Have a Swinging New Year! Setting Intentions for 2024 and Beyond.

Mary-Anne SlezacekContributors

The transition from one year to the next is usually a time for reflection and resolutions. This invariably entails some disappointment for not fulfilling the previous year’s resolutions, but let’s not get hung up on that! There’s always time. However, sometimes we get to bask in the glow of a year well spent. Perhaps I’m looking at 2023 like an …

Why Dancing is Great for our Mental Well-being

Mary-Anne SlezacekContributors

October is Mental Health Awareness Month in South Africa, and World Mental Health Day was celebrated on the 10th of October. In 2004, the World Health Organization redefined mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is …

The Significance of Celebrating Heritage Month with The Pebble Shakers at District.

Mary-Anne SlezacekHistory

There are many things I love about South Africa: the dramatic landscapes, the wild oceans and springtime flowers for a start. Then there’s the fact that traffic lights are called “robots” (and that you can do some shopping while you wait for them to turn green), there’s wine at children’s parties, you’re expected to be thirty minutes late to everything …

Women of the Swing Era.

Mary-Anne SlezacekHistory

In the third instalment of CTS’s Women in Jazz blog series, we turn the spotlight on the pioneers of jazz and swing in the USA. Two of our members, Alisa and The Funky Dak, showcase some remarkable women who made a huge impact. Not only in did they help create the Swing scene that we know and love today; these …

The Shim Sham: A Brief History of a Lindy Hop Institution.

Mary-Anne SlezacekHistory

You’re taking a sip of your drink, in need of a break after some particularly swinging swingouts, when a familiar stomping intro kicks in. There’s something so alluring about that bold and rhythmic statement from the brass section, with its syncopated motif, and you find yourself abandoning your drink to run back to the dance floor and join in the …

Honouring Frankie Manning’s Enduring Legacy with World Lindy Hop Day.

Mary-Anne SlezacekNews

On May 26th, swing dancers around the globe come together to celebrate Frankie Manning’s birthday and World Lindy Hop Day. I can’t think of anything more joyous than the entire world dancing together in a collective homage to the rich history, vibrant culture, and enduring fun of the Lindy Hop. It’s undergone some change and transformation since it first tore …

The Big Apple: A brief history of a dance that’s harder than it looks!

Mary-Anne SlezacekContributors

In March, I attended Muriel’s super-intensive three-hour Big Apple workshop at the Observatory Community Centre. I’m going to be honest: it was hard. There were moments in which I was praying for time to speed up so I could be released from the mental and physical ordeal. But those moments were few; mostly I tried to maximise every second in …

Dancing My Troubles Away

Mary-Anne SlezacekContributors

I’m not exaggerating when I say that swing dance has saved me. It’s changed my life completely, and I’m so thankful. I won’t bore you with the details, but last year was a struggle. I moved continents and had my heart broken to a million pieces. My only source of income was the online business I’d started so that I …