We give him vague requests and he puts them together far better than we ever could imagine. Thanks also to Steve Carmel for making the giant 20 for the photo booth, far surpassing what we envisioned. As hoped, Beantown Campers made good use of them in the photos.

There are so many others who helped out during the week and we truly appreciate each one of you! Tara Weinstein hosting the open practices, Lori Michelle doing the stretch classes, Taryn Newborne and the rest of the check-in crew, the Beantown Café crew, Martin’s roadie/water crew, and everyone else who played a part in making our week happen.

One other important thank you we want to be sure to include is to Sarah Sullivan and Nicole Zuckerman for doing their very important presentation on the “Culture of Consent”. This was an excellent program that included information, discussion and exercises. We hope that in the future we can have something like this again as we need to be aware in our community of what exists, how to handle situations and how best to create an environment that allows everyone to feel safe, supported and welcomed.

Camp BBQ

As to our Beantown campers from near and far, you truly are the best! We feel so grateful to have this opportunity to bring together so many from all over the U.S. and beyond to share in the world of Lindy Hop that we love so much. It was fantastic to reconnect with friends we’ve not seen for awhile as well as to welcome all the first-timers. Thank you to all those who recommended Beantown to friends and students and to all the group organizers. So much of what makes Beantown so special and unique has to do with the energy, spirit, friendliness and joy that comes from all those who attend. It can be daunting each year to get to opening day, however, it is seeing everyone put so much of themselves into the week which makes it so worthwhile. This is what we hope for and thank you all so much for making it happen!

See you at Beantown 2017, June 22-29!

Camp details | Join event Join camp event | Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter

Providence SwingsHead on down this Saturday to Providence Swings’ Pre-Dirty Dozen, Dozen Year Birthday Bash! Now how can you miss that!

Providence Swings hosts very fun and friendly dances and this is sure to be a good one! Check out this great team of DJs: Daryl Begin from Providence, Dang Mai from Boston and Wil Reed from Connecticut.

A beginner lesson is included starting at 7:00pm.

Full information on Providence Swings

Hop to the Beat classThe next session of classes is now up! Tony has a busy work travel schedule which we wanted to get set first before announcing the new classes. At least this year we’ve been free of the many class cancellations due to weather that we had last winter. Hopefully the rest of this one will continue the same!

The new 6 week Sunday class session in Newton Lower Falls will be starting on March 13 and run through April 24. There will be no classes on March 27, Easter Sunday.

The new 6 week Monday class session in Boston will be starting on March 14 and run through April 25. There will be no classes on April 18, Patriots’ Day.

Here is what’s on for this session:

  • Beginner Swing/Intro to Lindy Hop Level 1 (Newton & Boston)
  • Lindy Hop Level 2 (Newton only this session)
  • Lindy Hop/Jazz Routine Part 2 (Newton & Boston)

Free parking available in both locations as well as near public transportation. Singles and couples welcome. No partner necessary. Classes will rotate partners, except this session’s routine class.

Register NowFull class details.

Beantown Swing OrchestraOn Saturday, February 20, Uptown Swing will be hosting the Beantown Swing Orchestra at KI in Brookline. The dance will also feature guest DJ Andrew Selzer.

Beantown Swing Orchestra specializes in the performance of vintage Swing Era and Sinatra classics as well as popular and original songs custom arranged for big band. Most of the musicians and songwriters/arrangers are in their twenties and play with the energy and drive to keep everyone moving on the dance floor. It’s always a fun night with BSO in the house!

KI is a beautiful venue located just a few blocks from Coolidge Corner in Brookline. The dance entrance is on Williams Street. With an excellent wood floor and huge space, there is plenty of room for your dancing pleasure. Bring friends!

Buy Tickets NowFull Uptown Swing details.

Join the Facebook dance event.

Beantown CampBeantown Camp registration has been open for almost two weeks! Of course we sweated it out on opening night when everything went to overload. Once it all got rolling, it was excellent to see registrations pouring in.

Early Bird discount prices are currently available. Plus there are still some First Time discounts for those attending the week or whole shebang for their very first Beantown. Great bargains are still to be had!

Some of the housing options have filled, although there is plenty of available housing on campus. Be sure to check out some of the new options for 2016.

More exciting announcements are on the way!

Register Now

Join the Beantown Camp 2016 Facebook event.

Beantown Camp

Beantown Camp Opening Soon!

Who knew back in 1997 when we held our first Beantown Camp that here we’d be in 2016 just about ready to open Beantown #20! So much has happened over the years and we are excited and grateful for how Beantown has evolved to become the amazing event that it is today.

This year Beantown runs from June 23-30 and will be back at Endicott College in Beverly, MA, a beautiful oceanfront location just north of Boston.

Here are just some of the reasons why you want to attend Beantown Camp 2016:

  • Immersing yourself in a week of classes with an amazing collection of the world’s best Lindy Hop instructors!
  • Dancing to some of the hottest Swing bands: Taryn Newborne and The Real Deal, Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five (two nights) and Gordon Webster (two nights)!
  • Being entertained, awed and inspired watching the instructors perform in Beantown Bounce!
  • Dancing with awesome Lindy Hoppers from all over the U.S. and beyond!
  • Spending time with Norma Miller, living legend and original Lindy Hopper!
  • Saturday Camp Social in a gorgeous shoreline setting!
  • Fun competitions!
  • Good times at Beantown Karaoke!
  • Camp BBQ with lawn games in the beautiful Misselwood Tent!
  • Bonding with classmates while trying to master that new move!
  • Entertainment galore at Beantown’s Got Talent!
  • Finding your Soul at a late night dance party!
  • Three fabulous meals per day with many options to choose from!
  • Rolling out of your bed and down to the beach for some relaxation time!
  • Hanging at the pub with your new and old friends!
  • Finishing your week filled with joy, exhilaration and lots of Lindy Love!

Important Beantown News

The past year presented some major challenges with Endicott College and Beantown, with the biggest issue concerning having minors on campus. The college has been undergoing some changes and starting with this year we will not be able to have anyone under 18 on campus. We were provided an exception for a handful of specific minors coming with key staff.

The changes taking place at Endicott are similar to many colleges these days. Some are eliminating all their summer programs to avoid the extra risks. Much of it has to do with all the scandals we hear about in the news. We were very worried about our being able to return this summer and, after meeting with the college president, were incredibly relieved we would be welcome back, although with some new parameters.

We are sad about having to restrict those who may come to Beantown, however, we are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to continue to hold our camp at this wonderful venue. So much of what Beantown has become is due to the spectacular setting, facilities and staff at Endicott. We can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Beantown Camp

Beantown Registration Announcement!

Registration is going live on Saturday, January 30 at 5:00pm EST!

Here’s what to look out for: 

  • First Timer Discounts
  • Special Tiered Early Bird Discounts
  • International Discounts
  • New On-Campus Housing Options

Much of the current info on the website is from 2015. Although this year’s camp will have many similar features, there are always some changes. More details will be available soon as the website is updated this week.

If you’ve never done the whole shebang, THIS is the year!

View the website for more information!

Join the Beantown Camp 2016 Facebook event.

Hop to the Beat classHave you been telling yourself that you want to finally take a dance class? Have you been away for awhile and feeling you want to get back out? Now is the perfect time! A new year, a new start. Our first 6 week session of 2016 begins on Sunday, January 10 in Newton Lower Falls and Monday, January 11 in Boston. Classes are relaxed, good exercise and a fun opportunity to meet people.

  • Beginner Swing/Intro to Lindy Hop Level 1
    The place to start for those brand new to Swing dancing! Also ideal if you have some experience and are working on developing a solid foundation of dance skills while building a repertoire of fun moves. 6 count basics plus an intro to 8 count will be covered along with a different selection of steps each session. The 7 different sessions at this level are designed to provide a good base for social dancing. Okay to start with any session. Students are recommended to stay at this level long enough to feel very comfortable with what’s taught before moving to Level 2. Discount after 2 full sessions. No experience required.
  • Lindy Hop Level 2
    This level is for refining the core moves of Lindy Hop and in each session there will be some time devoted to the finer points as well as adding variations to the basics. Emphasis is on technique, partner connection, musicality and building skills. The 8 different sessions continually evolve over time with each one focusing on a different theme (such as stretch, flow and rhythm). Sessions can be taken in any order. Each one has a mix of the classic (including Charleston) along with newer variations, all with a touch of style and flash! Discount after 2 full sessions. Some previous Lindy Hop experience is required. Meets in Newton only this session.
  • Lindy Hop/Jazz Routine
    This uptempo routine will include a mix of partner and solo dancing. The focus while learning the steps will be on rhythm and musicality. Learning choreography is fun, challenging and a great way to work on your dancing! An interest in performing is not needed to take this session. It is aimed at intermediate to advanced Lindy Hoppers. A partner is not required, however, for those interested in continuing, it would be helpful to join with a partner. Meets in both locations.

    Part 2 of this class will continue in the following session. The focus will be on performance, teamwork, formation and practice. Besides haven taken Part 1, it will be by invitation and require a partner.

Singles and couples welcome. No partner necessary. Both locations are conveniently accessible by car or T with free parking available. Missed classes may be made up at the alternate location when the same class meets.

Register NowFull class details.

Swing & Soul DanceOn Saturday, January 16, Uptown Swing will be hosting a special Swing & Soul Dance at KI in Brookline. The dance will feature the fabulous Racky Thomas Band and guest DJ Javier Johnson, bringing a great mix of fun get-up-and-dance music.

There’s more! Included with dance admission, a special Intro to Partnered Soul lesson with Javi Johnson and a Soul Competition (with prizes)!

Buy Tickets NowFull Uptown Swing details.

Join the Facebook dance event.

Uptown Swing DanceUptown Swing is ready to take on a new year! We have an exciting line up of bands confirmed with something special each month.

  • January 16, Swing & Soul Dance, Racky Thomas Band
    Lesson with Javier Johnson, Soul Competition
  • February 20, Beantown Swing Orchestra
  • March 19, Uptown Swing Moves to the Boston Tea Party, Boilermaker Jazz Band
  • April 2, Solomon Douglas Heptet
    2nd Second Rate Lindy Exchange
  • May 21, Shawn Hershey, Josh Fialkoff & The Fried Bananas
    Frankie Manning Celebration

Full Uptown Swing details,