In 1936, Philip S. Nutt, then president of the American Society of Teachers of Dancing, told the New York Times that swing dancing would never last beyond the winter.
It's like the other dances," he said in an article entitled "Dance Instructors See Doom of 'Swing'" from 27 August 1936. "There for a month or so and then gone."
If it were possible to ask him today, Nutt might be surprised to learn that swing has not only lasted the test of time, but has thrived in the decades since his dark prediction.
The origins of swing lie in America's Deep South, in New Orleans. In the saloons in the first few decades of the twentieth century, it was possible to hear a new type of music, carried by brass bands and syncopated by trapdrums. And on the dance floor, young revelers could be found clapping, tapping, and jigging to the new type of music that made it impossible to resist flying into the air.
Swing once represented the very cutting-edge of dancing, but in the intervening years, it has stepped into the dancing mainstream.
The first port of call for an aspiring swing dancer in undoubtedly The Swing Patrol. With classes running every day save Saturday, in areas including Cronulla, Paddington, Balmain, Broadway, Concord, Newtown, and North Sydney, The Swing Patrol offers the most extensive network of swing dance classes in Sydney. Prices range from $14 per class or $21 for two classes in the same night.
For a cheaper option, Swingtime NSW also runs social dancing evenings on the first and third Saturday of each month in their dance hall on St Johns Road in Glebe.
When your dancing shoes are on, and your moves ingrained, it may be time to consider taking part in Sydney's annual Swing Festival, held in November each year.