Houston Swing Dance Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting the dances of the jazz era. HSDS is an all volunteer-run organization with weekly lessons and social dancing that has become an important part of the Houston arts community. Swing dancing is a fun, energetic, and social activity that is great for all ages!
Houston Swing Dance Society became incorporated on March 18, 1997, as a 501 © 3 non-profit education organization. HSDS staged its first event, the Frankie Manning Workshop, that year. In 1999, the event was renamed Lindyfest, which has grown to be an annual extended weekend workshop of classes, lectures, performances, and social dances. Lindyfest attracts people from across the country and around the world who are eager to experience the exciting dance and history of the swing era. It has been supported by grants from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County and the Houston Arts Alliance since 2004.
Also in 1997, some of the members of the Houston Swing Dance Society began performing locally and nationally as the "Houston Hepcats." A year later, HSDS added the Harvest Moon Ball to their schedule of annual events. In 2006, HSDS established an international swing dance archive to document the emergence and influence of Lindy Hop during the Swing Era, and to chronicle the resurgence of Swing Dance in popular American culture.
In order to educate people of all ages, HSDS continued to expand its offerings of classes, workshops, and dance events. Now the Houston Hepcats not only perform and compete in swing dance comptetitions, they also partner with local schools, libraries, and nonprofit organizations to raise awareness of Lindy Hop and the Swing Dance Era. In addition, HSDS conducts classes on Sunday nights for every level of participant, from the uninitiated to the advanced.
Houston Swing Dance Society continues to strive toward raising public awareness and participation in an energetic joyful part of American historical culture to make Houston a richer place because of it.