Lindy in the Park
Free swing dancing every Sunday (weather permitting, of course). 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM On John F Kennedy Drive (JFK Dr) in Golden Gate Park, between 8th and 10th Avenue, in the Richmond District of San Francisco. (No automobile traffic is allowed in this area on Sundays). Free beginner swing dance lesson at noon. No experience or partner
History of Lindy in the Park
Lindy in the Park, or LitP, was founded by Lindy Hoppers Chad Kubo and Ken Watanabe in August of 1996, and is the original free swing dance party. Held every Sunday (weather permitting) in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, LitP is the longest-running swing dance “venue” in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is open to dancers of all ages and levels. There is space to sit, take a breather, chat with friends and strangers, dancers and tourists, and otherwise enjoy the fresh outdoor air. It is a perfect venue to practice your social dancing to the sounds of jazz, blues and swing music, and sometimes even a few surprises.
The LitP DJs
Lindy in the Park is run by volunteer DJs, each with a deep love for the huge variety of music that is available, and that can be dance to. With multiple DJs, you get a large mix of music.
Ken Watanabe is a co-founder of and regular DJ at San Francisco’s Lindy in the Park. Ken began swing dancing in 1987, and has concentrated on Lindy Hop since 1995. Ken has performed at Swing Camp Catalina and has been a board member of the Northern California Lindy Society since 1998. Ken has been teaching Lindy Hop in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1998, including classes at the Allegro Ballroom in Emeryville, the Metronome Ballroom in San Francisco, as well as numerous workshops, including the 2000 Frankie Manning Millennium Birthday Bash in Tokyo, the 2001 Lindy U. swing dance camp in Chicago, the 2003 Japan Lindy Exchange, and the NCLS Frankie Manning workshops in years past. His greatest claim to fame, however, may be as the (one-time) swing dance instructor to Xena, the Warrior Princess (Lucy Lawless).
Naomi Walenta Naomi in love with swing music in high school, but it wasn’t until 1998 that she took a chance, and went with a friend to the HiBall lounge. Who can forget the leopard print wallpaper, the tiny dance floor, and the line of couples snaking down the dance floor! After lessons with Belinda, Paul & Sharon, Catalina & more, Naomi got involved organizing events. She started working as a volunteer for the NCLS during her first Frankie Manning workshop. Naomi has also served as Board President. When not working or swing dancing, Naomi can often be found expounding the virtues of — indeed, whipping people’s proverbial butts at — the game of Boggle
Hep Jen started teaching a free beginner swing dance class at Lindy in the Park when she moved to San Francisco in 2004, and it’s still going strong every Sunday. Hep Jen specializes in Lindy Hop, and she teaches a mix of Swing, Lindy Hop, and Jazz steps at Lindy in the Park every Sunday. Not far from Lindy in the Park, Hep Jen also teaches at the UCSF Millberry Center’s Friday Swing & Lindy Hop Classes. In addition, Hep Jen offers private, fast-paced instruction to individuals and couples. Whether you are a novice dancer or an advanced Lindy Hopper, the individual attention and pace of private lessons will quickly push your dancing to a new level. Contact Hep Jen
for information about private lessons. Visit her website at: