Lindy in the Park
What is Lindy in the Park?
Lindy in the Park is free social swing dancing every Sunday (weather permitting, of course) from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM.
Lindy in the Park is located in between San Francisco’s Richmond and Sunset districts, on John F Kennedy Drive (JFK Dr) in Golden Gate Park, between 8th and 10th Avenue. (No automobile traffic is allowed in this area on Sundays). Click for Directions. Free beginner swing dance lesson at noon.
No experience or partner required.
History of Lindy in the Park – 20 years of free swing dancing!
Lindy in the Park, or LitP, was founded by Lindy Hoppers Chad Kubo and Ken Watanabe in August of 1996 (LitP turned 20 last summer!), and is the original free swing dance party. Held every Sunday (weather permitting) in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Lindy in the Park is the longest-running swing dance venue in the San Francisco Bay Area (and quite possibly, the world), and is open to dancers of all ages and levels. There is space to sit, take a breather, chat with friends and make new ones, 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 musical 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. Be on the lookout (or is it more accurate to say “ear-out”) for musical themes, for which the DJ’s are well known. You will hear the obvious holiday-related songs, as well as other wacky, obscure, or (at least we like to think) clever themes.
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).
Something old, something new, something funky, something blue – that’s how one friend characterized Naomi’s DJing. She fell in love with swing music in junior high school jazz band, but it wasn’t until 1998 that she went with a friend to the Hi-Ball lounge in San Francisco for her first dance lesson. After that, she couldn’t sit still, going out dancing 4 or 5 times a week. Lindy in the Park was the place to be on Sundays. By 2000, Naomi was spinning CDs weekly, sharing the bill with LITP co-founder Ken. She plays a great mix of familiar music, all speeds & moods, so long as it’s “good to dance to.” She likes to track the seasons musically (Thriller on Halloween, the Bunny Hop on Easter), and she likes to pick a theme for the last songs, to see how closely folks listen to the music.
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:
Lindy in the Park in the News
Check out to following links to media on your favorite outdoor swing dance venue (that’s us). Enjoy!