‘One, step! Two, step! Three, step!’ commands the dance instructor on the night of Saturday the 28th August. It is the eight o’clock dance class, which seamlessly advances into a night of Swing on in… at Club Voom Voomand now the third Swing event hosted by culturetalent. Couples and their feet seem to liven up and hips respond accordingly to the language of Swing. Feet flying, gals a dipping to the resonant sounds of the saxophone, bleating piano keys and the soulful reverberation of the trumpet, along with the golden oldies – with the likes of Louis Prima.






The cosmopolitan electric jazz club is conveniently situated near the corner of Loop Street and outside the queue gradually builds a certain kind of energy. On the pleasantly cool evening, night-life is transformed from the characteristic smart casual of the 1920s Old School to the swagger of a revived culture of Swing. Costume is thrown to the wind as patrons come dressed only in what their wardrobe has on offer and throw them altogether to create their own eclectic interpretation.

Cape Town locals mostly came dressed in black and white fashion of flapper and baby-doll dresses, with sequenced pumps and high-heels accentuated with pearl necklaces, glitz and garish feathers seen everywhere. Guys came dressed as encouraged, in Fedora and Trilby hats, zoot suits, suspenders accessorised with shiny two-tone shoes. Perspiration visibly drips as guys and gals in their twenties to their thirties loose themselves to the incandescent notes of swing and electro-swing sets by DJs Honey B, Mix ‘n Blend, Fred Spider and Lt Fizzer.

Experienced and inexperienced dancers seem to loose their cares through the bold hotsy-totsy whoop-doo-dah moves on the crowded Club Zoom Zoom’s floor.  ‘Here’s the thing you need to know, just make it all up as you go’ sings Louis Prima. However, I must caution you, not everyone can restrict themselves to the dance floor – the seated me being testament to one guy’s shiny shoe kick doing a number to my already beat-bobbing head as he brashly Swings it on out!

That aside, it’s the perfect fix for the culture-spirited night crawler looking for an unadulterated rush. Well, I’m keen to know when will Cape Town experience the next explosition of Swing, but in the mean time, I’ll be practising at dance class.


Words by Nadine R. Arendse

Photography by Denzil Paris Jacobs