Kicking up the swing

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By Mercedes DeLeon

ALONE IN A CROWD-David Carnes, left, and Jena Cochman enjoy a night of swing dancing at The Coffee Depot. (Joshua Pedroza)

By Mercedes DeLeon

Lindy Hop, Jitterbug or boogie-woogie your way down to Coffee Depot in Riverside for swing dance night.

Monday nights at 7 p.m. students, as well as others, come to the coffee shop to learn and practice this vintage-era form of dance.

The Swing Dance Club at UC Riverside is in charge of Swing Night.

Club President Reanne Barrette is in charge of scheduling and making all necessary preparations.

“The lesson begins at seven thirty and ends at eight thirty,” Barrette said. “After that we play music for practicing and social dancing ’til 11 p.m.”

Coffee Depot is equipped with a beautiful and spacious dance floor.

It is neatly setup with chairs against the walls for people who just want to observe.

The wooden floor is well maintained, free of spills, debris or other hazards that could cause an accident.

The ceiling fans are kept running to avoid participants from experiencing excessive perspiration.

Two sliding doors that face the parking lot are also kept open to prevent body heat from accumulating and causing unbearable stuffiness. The lights are dim but they provide sufficient light for the evening.

Too much light at most times can be a source of unwanted heat.

Not only is swing dancing a fun activity that can be performed with friends, family and loved ones it is an excellent way of getting a good cardio workout.

The upbeat rhythms and flow of the music keeps the crowd pumped up.

Swing night is open to the public, and newcomers are always welcome.

“It’s for anyone who is willing to learn,” Barrette said.

The Coffee Depot is located in downtown Riverside, at 3204 Mission Inn Avenue.

Morgan Thrush, left, and Magic Barkan help to add to the diverse crowd at The Coffee Depot’s swing dancing event held every Monday starting at 7 p.m. (Joshua Pedroza)

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