Monday, August 6, 2007

Big Time Swing

Big Time Swing is a partnership between Riley Wimes Jr. and Margot McGraw Toppen, two Chicago-area performers who have been dancing and teaching together since 1998. They are well versed in Lindy Hop, Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Balboa and East Coast Swing, as well as the history of jazz music and dance. They routinely teach in the Chicago area as well as perform and lecture grade school and high school students on jazz dancing and music . Their dynamic dance style is athletic and very high-energy. They strive to capture the spirit of Harlem's Savoy Ballroom back in the heyday of our nation's great Swing Era.

"Big Time" Riley Wimes can be seen at the DJ's post at virtually every major swing event in Chicago and he's also been invited to provide swing music at major swing events across the nation and internationally. Click here to learn more about Riley's DJ services.

As dance partners, Riley and Margot have won a number of swing dance competitions including first place in the Great Lakes Regional for the American Lindy Hop Championships for 4 years running (1999-2002). They also appeared live on stage with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra during the "For Dancers Only" tour, and they teach as part of the City of Chicago's SummerDance series.

Chicago Rebels Swing Dance Club

The original Chicago Rebels Swing Dance Club was formed in 1996, and was the first dance club to offer West Coast Swing as the primary dance in the Chicagoland area. The club is in it's second incarnation with an all new board that took over operations in the end of 2004.

While the primary dance taught in the club is West Coast Swing, our monthly dances have a mix of West Coast Swing, Hustle, Night Club Two, Country 2-Step, Cha-Cha, Salsa, and a little Lindy Hop.

In addition to hosting monthly (or sometimes bimonthly) dances, The Chicago Rebels offers several dance classes and worshops throughout the year, and prior to each dance. Private lessons from the professionals on our staff are also available. See Contact us link to connect with our staff.

The Chicago Swing Dance Society (CSDS)

The Chicago Swing Dance Society (CSDS) is Chicago's longest-running non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion, promotion, and preservation of the Lindy Hop and Jazz Music through social dances, class sessions, and workshops. We serve the student body at University of Chicago as well as the swing dance community of the greater Chicagoland area. Our staff is made up of University students and non-students alike. We are founding members of the Intercollegiate Swing Alliance (ISA), leading like-minded campus organizations across the Midwest.

The Chicago Swing Dance Society is based at the University of Chicago in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago. Most of our events occur in Ida Noyes Hall at 1212 E. 59th St., Chicago, IL 60637 (this is also our mailing address – make sure the words "Swing Dance" appear somewhere in the address). See below for directions.
Also check out our groups on facebook: we have a UChicago group for students and a global group to welcome all our members from across the Chicagoland community. Just look for Chicago Swing Dance Society.

All CSDS events, unless otherwise noted, are held in Ida Noyes hall on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park. The address is 1212 E. 59th St., 60637 at the corner of Woodlawn Ave.
By car: From the Dan Ryan (I90/I94), you can get off at Garfield Blvd (55th St.) and take it east through Washington Park. Turn right on Woodlawn (the traffic light 4 or 5 blocks past the park) and when you hit 59th St., you're there. If you're coming down Lake Shore Drive, get off at 57th, take it west to Woodlawn (about half a mile, and there's a traffic light), and cut south to 59th. There is ample street parking available at night.

By public transit: we are served by a variety of public transit options. Coming from the loop, your best bet is to take the #6 Jackson Park Express which runs down State Street. Get off at 59th St. (on Stony Island) and walk west (under the train tracks) 3 or 4 blocks. This takes about 30 minutes. You can also take the Red Line to the Garfield stop, and transfer to the #55 Garfield (or #X55 Garfield Express) eastbound. Get off at Woodlawn and walk south 4 blocks (this takes a little longer, usualy more like 45 minutes). The #6 stops running north at 12:45am on Friday nights, 12:15am on Saturday nights. The #55 and the Red Line run all night long. You can also take the Metra Electric line, which runs frequently during rush hour. The last north-bound train is at 12:29am. The stop you want is 59th St., and Ida Noyes is only a few blocks west.

Once you're there: the two rooms we use most frequently are the Theatre (located on the third floor—just go up the main stairs, or take the elevator) and the Cloister Club (located right inside the main entrance on the ground floor). For Java Jive, there is usualy a white board in the main lobby indicating where we are. Sometimes we are forced to use other rooms, in which case there will be a sign in the main lobby. If in doubt, follow the music.

Very rarely we Java Jive or special events in other locations, usualy the C-Shop in the Reynolds club at 57th and University Ave. (this is where Java Jive started in 1995), or at International House (I-House), just a few blocks east on 59th at Dorchester. When this happens, there will be a sign and directions at Ida Noyes.