There’s an energy and a spirit in New Orleans that not only welcomes dancing for any reason in any setting, but practically insists upon it. In New Orleans, we dance at concerts, in second lines, at parties and on the street corner, partly because there’s complete freedom to do so and usually because we’re powerless to the live band that’s almost certainly playing at the time. This efficacy of New Orleans culture is exactly what this episode of GoNOLA Radio is about.
Our guest for this episode is Chance Bushman, professional dancer and founder of the NOLA Jitterbugs dance school. The NOLA Jitterbugs is located at the Rhythmic Arts Center inside the Healing Center on St. Claude Avenue and focuses on teaching the dancing skills for swing, Lindy Hop, the balboa, blues and zydeco dancing. Anyone, no matter what their skill level, can take a class or an entire six week course with the NOLA Jitterbugs, or visitors can just hop in to one of their free weekly dance lessons at d.b.a. on Sundays at 5 p.m., Allways Lounge on Sundays at 8 p.m. and Mimi’s in the Marigny on Mondays at 8 p.m.
Dance enthusiasts who are in New Orleans in October will not want to miss the annual New Orleans Swing Dance Festival that features the world famous Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown between some of the best swing dancers in the world, many who hail from right here in New Orleans. Chance encourages anyone in New Orleans to learn how to dance, because you don’t have to be born with rhythm, and as he says, “the only way to do it wrong is to not dance.”
GoNOLA Radio is a free New Orleans podcast hosted by Sunpie Barnes, Lorin Gaudin, George Ingmire and Mikko about the food, music and culture of the Crescent City. Subscribe to GoNOLA Radio on iTunes or download to your mobile device on Stitcher. GoNOLA Radio features music by Cale Pellick.