Austin Swing Syndicate general updates and announcements

COVID-19 Boosters Now Required

As of Jan 13, 2022, we require guests who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine boosters to have received them within the last 6 months (July 13, 2021 or later).

A friendly reminder about our health policy:

– Vaccine cards required for entry

– Boosters required for those eligible

– Masks required at all times inside the venue

– Unvaccinated guests must take a test at the door. Tests are available for $13.00, price subect to change based on market.

A limited quantity of tests are available. We highly recommend unvaccinated guests bring their own tests to take in front of our staff. If we run out of tests and you cannot show negative results, we will not be able to admit you to the dance.

Guests should continue to assess their own risk when considering attending Thursday night dances. While we are following expert guidance and taking precautions to mitigate risk, there is no zero-risk scenario. Please consider your health and the health of those around you.

The December Workshop Series

$25 | 7:00 – 9:00 PM | Pay at the Door

Collegiate Shag Refresher | Dec 2

Collegiate Shag is a type of Swing dance that originated in the 1930s. It was popular with college kids during the Jazz and Swing era! There are many different styles of Shag, but this particular style is danced with a 6-count basic, quick and flashy footwork, and a chugging rhythm. It can be danced in closed position, open position, or side by side.

In this workshop, you will learn the basic rhythms, footwork, connection, and core moves of Collegiate Shag.

Lindy Hop Crash Course| Dec 2

Lindy Hop is an American dance which was born in the African-American communities in Harlem, New York City, in 1928. It was very popular during the Swing era of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Lindy Hop is taught as an 8-count dance and is characterized by a move called the Swing Out. You may also spot Lindy Hoppers incorporating 6-count Swing, as well as other dances that preceded it, such as Charleston, Jazz, and Tap.

In this workshop, you will learn the basic rhythm, footwork, and Lindy Hop core moves. This workshop is for everyone! No prior experience required!

Balboa Newcomer/Refresher| Dec 9

Balboa is a type of Swing dance that developed in the 1920s and 1930s in Southern California. It is named after the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach where it was popular! Balboa is an 8-count dance characterized by its intricate footwork and rotational movements. It lends itself nicely to fast music, but you can dance it to any tempo, including slow tempos.

In this workshop, you will learn basic rhythms, footwork, connection, and core moves that comprise Pure Balboa (closed connection) and Bal-Swing (open connection). This workshop is for everyone! No prior experience required!

Musical Moves | Dec 9

In this workshop you will learn fun new moves to enhance your 6-count Swing and Lindy Hop! This workshop is for our intermediate and up dancers!

The Shim Sham | Dec 16

Here’s your chance to learn that tap-inspired line dance we all do every Thursday night. We will teach you to Boogie Back and Shorty George like a pro! No prior experience required!

Swingout Clinic | Dec 16

If all you want for Christmas is a better swingout, this is the workshop for you! This popular workshop returns for dancers who are comfortable with the Lindy rhythm and who can execute a basic swingout and maybe even some variations. Lindy Hoppers never stop working on this fundamental move. Consider this class a “do not miss”. Suitable for Intermediate and up!

Return to Thursdays: Soft Launch Reopening Plans

The Austin Swing Syndicate Board and the ALX Committee have been hard at work discussing many constantly changing variables, and are continuing to meet to address the challenges of holding a dance event with safety in mind. Previously, we had communicated our strategy regarding reopening using the local health authority staging criteria. After speaking directly to an epidemiologist from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and carefully observing other dance scenes and other large events in Austin, we are announcing our Reopening with COVID Precautions.

The Austin Swing Syndicate will reopen on Nov 4th, 2021 with Workshops from 7-9:00 pm and a Practice Dance in the Ballroom from 9-11:00pm.  We will offer this again on Nov 11th, 2021. Then we will fully open with the launch of ALX 2021 on Nov 18th. 

COVID Precaution Policy

To enter the building, a guest must present proof of full vaccination (full vaccination is 2 weeks after both shots of Pfizer or Moderna, or one shot of J&J)

OR

A negative result on a COVID test, within the past 72 hours.  

Masks are required at all times inside the building.

Acceptable COVID tests:  

  1.  Any clinical lab results within the past 72 hrs.
  2.  BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test with eMed Telehealth Services, official eMed Labs report within the past 72 hrs.
  3. BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test at Home Kit, taken at the building, observed by staff.  Results available in 15 minutes.  These tests will be available at the venue.  Cost is currently $13.00 each.  Guests must pay for the test. Cost may vary depending on the market.

If you are sick, do not attend.

If you have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID19, kindly get a negative test before attending our events. 

Free PPE available but please do your part in bringing your own to keep the costs down.

We are working as hard as possible to make our reopening an incredible experience. 

Can’t wait to see everyone back on the dance floor!

Board Member Elections 2021

3/4: The virtual Elections Town Hall will be held tonight at 8pm for members. The five candidates will introduce themselves and members will have a chance to ask questions. If your membership expired in March 2020 or later you will be eligible to vote in this election and should have received the link to the meeting via email. Please email the Elections Committee at elections@austinswingsyndicate.org with any questions or concerns.

Candidate biographies can be found here.

2/23: Nominations for the Austin Swing Syndicate Board of Directors are now open! Please email elections@austinswingsyndicate.org to declare your candidacy, or with any questions.

There are four open spots on the board (three expiring terms and one vacancy). Joining the board is a great way to give back to a community you love and help us decide what our next priorities should be. During the pandemic, the board has been hard at work applying for grants, obtaining a discount on our rent, and filming swing-related content. Joining now would make you an integral part of the return of swing dancing in Austin when deemed safe by Austin Public Health.

Election 2021 Schedule

Feb. 23rd – Nominations open
Feb. 28th – Nominations close
Mar. 4th – Candidate biographies posted (Optional virtual Town Hall TBD)
Mar. 11th – Online voting begins
Mar. 18th – Polls close at Midnight
Mar. 20th – Election results (including exact vote counts) sent to members by email by this date

Serving on the board is a two-year commitment. Officers (President, VP, etc.) are elected internally among directors once elected. The elections are run by the Elections Committee, a neutral group nominated by the current Board.

Anyone who was a member of the Austin Swing Syndicate on its last day of operation, March 12th, 2020, will be considered a member for the purpose of this election and is eligible to run for the board or vote.

– Austin Swing Syndicate Elections Committee 2021

Swing Dance Survey Results

The Austin Swing Syndicate continues to keep a strong watch on when we can safely reopen for dancing and what the transitions of reopening may look like, while matching public health concerns with readiness to return for the majority of our dancers in a financially responsible way. 

Thank you everyone (124 of you!) who completed our survey. These results will help Austin Swing Syndicate leadership shape events and classes for our dance community. 

The majority of people answering the survey (55%) reported that they attended weekly classes and dances at The Fed. We’re excited to have such strong engagement from our regular community and to still have a good response from dancers who attend less frequently (28% once a month or every 2-3 months) so we could ascertain their willingness to return to dancing too. 

Most people (81%) have not been participating in virtual online dance classes. Survey results showed that generally people are not interested in returning to The Fed for in-person solo dance classes but would rather wait until partner dance of some kind resumes. 

Dancers are split in roughly equal amounts on each end of the spectrum when it comes to returning to dancing and safety procedures: half our dancers are comfortable dancing with masks and not rotating partners and half of them are not at this time. More years of dance experience and age each correlated to being less comfortable returning to dancing right now. 

This survey represents a snapshot from mid-August of our community’s readiness to return to dancing when safe. As we all know, the ability to reopen changes with infection rates, hospitalization rates, holiday impacts, and following public health regulations about capacity with consideration of the unique aspects of partner dancing. 

We will be sending out another survey to assess our community’s readiness again in the future and welcome your comments at that time or you can send us a private message. 

We continue to look forward to the day when we can safely reopen the doors of The Fed for dancers within public health regulations and when it is financially stable to have enough dancers ready to return to support the reopening.

 

SWING DANCE SURVEY

We miss you. We miss The Fed, our home away from home. We hope that you are healthy, safe, and making the best of the current situation. While we do not have plans for return at this time, we want to reach out to you and see what sort of dance-related activities you have been participating in during shutdown and assess your comfort level with potential COVID-sensitive class formats. Please take our survey and check in with us!

 

Become A Sustaining Member!

 

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT DEB TINDLE

It’s almost July! We hope you all are healthy and safe. Our Ballroom continues to be silent, awaiting the day we can all dance in person again! We, the Board, have been busy behind the scenes working on plans to ensure that the Austin Swing Syndicate survives the current pandemic. We look forward to hearing from Public Health Authorities about when it will be safe to gather and dance. In the meantime, we hope you are tuning in to the numerous online classes and musical performances. We are building a library of  fun tutorials for our website too! 

We want to thank our community members who have been donating to us!  It warms our hearts to see these donations coming in, and we are excited to announce a new opportunity to support our organization. We’ve had our thinking caps on, and we have come up with a great plan. We will need YOUR help.

We are an Arts Organization. And we are so proud to say that we have been self-sustaining all these years. That is extremely rare for an Arts Organization. We have actually paid our own way.  That shows that there is and has been an ongoing desire for this organization to exist. The COVID-19 crisis is a huge challenge, but we believe we can survive.  We are uniquely positioned to survive this pandemic. We fear that the worldwide Swing community may permanently lose many events and perhaps even many smaller communities. But the Austin Swing Syndicate can survive and become a future beacon, lighting the way back.

We are establishing a new level of membership. The Sustaining Member. This membership costs $250 per year. Benefits of this level of membership include free admission every Thursday, including Live Music Nights. You also get a special membership card, three admission cards to give away, a Syndicate T-shirt, and a Syndicate sticker. These membership dues are tax deductible as well. Obviously, during COVID-19, we are not dancing. Therefore, during this time, the Sustaining Membership revenue will be vital to meeting our contractual obligations such as rent. We are looking for 250 people to become Sustaining Members. During normal operations, that will allow us to know that our most basic expenses of rent and staff are covered all year. 

Please consider joining the Austin Swing Syndicate as a Sustaining Member. You can sign up today in our online store.

We miss you. We thank you for your support, and we can’t wait to see your faces once we can safely return.

– The Austin Swing Syndicate Board

Austin Swings at The Fed! A DJ Collaboration

The Fed is still closed due to COVID-19, but you can still dance in your living room with this 3-hour Spotify playlist brought to you by the Austin Swing Syndicate DJs! It’s like dancing in the main ballroom in your pajamas!  Lay low and keep your spirits high!

This playlist is brought to you by: Joanna Lucero, Mike Roberts, Keli Hawthorne, Nik Brauer, Lizi G, Jason Levitt, Jennifer Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to keep supporting the Austin Swing Syndicate? Donate here: http://austinswingsyndicate.org/donate/

Fundraiser for Austin Justice Coalition

We believe Black Lives Matter, Black Austin Matters, and Black Lindy Hop Matters

We invite you to join us in donating to the Austin Justice Coalition via our Facebook fundraiser. The Austin Justice Coalition is a Racial Justice Group that educates and builds community power for people of color who live in Austin, Texas. This group helps those who need support, community, and liberation during a time of systemic injustice in America.

100% of the donations to this fundraiser will go directly to AJC in support of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement. If you would like to learn more or donate directly, please visit their website: https://austinjustice.org/ If financial support is out of reach, please consider other actions such as donating time, amplifying voices, or sharing this fundraiser.

Thank you for your help.

– The Austin Swing Syndicate Board