About us

Swing in Utrecht is a foundation run mostly by volunteers and paid teachers. We organize socials, lesson blocks, workshops and festivals for different dance styles of Swing dancing which originated from black communities during the 1920s to the 1940s. Our lead style is Lindy Hop, but we also offer Blues dancing, Collegiate Shag, Solo Jazz and sometimes Balboa. We are always striving to be an open and welcoming community for everyone who just wants to dance, no matter who you are.

Our story...

Back in 2004 the Lindy Hop scene in the Netherlands was vastly different. Lindy Hop wasn’t nearly as prolific and there were only two relatively small scenes in Amsterdam and Purmerend and one in Eindhoven just starting. In that time three Utrechters came together to start the first Lindy Hop classes in their hometown; Jojanneke, Anette and Arjan.

Building the swing community in Utrecht

The first classes in March 2005 were a challenge with only a few students, but the team didn’t give up. In August, they performed with dancers from Amsterdam at the UitMarkt in Utrecht, which starts the cultural season. This success led to about 45 students in the next lesson block.

They soon expanded to two levels, but besides the classes and the end-term t-dances at Zalencentrum Utrecht Zuid, there was not much social dancing yet. Regular social dance night, one of the brick stones of swing dancing, were not available in the Netherlands until 2009, the start of SOOP in Amsterdam. Until that time dancers were dependent on small events and workshops in all parts of the Netherlands and abroad. This made the several dance scenes from the Netherlands close and connected. The bi-yearly Utrecht workshops with several teachers from abroad were always a success.

Swing in Utrecht was registered as a foundation in 2007.

Resilience through Change: Utrecht's Swing Community

It took time for the scene to grow, but when Jojanneke returned from her studies in London, she brought Roland, her partner at the time. Roland, used to the vivid social dance scene in London, missed his weekly social dance kick. In 2011, he started the first HopSpots in a small attic in Otje, a cafe on the Nobelstraat. It soon became too small and moved to Winkel van Sinkel in 2012/2013, where it stayed for almost 10 years.

In 2012, the first SwingDom workshop was organized with different teachers from abroad and Gordon Webster and his All Star Band. Gordon Webster, one of the greatest swing artist of our time, became an almost yearly visiter of the scene. The Januari sold out concerts in Tivoli became the most swinging start of the new year. SwingDom is now a yearly big workshop with many international beloved teachers and bands.

Swing in Utrecht's Post-Corona Era

The COVID-19 pandemic was tough for Swing dancers. Swing in Utrecht canceled lessons, festivals, and socials for safety. Slowly, lessons and socials returned, now almost back to pre-COVID strength with numerous classes, weekly socials, monthly bandnights and several workshops per year.

To support our community’s journey, visit the Volunteering page to see how you can help.

Want to know more about the rich history of swing dances?

Step back in time and explore the rhythmic evolution of swing dances. Uncover the captivating tales behind Lindy Hop, Charleston, and more. Delve into the vibrant history that shaped these iconic dances, and swing through an era where every step tells a story.