"Boston's host of fine Swing Dancing since 1994"
SWING CITY: Stop the presses!
The Tradition Continues After All
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2008, Chelsea, MA. In February, 2008,
to the great surprise and chagrin of Boston's swing dance scene, Swing
City announced it was closing its doors. This after hosting Boston's
most renowned swing dances for well over a decade. As it turned out,
the Bishop Mackenzie Center was planning a new series Friday night
youth activities and after nearly two years as Swing City's hosts,
finally had to say farewell.
Upon receiving that phone call, Dan Mezrich, founder and
BACKBONE of Swing City, realized he was getting tired. "I haven't
had a Friday night off in 14 years..." he lamented as he reflected
back on no less than three different venues that had hosted Swing
City over the years. Kudos to Dan for all that he has put together
for such a long time. Alas, the wake was planned for March 14, 2008.
Boston's long-time dance production company, SalsaBoston, having
hosted its own Salsa events for nearly ten years, heard about this
debacle. Really, "How could such a mainstay institution of Boston
dance go down??!?!" SalsaBoston's founder, Olaf Bleck, has always
had relations with Boston's swing and ballroom organizations, including
Swing City, HaveToDance.com, Supershag, and many others. "Event
producers, we all know each other," Olaf quipped. In fact, many
of SalsaBoston's regulars themselves over the years have been crossover
So, Dan's phone rang again. "Hi, this is Dan..."
Well, long story short, after some very productive negotiations,
SalsaBoston decided to step up and continue the Swing City tradition.
Dan will help out in handing over the reigns: though he is retiring
as event director, he will be consulting on the details, particularly
with the entertainment. Moreover, as a permanent guest of the house,
he too can finally go have some pure fun of his own on the
Many of the same friendly staff will continue to host the party,
along with much of the same great entertainment. Some additional improvements
are in the works as well.
The story about the lease dissolving is unfortunately true. Though
there was a rumor that the lease dissolution may be delayed for at
least another season, the Bishop Mackenzie Center did ultimately decide
to go ahead with its internal plans.
Thus, Olaf, now the new director of Swing City faced his first new,
non-trivial challenge: find a new location. In a flurry of calls and
meetings, fortunately, about six different venues immediately were
located for consideration. "That what we do as event producers,"
Olaf said, "It's our job to know where we can put parties like
this." In fact, three of them are strongly under consideration,
with the most likely candidate being conveniently located in the Cambridge/Somerville
vicinity. That venue is awaiting approval by its board of directors.
"It's still under wraps, but we'll know in about a week on this
one," Bleck said, "It looks very good though. The
top two other places will also serve well, so Swing City will be back
for sure. I know many people will be very pleased about that!"
The new place will have 3500sf of hardwood dance floor, ample free
parking, cash bar, and all the amenities. "It's a very nice function
hall, almost like it was designed just for Swing City," commented
Bleck. "It's not quite as big as a basketball court, but a the
same time it's not a basketball court... Swing City will
of course continue to be all ages, and I think being in that area
of town will really generate a lot of new enthusiasm."
"We will likely have the approvals and re-open in the first
couple weeks in April. Please spread the word and stay tuned!"
I hope you will continue to share in the Swing City
Olaf Bleck (left) and Dan Mezrich (right)
So tell us more about "SalsaBoston"?
SalsaBoston Entertainment was founded in 1996 by Olaf Bleck, a German
MIT grad originally from Miami (yes, he does have an identity crisis).
At the time he was a novice Salsa dance enthusiast, and much like
Dan Mezrich's own beginnings with Swing City, has been dedicated to
producing quality Salsa dance parties in Boston ever since. That has
included weekly dance nights in various venues (e.g. Wed's at Sophias
and now An Tua Nua, since 2001), the annual Boston Harbor Salsa Dance
Cruise Series (8 years running), the annual Boston Salsa Congress
(2000-2005), the "Miami Club" Salsa Gala events every 2-3
months, and of course maintaining the SalsaBoston.com
SalsaBoston also has partnered with Havana Club, a more recently
formed organization and host of Boston's highly popular weekend Salsa/Latin
dance parties. With the inclusion of Swing City, the partnership expands
to new genres and new levels. "We think Boston's overall
dance scene will benefit from the collective energy all these elements
provide. This is an exciting development!"
Asked if he knows how to swing dance, Olaf chuckles, "Heh! Well,
I can do a 'one-two-rock step' if I need to save myself, but I guess
I'll be learning a bit more in short order! But truthfully, my organization
does know how to put on a good party, and along with Swing City's
old staff who we will of course be keeping on, and with Dan's expert
consultancy, Swing City is going to be better than ever. It's
funny how these things work out sometimes."
"As I like to say, 'See you on the dance floor!'"
For further information contact Olaf Bleck at:
or use the web form