Put on your dancing shoes because it’s time for the 8th annual Lindy on the Rocks Swing Dance Festival from Aug. 2-5. Last night, the celebration kicked off with a sunset swing dance at the Cheesman Park Pavilion.

Sunset swing dance at the Cheesman Park Pavilion

Swing dance music filled the air as I made my way through the rose gardens and up the stairs to the Pavilion. Looking more like the Acropolis in Athens than a landmark in Denver, the Pavilion’s sheer size and beauty was jaw dropping. With three gigantic fountains framing the entrance of the facility as well as gardens surrounding the space, the setting couldn’t have been more perfect for a night of dancing.

Nearly 100 people filled the interior of the Pavilion, moving to the rhythm of the music. Taking in the scene, I noticed that there wasn’t one particular demographic that stood out. Instead, I found people of all ages enjoying the tunes as they twirled about the enormous dance floor. With both fast and slow swing dance music, everyone’s moves were put to the test. While some couples were visibly well trained, others (like myself) danced at a more basic level.

As the sun set, illuminating the panoramic view of the mountains and the city, I couldn’t think of a better beginning to the Lindy on the Rocks Swing Dance Festival. The festivities continue tonight at the Denver Turnverein Ballroom with a beginner swing dance lesson from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by dancing to live music by the Lindy on the Rocks All Star Band. Classes are also available all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Ranging from beginner level through masters, the classes will be instructed by world-renowned swing dancers.

Or grab tickets for Community-Minded Dance’s annual fundraiser, Swing in the City, in The Studio Loft at the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Aug. 4. With the goal of fostering the next generation of dancers and musicians in Colo., the event will feature a silent auction, performances by internationally acclaimed dancers from around the world and dancing to live music by the Lindy on the Rocks All Star Band. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Still craving more? The festival wraps up Sunday with a pool party and late night dance at the Auraria Campus Recreation Center beginning at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the Lindy on the Rocks Swing Dance Festival will be donated to jazz dance and music school programming for Denver metro area youth. For tickets, schedules and more information visit www.lindyontherocks.com.


Jessica Kleinman is an art and culture intern/writer for 303 Magazine. She is currently studying journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her posts on Twitter