Lindy Hop with San Diego's Best Swingers

As any avid lindy hopper can tell you, learning how to swing dance in a class is only scratching the surface. In order to practice your moves and get a real feel for the scene, every dancer must go out to a swing club.

There are no excuses. Lindy hop is a social dance. Luckily, San Diego is home to some of the best and most innovative clubs this side of the Pacific. With a venue open almost every day of the week, beginner and advanced dancers alike have all the more reason to venture out and get their groove on.

The following are some of the best swing clubs in San Diego:

Tuesday Nights

The Rocket

Portuguese Hall

2818 Avenida de Portugal, near Shelter Island in Point Loma

(619) 291-3775 or http://www.2toGroove.com

One of San Diego’s premiere swing venues, this club also boasts one of the city’s biggest dance halls. At over 3,000 square feet, its wooden dance floor is nicely complemented by a high ceiling, crystal chandeliers and other beautiful ornamentation. Upon arrival, don’t forget to ask about dance lessons from the club’s friendly managers. Jim Cruzen and Margie Adams. The large stage in the foreground makes this one of the few swing venues in the area to consistently feature live bands.

Conveniently located nearby are plenty of restaurants and cafes to provide good eats after a long night of dancing.

9 p.m. – Midnight

$6 cover ($5 for students with ID)

Thursday Nights

The Firehouse

San Diego Center for the Moving Arts

3255 5th Ave., between Spruce and Thorn in Hillcrest

(858) 603-3784

Call Meeshi for more information

A favorite among the San Diego lindy crowd, this all-ages swing club is known for its intimacy and underground feel.

Just as the name suggests, the venue is actually an old firehouse converted into a dance hall. It features over 2,400 square feet of wooden floor space and a fantastic sound system.

Regular DJs such as Meeshi Sumayao like to play music at groovy, moderate tempos, making the Firehouse an ideal place for beginner/intermediate lindy hoppers to get their first taste of social dancing.

9:30 p.m. – Midnight.

$5 ($3 students with ID).

Friday Nights

Cafe Savoy

Clayton’s Cafe

Corner of 7th and F, in the Gaslamp (next to the Maryland Hotel)

(858) 603-3784

Call Meeshi for more information

San Diego’s newest swing club is also its smallest and only coffeehouse-turned-swing venue. The relaxed cafe atmosphere allows dancers to chat and socialize more than they would be able to do in a louder, bigger club. In addition, food and drinks are served into the late hours, allowing patrons to enjoy a night of dancing as well as delicious desserts.

Unique to this club are its huge windows, giving outsiders the rare opportunity to stop and watch one of San Diego’s most exciting dances.

8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

$5 (swing lesson included)

Saturday Afternoons

Lindy by the Bay

The Hilton San Diego Resort

1775 East Mission Bay Drive, off Interstate 5 in Mission Bay

Taking its cue from other big cities that like to host swing dancing next to bodies of water, most notably San Francisco’s “”Lindy in the Park,”” this is San Diego’s own version of outdoor lindy.

The venue offers swing dancers a rare chance to dance outside the confines of a club. Similar to Cafe Savoy, Lindy by the Bay is equally friendly to the nonswing dancer. Anyone who wants to see some free entertainment on a weekend afternoon can come out and mingle with the friendliest people in town.

3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Free!