Mall swings as dancers do jitterbug


IPSWICH could be the new swing metropolis, says Australia’s king of swing, Ray Keepence.

The City Square is reviving the golden age of jazz on the first Friday of each month, as it recreates the 1940s streets of Manhattan for the Swing in the Swich dance classes.

Crowds filled the mall on Friday night to kick up their heels for the launch of the new free event, following the lead of Swing a Billy Ray and his iconic 1950s petrol bowser jukebox.

Mr Keepence, whose wife Chrissy Keepence is headmistress of The Lindy Charm School for Girls, said the class embraced the savoy style lindy hop, the charleston, st louis shag, shim sham and jitterbug for beginners and more experienced movers.

The couple returned to Ipswich on the back of the success of the inaugural Kitsch in the Swich Vintage Vixens and Retro Rockabillies Fashion Fiesta in October.

“Swing is my passion; it’s fun and popular,” Mr Keepence said. “It’s good for your fitness.

“The plan is, if we can find a bit of a space and people that are interested we are going to bring regular classes out here.

“We are also looking at starting a jazz-based fitness class.”

Organiser Rachel Vickary, of Ipswich City Square, said the event was brought about to re-ignite the night-time economy.

Among the dancers were Gary and Joy Remaly, of Karana Downs, who managed the charleston in no time.

“We do rock’n’roll dancing but we really wanted to learn swing,” Mrs Remaly said.

“I think it’s a great initiative and held once a month, it gives us some time to practice.”

The next Swing in the Swich will be on Friday, May 2 at Ipswich Mall from 5.30-9pm.


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