Club History

     
   

A History of the Nashville Swing Dance Club

by

Linda Defoor, September 5, 1999

The Nashville Swing Dance Club was formed in September 1993 with approximately 50 members. Before this time Nashville had three dance clubs geared toward 50's type dancing: the Music City Bop Club, the Nashville Bebop Association, and the Nashville Shag Club. The Nashville Swing Dance Club was an offshoot of the Music City Bop Club. The club was formed by dancers who wanted a wider variety of dancing and who wanted to continue David Wallace's extra dance lessons on Friday nights.

In September of 1993, the Club first met on Monday nights at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in their lounge, which was then called McGavock's. In November 1994 when the hotel decided to change the atmosphere of McGavock's to suit a different crowd and to use only their own DJ, the NSDC moved to a lounge in a hotel at Trinity Lane and I-65 called Chuggers. The Club continued to grow and prosper until frequent changes of management at the hotel and the small size of the dance floor made it difficult to stay there. In looking for a bigger location, the newly renovated Silverado's was approached in September 1996, and the Club has been meeting there on Monday nights ever since.

In addition to Monday nights, for several years the Nashville Swing Dance Club had dances every Saturday night, as well as occasional holiday parties. The first Saturday dances were held at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Nashville. The lounge there was a great place to dance, but many members did not like going downtown at night and parking and safety issues were a consideration.

The next Saturday move was to Bill and Peggy's Dance Studio at I-40 and Stewart's Ferry Pike. At this location the travel distance for many members was prohibitive, and soon the Club moved to Big Daddy's South Side Boogie Bungalo, present location of Silverado's. The management at Big Daddy's allowed NSDC music to be played from 6-9 p.m., a slower time for them, until the business closed and another move became necessary.

Saturday dances were then held at Mardi Gras in Madison, located in the old Sears building. At this location NSDC music was played from 7-9 p.m. each Saturday until the air conditioning system at the building completely broke down and the management was unable to bear the huge cost of replacing it. It was at this time that weekly Saturday night dances were discontinued.

Friday night dance lessons by David Wallace began during the Music City Bop Club days at Glencliff High School and later at the Donelson Library. They continued at the library until August 29, 1997 when the move was made to the Trevecca College Activity Center. Tuesday dance lessons were added at Trevecca in May 1998.

Although only about a half dozen founding members of the Nashville Swing Dance Club are still on the membership list, the Club surpassed the 400 mark for membership in the fall of 1999. The Nashville Swing Dance Club continues to thrive, from the first Club party on New Year's Eve in 1993 at Opryland Hotel, to the present system of monthly theme parties which have been held everywhere from the Stadium Club, to Hillwood Country Club, Trevecca, the Elk's Club, Old Hickory Country Club, Maryland Farms, and The Factory in Franklin. With the continued interest and support of dancers all over the Middle Tennessee area, the Nashville Swing Dance Club strives to maintain its goal of providing for all its members a wide variety of music in a positive dancing environment.