This month, I am joined by a living legend from the world of West Coast Swing, John Festa. Born into a family of original-era swing dancers that never stopped dancing, John is a renowned dancer, instructor, and DJ at Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, Carolina Shag, and Blues dance events across the country. He is co-founder of the Gotham Swing Club and Liberty Swing Dance Championships, and hosted NYC's longest-running weekly WCS party. He has also earned numerous awards and accolades, including induction into the Swing DJ Hall of Fame and World Swing Dance Council Hall of Fame.
At his home in New York City, John and I compared & contrasted the worlds of Lindy Hop & West Coast Swing, and spoke about how a broken ankle effectively ended his professional ballet career while simultaneously leading him to experience two white-hot periods of swing in NYC: Lindy Hop at The Cat Club in the 1980's and West Coast Swing at North River Bar in the 1990's.
We also discussed the many different sounds that we love to DJ and dance to, reminisced about our friend Dawn Hampton, uncovered John's unabashed love of disco and the direct parallels he sees between the swing and disco eras, and delved into John's professional advice for women when choosing the best bra for swing dancing.