Swing Into the Holidays at Clientele Art Studio

A new event at Clientele Art Studio brings a fun way to swing into the holidays! A swing dancing class on Saturday, December 23 at 7 p.m. has come to fruition after requests from community members.  Hosted by Emily Hastings, this lively East Coast style of swing dance is perfect for beginners and seasoned dancers alike. The lesson is from 7 to 8 p.m. followed by dancing and hanging out while listening to swing-era tunes.

Not familiar with swing dancing? Financial advisor by day, and dancing king by night Walker Holloway, explains this eclectic and social dance genre. “Swing has its own look and its own character. It falls into the Latin (otherwise known as rhythm) dance category in competitions, but it does not look like your typical Latin dance,” said Walker. Swing dancing got its roots in the 1920s in Harlem and grew through the 1940s.

Walker first got his introduction to dancing in 2015 as a “star” in Augusta Levy’s Dancing With The Ohio Valley Stars and fell in love with ballroom dance. He now competes in DWTOVS annually, as well as on his own in 9 different styles throughout the year.

“East Coast swing – which is what is meant when we refer to ‘swing dancing’ – has a sharp, upbeat, rhythmic and bouncy look to it, Walter explained. Typically, it is danced to faster music, mainly rock, and has a more pronounced down beat. East Coast swing dancing involves the dancers taking turns rotating around each other, rather than traveling around the floor.”

Lisa Minder was one of the community members who inquired about a swing dance night after her attempts to find one locally were unsuccessful. “I’m so happy and thankful that Clientele Art Studio is putting on this event. I can’t believe they actually considered my proposal (which was actually more like begging) to have a Swing Dancing Night,” said Lisa. “I hope it becomes a regular thing. There’s a lesson in the beginning, which is really good because I have no idea how to swing dance. I’ve only seen it online and I’ve always wanted to try it.”

This Saturday’s event at Clientele will be led by local dance instructor Emily Hastings. Emily has been dancing for 10 years in all types of genres. She began with swing and blues in college and has continued working on those styles for the past decade, in addition to ballroom and Latin dances including bachata, salsa, meringue, and zouk.

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  • Instructor Emily Hastings dancing at a swing/lindy dance weekend event (photo credit: SJKostusyk Photography).

This will be the first swing dancing lesson at Clientele in East Wheeling and Emily hopes this may be the start of more similar classes in the area. “I would love to do more classes like this and to help grow and develop a dance scene here in the Ohio Valley,” said Emily. “Right now there’s a good dance scene in Pittsburgh with different types of dance, but driving an hour a couple times a week can make it hard to be consistent.”

Thinking about attending? Here are some things you should know:

  • Schedule of Events:
    • 7 – 8 p.m.: Kick off the evening with an exclusive swing dance lesson by the fabulous Emily Hastings! 
    • 8 p.m. and onwards: The dance floor is officially open and the swing night party begins!
  • Cover Charge: Swing the night away for just $5! Your ticket includes the dance lesson, a night of fantastic music, and memories that’ll last a lifetime.
  • Attire: Theme dress is encouraged, so channel those swing-era vibes! Break out your suave suits, flirty dresses, and vintage glam.
  • All are Welcome: Come solo, with a partner or with a group!

Clientele Art Studio’s mission is to provide artists of the Ohio Valley with a place to create and display their art. To learn more about the variety of events and happenings at Clientele Art Studio, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

• Crin Joy is originally from the Pittsburgh, PA area. She obtained a degree in psychology from Wheeling Jesuit University. She has spent 16 years of her adult life in Wheeling and loves putting her psychology and social work background into everything from operational and marketing consulting, event organizing and anything else that helps Wheeling continue to grow. When not working on one of her many projects, she’s out and about in town or simply relaxing at home with her boyfriend and her fur kids.