The Firehouse Swing Dance

The Firehouse Swing Dance


Erin Roos and Derrick Roos have served as guests judges for our competitions and also help keep us informed on happenings at The Firehouse Swing Dance. As local performers, choreographers and teachers, we thank them for their dedication to the swing dance community.
Hey, I don't know when social dancing is gonna be a thing again, but in case people are using the downtime to re-suede their shoes, here's a video I made on how to use contact cement to do that. The video shows how to repair a broken sole, but the same technique is used to apply suede to the bottom of dance shoes.

Have fun crafting!
Hi Firehouse family! If you are interested and able to support struggling great instructors and musicians, please join the Rhythm Relief: The Swingtacular Show in 2 weeks!
Wondering/worries about all our senior dancers who were out dancing that last week before things closed. Hoping everyone is well!
Do you want to dance with somebody?💃🏻 Join The Firehouse Swing Dance on Wednesday evenings for dance classes at Parq West San Diego!
I am proud and delighted to announce the release of my swing band’s debut album, “Alec Haavik & The Shanghai Shindiggers”, which presents my recent adventures in Shanghai’s dynamic swing dance world. It’s mostly new original swing music (combined with a few traditional songs) all meant to be danced to in lindy hop style! There are three songs sung in Chinese (two in Mandarin, one in Cantonese), including “Chao Jiu Han”, our Chinese version of the old American classic “Long Gone John”. Two tracks feature traditional Chinese instruments (p**a, guzheng, and dizi). I composed several tracks in Ableton Live (electronic dance music production software), which gives a technological twist to the vintage vibe. And we play one straight-up 1930’s arrangement of “Royal Garden Blues”, dating back to the dawn of the Jazz Age.

The album has been released world-wide through JZ Music (China) and is currently available on many of your favorite platforms.

The album is also available for purchase on Bandcamp:

This year we wanted to recognize not only our staff and volunteers but someone from our dance community who embodies the values of inclusiveness and friendliness and whose presence creates a nice atmosphere at any venue.

Blake Belnap immediately came to mind as someone we would like to acknowledge as being a warm and friendly dancer. He is also not only a supporter of First Saturday Swing, but The Firehouse Swing Dance, The Abbey, and many more dance venues, always bringing a gentle smile and a courteous demeanor to every dance.

First Saturday Swing was created for the community and we appreciate every individual who attends our venue and makes it fun and welcoming for others. We feel very fortunate and are so appreciative of all the support over the years!
San Diego Collegiate S**g Shop crew, pre and post routine selfies! Thank you The Firehouse Swing Dance for letting us show off this dance we love so much!
Looking for other swing dance options tonight, since Strutters' is on break for the week?

A bit more on the local side, you can visit our friends over at Metro Swing in Pomona. If you're up for a bit of a midweek trek, you can check out Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five, feat. Hilary Alexander at The Firehouse Swing Dance's Firehouse Live Music (4/24) w/ Jonathan Stout and his Campus 5 event tonight in San Diego!
LOTS OF ROOM FOR SWING DANCING! Jazz 88.3 KSDS FM San Diego is excited about the 3rd annual Live Saturday Night Fish Fry. It all happens at Proud Mary's Southern Bar & Grill at the Ramada in Kearny Mesa (in the Madeira Ballroom, located at the Ramada San Diego North Hotel) on Saturday, March 30th! Your $60 ticket for this KSDS fundraiser gets you a delicious all-you-can-eat dinner, soft drinks and plenty of room for dancing. Dave Stuckey and his Synchrony 4 will be entertaining and will be celebrating the music legend Louis Jordan. There will also be a no-host bar available. Ticket reservations are strongly encouraged as this will sell out! Please call and make your reservation at 619-388-3037 or e-mail Ken Borgers at [email protected]. Doors are at 5:30pm for this family-friendly event. Also--if you really want to make a night of it, The Ramada Inn is offering Jazz 88.3 Fish Fry Goers an $88.30 room rate (good for that night only!).
Is there a good swing-related even for NYE? I've not had much luck finding anything on the internet.

Since 1998, the Firehouse Swing Dance has been THE weekly swing dance venue in San Diego. See

Operating as usual


Today only! Just $5 for the dance! Price includes the dance only. See our website for class pricing.


Our June class schedule is up! Note: on 6/15 we will have two hours of intermediate classes with guest instructors Natalia Eristavi and Christian Frommelt


Thanks @madhathucksters and @rubinbrothers for a fun night of dancing!

Join the Mad Hat Hucksters at Panama 66 on June 5th from 3-5 pm. They’ll be following the Hot Baked Goods (from San Francisco) from 1-3 pm!

The Rubin Brothers will be @goldenislandms this Friday from 6:30-8:30 pm!


The Mad Hat Hucksters with Rubin Brothers


Diego Ibarra Meda and CorinneSnell Larson will be filling in for Mark and Cami in intermediate lindy this Wednesday! Diego is only in town from Mexico every so often, so you don’t want to miss this class! We are limiting our class size for the intermediate class (15 leads and follows). To reserve a spot: We cannot guarantee there will be spots available at the door. **Beginners do not need to reserve space in class**

📷pc (Diego): @jesus_anzures_
📷pc (Corinne): @caphotobus


Live music returns to the Firehouse next Wednesday (5/25) with @madhathucksters featuring @rubinbrothers ! Visit our website or Facebook event page fo pricing.


This just in! We will have a very special performance by Natalia Eristavi and Jeremy Otth this Wednesday at the Firehouse! They’ll be performing their ILHC routine at 9:45 pm. You don’t want to miss it!🔥

ILHC (International Lindy Hop Championships) is a multi-day lindy hop event featuring classes by international instructors, dancing to live music, and competitions. Dancers from all over the world participate! This year, ILHC will take place in New York from May 26-30. Want to attend but can’t make the trip? ILHC is offering several options to participate from home, including a virtual weekend pass for only $45! Visit for more info.


May 4th is the perfect time to get your lindy hop on! For just $5, you can take one of our beginner classes and stay for the dance! Join us for a 2nd hour of classes for just $5 more! Tell your friends- this deal will only be available on May 4th!

*Purchase at the door
*Deal cannot be applied to our intermediate class


Thank you to everyone who joined us for our reopening this week! It was great seeing everyone again and meeting all the new dancers. Here’s everyone who made it to the end! ❤️See you next Wednesday!


We’re back!!

Firehouse Intermediate Lindy Reservation- April 13th 04/13/2022

Firehouse Intermediate Lindy Reservation- April 13th

We reopen tonight!! Here's a few quick reminders/updates:

* Our intermediate class is FULL. If you'd like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out the form below. We will notify you by 4 pm if you move off of the waitlist.

* Masks are required indoors at all times. Surgical, cloth and KN95 masks are all acceptable. We will have masks available for purchase at the front desk.

*Parking is free in metered spots after 6 pm. Leave yourself a little extra time before classes to find a spot.

Firehouse Intermediate Lindy Reservation- April 13th **Class is now FULL. If you'd like to be added to our waitlist, please fill out the form. You will be notified by 4 pm today if you have moved off of the waitlist** We are limiting space for our April Intermediate Lindy classes. Please read the information below before completing the form. This form...

Sites & Appointments 06/29/2021

Sites & Appointments

Hello everyone,

Given the latest guidance by the county, state and CDC, as well as the low case rates in San Diego we believe it is now safe to reopen as a vaccinated-only event. However, we are awaiting approval from the venue owner to resume our weekly dance in our regular space. Hopefully this will not take much longer, but at this time we cannot yet provide an official reopening date.

We do want to give everyone a heads up that, when we resume, we will most likely require proof of full vaccination for the foreseeable future. Your physical vaccination card or digital COVID-19 vaccine record provided by will be accepted. If you wish to use the digital vaccine record, we recommend downloading it ASAP as not everyone is in the system and you may need to take additional steps to receive your digital record. We will also require photo ID (i.e. driver’s license, school ID card, etc). Both doses of Pfizer/Moderna or one dose of J&J will need to be completed at least 2 weeks prior to attending your first dance. This information may change depending on county/state/CDC guidelines and local case rates. If you have yet to receive a vaccination, but would like to do so, you can find vaccine clinics here:

We hope we can provide you all with an official reopening date soon. Any information regarding reopening will be updated immediately and posted to our social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram) and website. If you wish to receive email updates, please send us an email with the subject “Email Updates” and we will add you to our email list.

Sites & Appointments Items required at the time of vaccination depend on a person’s age. For minors (12-17 years old), requirements will vary based on whether or not an adult (18 years and older) will be present when they receive the vaccine.

Celebrating Swing Dancing and the Savoy Ballroom! 05/26/2021

Celebrating Swing Dancing and the Savoy Ballroom!

Have you seen the Google Doodle for today? The Firehouse might not be open just yet, but you can get your fingers tapping with today's Google Doodle, featuring the Savoy Ballroom!

Learn more about the doodle here:

Celebrating Swing Dancing and the Savoy Ballroom! Celebrating Swing Dancing and the Savoy Ballroom!


Hey everyone!
We are so excited by the enthusiasm of the swing community to get back to dancing. We can’t wait to share the dance floor with you all again! Given the size of our weekly event, the indoor setting and the nature of swing dancing with close, physical contact and partner changes, we believe it’ll take a little longer than most things for us to reopen the Firehouse. That said, with the number of vaccinations going up/number of COVID-19 cases coming down, we hope to determine a reopening date in the near future. Any updates will be posted to our website and social media accounts (Facebook & Instagram). If you would like to receive updates via email, please send an email to [email protected] with the subject “Email Updates” and we will add you to our email list.

Jean Veloz in Swing Fever 03/03/2021

Jean Veloz in Swing Fever

Jean Veloz celebrated her 97th birthday on Monday! Jean is known for her Hollywood-style of swing dancing. She got her start in film when she won a dance contest, earning her a Screen Actors Guild membership card and an appearance in the movie Swing Fever (1943). In the film, Jean dances with two men (Don Gallagher and Lennie Smith) in a clip that has come to be known as One Girl & Two Boys. Jean has appeared in other films such as Jive Junction (1943), The Horns Blow at Midnight (1945) and Groovie Movie (1944). She married her dance partner, Frank Veloz, in 1963 and continued with dance until he passed away in 1981. After a period of retirement, Jean returned to swing dancing in the 1990s and has been traveling the world and sharing her knowledge ever since! Happy birthday, Jean!

Jean Veloz in Swing Fever:

I Can't Resist: The Interviews with Jean Veloz:

Jean Veloz in Swing Fever MY VLOG CHANNEL: ...................................

History of Black Dance in America | Central Avenue Dance Ensemble 02/24/2021

History of Black Dance in America | Central Avenue Dance Ensemble

This event is happening tomorrow and is hosted by world-renowned dancer, Chester Whitmore!

“The History of Black Dance in America (HBDA) is a multimedia dance show which explores the 200 year history of African-American Vernacular Jazz Dance in America. The show was performed by the Central Avenue Dance Ensemble (named after the historic African-American section of Los Angeles) live on-stage from 2011 until 2020”

History of Black Dance in America | Central Avenue Dance Ensemble See a review of the 2015 Juneteenth Celebration show here:

Timeline photos 02/17/2021

This Saturday!

The Frankie Manning Foundation is excited to announce a special film presentation.
Dance historian, Tradition-bearer and scholar Prof. E. Moncell Durden will share full interview footage of his stirring conversation with the late Frankie Manning. A snippet of which can be seen within Prof. Durden's powerful documentary about the black dance continuum "Everything Remains Raw".

This never-before-seen footage will take a raw and uncut look into the man who was one of the greatest ambassadors of Lindy Hop and Jazz. We hope you join us for this rare viewing and be sure to stick around for an insightful discussion about the interview and Prof. Durden's work with FMF Board member LaTasha Barnes after the film.

👉When: Saturday, February 20th 2021
👉What Time: 5:30pm EST
👉Where: Zoom registration link below:

Timeline photos 02/10/2021

When you think of lindy hop history, you most likely think about Frankie Manning and Norma Miller. But who were the other Whitey's Lindy Hoppers? The Frankie Manning Foundation is highlighting members of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers for Black History Month. Be sure to like them on Facebook and Instagram for updates or check out all of their archives/resources on their website!

We enjoyed their link to an article by Bob Crease featuring Naomi Waller- a member of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers and Frankie Manning's first professional dance partner.

Spotlighting a dancer you may not know! Naomi Waller Gay was one of the earliest members of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers and Frankie's first professional dance partner. She also met Dizzy Gillespie at the Savoy Ballroom and taught him how to dance.

Read Bob Crease's article about Naomi Waller 👇

CBS2 Celebrates Black History Month: Chester Whitmore 02/03/2021

CBS2 Celebrates Black History Month: Chester Whitmore

Check out Chester Whitmore on CBS2! There’s a lot of good information in this short video. Plus, he discusses working with Fayard Nicholas (our post from last week!). Interested in learning from Chester? He will be teaching an online tap class this Sunday. See comments for event info!

CBS2 Celebrates Black History Month: Chester Whitmore Chester Whitmore is a local dance icon who moonlights as a band leader, filmmaker, martial artist and, most importantly, historian of South Los Angeles' Cent...

Jumpin Jive - Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers 01/27/2021

Jumpin Jive - Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers

The Nicholas Brothers (Fayard and Harold Nicholas) are considered one of the greatest tap dancing acts of all time. Born to musician parents, Fayard had the opportunity to observe many vaudeville acts and then teach himself how to dance and sing. He would later teach his sister, Dorothy, and his brother, Harold. Fayard and Dorothy performed as a duo known as the Nicholas Kids, however Dorothy eventually stopped and Harold stepped in. They then became known as the Nicholas Brothers. Their big break came in the 1930s when they were hired to perform along with the likes of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Ethel Waters at the Cotton Club in Harlem. They were frequently featured in Hollywood films in the 30’s and 40’s. They were considered a triple threat since they could dance, sing and act and had gigs in vaudevilles, movies, nightclubs, concerts, Broadway, radio etc. Unfortunately, Black performers never held major roles in movies at this time, so the Nicholas Brothers were not given acting opportunities and were instead presented as a specialty act. Unlike what we’ve seen with Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers in “Hellzapoppin’” and “A Day at the Races” where Black performers wore service uniforms, the Nicholas Brothers most often appeared in suits and ties. Their most noteworthy performance is from the movie “Stormy Weather” (1943) in which they performed one of the greatest dance sequences of all time to the Cab Calloway Orchestra.

“Stormy Weather” featuring Cab Calloway Orchestra :

The Nicholas Brothers Story:

Jumpin Jive - Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers Here's a clip from the movie "Stormy Weather" (1943) featuring Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing "Jumpin Jive". After awhile they let the Nicholas Br...

Fats Waller - Ain't Misbehavin' - Stormy Weather (1943) 01/20/2021

Fats Waller - Ain't Misbehavin' - Stormy Weather (1943)

Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller (1904-1943)

Fats Waller started learning to play the piano at the age of 6 and had become a professional by the age of 15. He is best known for his songs “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “Honeysuckle Rose”. Waller often included singing and comedy in his performances. He was also a songwriter and was the composer to Broadway show, Early to Bed. Waller is said to have been kidnapped after one of his shows, only to find he was a “surprise guest” at an inn for a 3 day birthday party for Al Capone. Waller made a few movie appearances, such as in Stormy Weather. Unfortunately, Waller passed away in 1943 due to complications from pneumonia.

Fats Waller- “Honeysuckle Rose”:

Fats Waller- “Ain’t Misbehavin’” featured in movie, Stormy Weather:

Fats Waller - Ain't Misbehavin' - Stormy Weather (1943) Fats Waller - Ain't Misbehavin' with Lena Horne, dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, drummer Zutty Singleton, bassist Slam Stewart, Trumpeter Benny

Shorty George and Big Bea 01/13/2021

Shorty George and Big Bea

“Shorty” George Snowden (1904-1982)

Shorty George was part of the first generation of lindy hoppers at the Savoy where he reigned as the top dancer from 1927 until the mid 1930s. Shorty was short in stature, hence the nickname, and used his height to his advantage, often for comedic effect in competitions with his partner Big Bea, who towered over him. One such move involved Big Bea carrying Shorty off the dance floor on her back. This move would later inspire Frankie Manning to create the first air step of lindy hop- “Over the Back”. Shorty formed the first lindy hop troupe, the “Shorty Snowden Dancers” that performed at Small’s Paradise in Harlem. You may be familiar with the dance step, Shorty George. Shorty’s signature move was to bend his knees and swing his hips from side to side, exaggerating the fact that he was close to the floor.

Did Lindy Hop get the name from Shorty George? It is said that in 1928, a reporter asked Shorty what dance he was doing after witnessing Shorty do a “break away” step from his partner. Shorty replied with “Lindy Hop”. This was not long after aviator Charles Lindbergh “hopped” the Atlantic Ocean. When asked about this, Frankie Manning has said, "All I can say is that I heard the story from Shorty George himself. The other fellas from that time were standing around listening and they didn't say 'Aw, come on Shorty, quit the BS' --- which they would have said if it wasn't true." Many believe the story to be inaccurate or untrue so the origins of the name “Lindy Hop” may remain unknown!

Shorty George and Big Bea dancing:

Shorty and his partner, Mattie Purnell, in “After Seben”. Note: the MC is in blackface and Chick Webb was edited out due to his appearance:

Shorty George clips featuring the song "Shorty George" by Count Basie & His Orchestra:

Shorty George Step with Laura Glaess:

Shorty George and Big Bea The Legendary George "Shorty" Snowden and his Parter Big Bea in 1937. He was a first Generation Lindy Hopper first captured on film in the 1920's in the shor...

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General Manager

Erin & Derrick Roos

Culinary Team

Our renowned Firehouse DJ Staff cooks up the Hottest Swing Tunes in San Diego!




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2557 Third Ave
San Diego, CA

Opening Hours

6:15pm - 11:30pm

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