Jam Circles with Jenna

On Saturday 19 September, CTS hosted Jenna Stworzjanek, a teacher from Chicago, to give a workshop on Jam circles. Jam circles are an integral part of the Lindy Hop culture and have been around since the original swing era. Dancers spontaneously surround a couple who are setting the floor alight and form a clapping ring, cheering them on. It’s then common for another couple to displace them or even for a dancer to ‘steal’ a partner already dancing. These high energy jams are a chance to show off new moves and are a safe place for air-steps, dips and tricks too wild for a social dance floor. jamcircle_workshop_jenna2

Jenna began dancing at the young age of 3…but she hated it because her teacher was mean.  So, she quit.


But the bug to perform was still in her.  As a theatre kid, she learned how to act, do a little dancing, and mostly perform.  She loved being on stage so much that she majored in theatre performance at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  While she was there, she was introduced to swing dancing.

And it was love at first sight.

The combination of athleticism and artistry along with the intoxicating appeal of jazz music was enough for Jenna to know she was hooked for life.  For the last 11 years, Jenna has perfected her abilities and is now a sought after teacher, performer, and competitor around the region.

As a competitor, Jenna’s credits are numerous but recently include:

1st place 2015 – Southern Swing Challenge – Strictly Fast with John Holmstrom

1st place 2015 – South Swing Challenge – Strictly Slow with Jonathan Dyer

1st place 2015 – Southern Swing Challenge – Fast Feet (280 + bpm) with Jonathan Dyer

1st Place 2013 Hawkeye Swing Festival – Strictly Lindy with Jonathan Jacobs

2nd Place 2013 Hawkeye Swing Festival – Solo Charleston

1st Place 2012 American Lindy Hop Championships – Strictly Lindy with James Pustejovsky

1st Place 2012 American Lindy Hop Championships – Showcase with James Pustejovsky

1st Place 2012 American Lindy Hop Championships – Jack and Jill with Mark Goodwin

1st Place 2011 Lonestar Championships – Advanced Strictly Lindy with Patrick Wall

Additionally, she’s performed for numerous corporate events and has been a featured dancer on both stage and screen. Jenna has also had the extreme privilege of working with David Thurber to perform Hellzapoppin at the 2011 Jump Session Show as part of camp Jitterbug in Seattle.  Here, she worked alongside Annie Trudeau, Max Pitzerella, Nick Williams, Laura Keat, and several others.

As a teacher, Jenna makes her home at Big City Swing  in Chicago where she is know for her ability to diagnose and troubleshoot issues with creativity, patience, and a great  sense of humor.

We loved having her in Cape Town and are feeling inspired. Can’t wait for our next chance to jam!

CTRL-Alt-Dance movie night

ctrl-alt-dance_bannerCape Town Swing dance community is pleased to host a fundraiser screening of Ctrl-Alt-Dance on 5 August 2015.

Venue: Cape Town Hollow Hotel, 88 Queen Victoria Street

Book your tickets through quicket now!

A movie by dancers for dancers! In what promises to be a memorable evening of dining, dancing and entertainment, hosted by the beautiful Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel.

The evening’s festivities will open at 18:45 with dinner and dancing at Eighty-Ate, the hotel’s restaurant and bar. There’ll be big band jazz, smooth blues and all those sweet sounds from the 1930s-50s to get us into the swing of things! So put on your dance shoes and join us for dinner and a whirlwind of Swing, Charleston and Lindy Hop.

When the clock strikes eight fifteen, we move up stairs to watch, CTRL+ALT+DANCE the Movie.

All funds raised from the film screening will go to growing and supporting swing dancing in the greater Cape region. Cape Town Swing has no staff at this time, so all funds go back to the dance community through events, parties, venue bookings, engaging international instructors, webhosting or advertising.

Have a look at  the trailer to see what’s in store!

Join the event on Facebook to stay up to date and for more information:



Ctrl+Alt+Dance is about Colin, an unemployed security software specialist, who through a case of mistaken identity is hired as a dance teacher at a local school. An adventure ensues as he tries to stay one step ahead of a vengeful hacker, a suspicious principal, and a gorgeous dance instructor. Action overcomes fear as he falls head over heels into the world of Lindy Hop.

The Night

The pre-dinner and dancing is open to those without a film ticket, so bring your friends for an after work drink, dinner or some dancing.

18:45 – Dancing and Dinner: the dance floor opens and they will start serving dinner for those that have made the most of the (pre-ordered) meal specials.

20:15 – Movie starts, so make sure you have found your seats for the night and you have bought your drinks and popcorn from the bar.

Burger special

There’s a one-night-only burger special being offered by Eighty-Ate. Instead of the usual R85 for a mind-blowing taste experience, you can get one of the following burgers for only R50. So order your burger with your ticket!

Meat burger –
# 250g Beef Patty, stuffed with Cheese. Guacomole, Onion Rings, Bacon Jam and Greens.

Veggie burger –
# Black Mushroom stuffed with Sundried Tomato and Feta, with Onion Rings and Greens.

If you are not a burger person, Eighty-Ate also has an awesome menu that you can order from on the night. Check it out here:
Eight Ate Menu

Big Thanks to Cape Town Hollow Hotel

We would like to say a big thank you to Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel who will be hosting us for this event!

The newly renovated Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel offers stylish, serene accommodation with spectacular views over the Dutch East India Company Gardens, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. Its restaurant, Eighty-Ate, offers a relaxed and modern dining experience overlooking the Company Gardens and out towards the iconic Table Mountain. This space is complemented by the natural light that floods through the full-length folding doors highlighting the natural wooden furniture and enhancing the fresh uncluttered space.

Head over to Cape Town Hollow for more information on this beautiful hotel or to make a booking at their restaurant Eighty-Ate or to stay in one of their lovely rooms.CTHollow_pic

Mother City Hop campaign update

We’ve passed the halfway mark towards our first target for Mother City Hop! Tickets, t-shirts and other campaign perks can be bought at indiegogo.com/projects/mother-city-hop/.

We started off the fundraising campaign with a great launch party on 18 June. The Swanky Doodles ensured the dance floor was buzzing all night. Here’s a little taste of the fun –

We’ve had 36 people signing up for full festival passes so far, with a third of them coming from outside of South Africa (and a few more who are originally from elsewhere but currently in SA). We hope you’re looking forward to meeting and dancing with lindy hoppers from around the world as much as we are! We’ve also had our first All Star sale and a dancer sponsored, and hope the numbers will keep growing.

A reminder those in SA can pay for passes in rand through a direct EFT to Cape Town Swing. We will add your contribution to the campaign. There are 22 passes still available at R1680 (corresponding to $140). Another option is to buy a one day pass for R840 ($70) and later upgrade to a full pass. This includes a full day of classes and a party, so it’s a great way to go if you can’t commit to the whole weekend yet. (But remember that we need to meet our goal to get as many of the amazing teachers out here as possible, and if you upgrade later you’ll pay a bit more than the discounted campaign ticket price.)

Bank Account:
First National Bank
Cape Town Swing
Account number: 62527638780
Branch: Gardens (201511)

Two of our MCH organisers, Brendan and Muriel, are currently in Herräng, the biggest Lindy Hop camp in the world, held in Sweden every year. They’re Frankie Manning Foundation ambassadors,  and are looking forward to sharing what they’ve learnt and growing the Cape Town swing scene when they get  back. Meanwhile, they’re spreading the word about Mother City Hop far and wide!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video updates from Cape Town Swing, including the latest news shared from rainy Sweden –

Sandbox Wednesdays 1 July 2015 – DecaVita Revision 1


With Cape Town Swing’s brightest representing us at the Herräng Dance Camp in Sweden and spreading the word about Mother City Hop 2016, our thoughts turn to the last time the Swedish swing community enriched ours. Emelie and Rebecka DecaVita came to Cape Town in January and taught us the the best of Swedish swing.

The time has come to revist those lessons. Whether you missed them the first time round or went to every single class, join us on Wednesday 1 July at 8:15pm for the first of a series of sessions when we’ll be going over the first two beginners and intermediate lessons. We’ll also begin teaching the Mother City Hoppers routine that a group of us performed at the Wembly Tap on 29 January 2015.

We’ll be having drinks beforehand at YOURSTRULY Cafe accross the road from 7pm to socialise and discuss all things swing – come and join us!

The lesson will be held at the hall of the Cape Town Union Congregational Church, cnr Kloof Street and Eaton Road, Gardens/Tamboerskloof. The price of admission is R20, which goes towards the cost of hiring the venue.

Mother City Hop campaign launch


Woohoo! The long-awaited launch of our Mother City Hop crowd funding campaign is upon us! We can’t wait to swing out at the launch party tonight, and show you all what we’ve been up to the last few weeks.

In case you haven’t heard much about Mother City Hop yet, here’s the scoop –

We’re inviting swing dancers from all around the planet to converge on our city in March 2016 for an unforgettable experience – the very first swing festival on South African soil. A weekend of swing dancing: top-class lindy hop teachers combined with local dance concept classes, and 3 nights of live music and dancing with dancers from around the world.

To make the festival a reality , we’re launching an IndieGoGo campaign, due to go live on 24 June. The festival will be scaled in size depending on the response. The teacher line up is so incredible – we really want them all to join us! If you do too, join in early and spread the word! Special prices on early bird tickets, a Cape tour option for the days leading up to the festival (a great way to see the sights and get to know the Cape Town dancers) and fabulous t-shirts are all available through Indiegogo. Register now!

If you’d like to be kept up to date with our news, sign up to our MCH mailing list. We’re going to need your help to spread the word! (We promise not to spam you.)


Lindy in De Park!

Last Saturday, we were joined by famed Baltimore teachers Dorry and Sommer, as well as solo jazz sensation Dave Plotkin from Chicago. We were lucky enough to share some swing outs with them in De Waal Park, catching the last of summer. We also discovered that Dorry’s talents don’t end with lindy hop and transplant surgery; he’s great at baby-leading, too! The photos below reveal all…

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Mother City Hop 2016 announced!

Cape Town is pretty isolated from the rest of the swing world and to date it hasn’t yet featured on the international scene – but that’ll soon be rectified!


We’re inviting swing dancers from all around the planet to converge on our city in March 2016 for an epic weekend of swing dancing: world-class lindy hop teachers combined with local dance tasters, and 3 nights of live music and dancing with dancers from around the world.

If you can see yourself swinging out on Table Mountain, kicking up your heels in the Cape Winelands and doing dips and tricks on some seriously picturesque beaches, save the date and start looking at flights!

To make the festival a reality , we’re launching an IndieGoGo campaign on 19 June 2015.

If you’d like to be kept up to date with our progress and get first options on ticket sales, add your email address below. We’re going to need your help to spread the word! (We promise not to spam you.)