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"Boston's host of fine Swing Dancing since 1994"

SWING CITY: Stop the presses!
The Tradition Continues After All


March 13, 2008, Chelsea, MA. In February, 2008, to the great surprise and chagrin of Boston's swing dance scene, Swing City announced it was closing its doors. This after hosting Boston's most renowned swing dances for well over a decade. As it turned out, the Bishop Mackenzie Center was planning a new series Friday night youth activities and after nearly two years as Swing City's hosts, finally had to say farewell.

Upon receiving that phone call, Dan Mezrich, founder and BACKBONE of Swing City, realized he was getting tired. "I haven't had a Friday night off in 14 years..." he lamented as he reflected back on no less than three different venues that had hosted Swing City over the years. Kudos to Dan for all that he has put together for such a long time. Alas, the wake was planned for March 14, 2008.


Boston's long-time dance production company, SalsaBoston, having hosted its own Salsa events for nearly ten years, heard about this debacle. Really, "How could such a mainstay institution of Boston dance go down??!?!" SalsaBoston's founder, Olaf Bleck, has always had relations with Boston's swing and ballroom organizations, including Swing City, HaveToDance.com, Supershag, and many others. "Event producers, we all know each other," Olaf quipped. In fact, many of SalsaBoston's regulars themselves over the years have been crossover swing/ballroom/salsa dancers.

So, Dan's phone rang again. "Hi, this is Dan..."

Well, long story short, after some very productive negotiations, SalsaBoston decided to step up and continue the Swing City tradition.

Dan will help out in handing over the reigns: though he is retiring as event director, he will be consulting on the details, particularly with the entertainment. Moreover, as a permanent guest of the house, he too can finally go have some pure fun of his own on the dance floor.

Many of the same friendly staff will continue to host the party, along with much of the same great entertainment. Some additional improvements are in the works as well.


The story about the lease dissolving is unfortunately true. Though there was a rumor that the lease dissolution may be delayed for at least another season, the Bishop Mackenzie Center did ultimately decide to go ahead with its internal plans.

Thus, Olaf, now the new director of Swing City faced his first new, non-trivial challenge: find a new location. In a flurry of calls and meetings, fortunately, about six different venues immediately were located for consideration. "That what we do as event producers," Olaf said, "It's our job to know where we can put parties like this." In fact, three of them are strongly under consideration, with the most likely candidate being conveniently located in the Cambridge/Somerville vicinity. That venue is awaiting approval by its board of directors. "It's still under wraps, but we'll know in about a week on this one," Bleck said, "It looks very good though. The top two other places will also serve well, so Swing City will be back for sure. I know many people will be very pleased about that!"

The new place will have 3500sf of hardwood dance floor, ample free parking, cash bar, and all the amenities. "It's a very nice function hall, almost like it was designed just for Swing City," commented Bleck. "It's not quite as big as a basketball court, but a the same time it's not a basketball court... Swing City will of course continue to be all ages, and I think being in that area of town will really generate a lot of new enthusiasm."

"We will likely have the approvals and re-open in the first couple weeks in April. Please spread the word and stay tuned!"

I hope you will continue to share in the Swing City tradition!



Olaf Bleck (left) and Dan Mezrich (right)

So tell us more about "SalsaBoston"?

SalsaBoston Entertainment was founded in 1996 by Olaf Bleck, a German MIT grad originally from Miami (yes, he does have an identity crisis). At the time he was a novice Salsa dance enthusiast, and much like Dan Mezrich's own beginnings with Swing City, has been dedicated to producing quality Salsa dance parties in Boston ever since. That has included weekly dance nights in various venues (e.g. Wed's at Sophias and now An Tua Nua, since 2001), the annual Boston Harbor Salsa Dance Cruise Series (8 years running), the annual Boston Salsa Congress (2000-2005), the "Miami Club" Salsa Gala events every 2-3 months, and of course maintaining the SalsaBoston.com website.

SalsaBoston also has partnered with Havana Club, a more recently formed organization and host of Boston's highly popular weekend Salsa/Latin dance parties. With the inclusion of Swing City, the partnership expands to new genres and new levels. "We think Boston's overall dance scene will benefit from the collective energy all these elements provide. This is an exciting development!"

Asked if he knows how to swing dance, Olaf chuckles, "Heh! Well, I can do a 'one-two-rock step' if I need to save myself, but I guess I'll be learning a bit more in short order! But truthfully, my organization does know how to put on a good party, and along with Swing City's old staff who we will of course be keeping on, and with Dan's expert consultancy, Swing City is going to be better than ever. It's funny how these things work out sometimes."

"As I like to say, 'See you on the dance floor!'"


For further information contact Olaf Bleck at:

or use the web form


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