Multi-day swing dance convention takes Ashland Hills ballroom by storm

ASHLAND, Ore. – From Thursday into the weekend, Oregonians and people from all over went to Ashland for one purpose: to swing dance until they couldn’t dance anymore.

A wide genre of music filled the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites ballroom as people stormed the dance floor for the 10-year anniversary SOswing Convention.

Dave Kahn is the event director of the multi-day convention and said, “we’re dancing literally all night long and I know when people hear me say ‘all night long,’ they think, ‘oh yeah maybe they’ll go until 2 or even 3.’ No, the sun will come up.”

Kahn said the convention has a lot to offer for all levels of swing dancers.

So, some people are definitely into the competition part and some people just come to… There’s a lot of workshops we do. So, you learn from pros, some people are just here social dancing. Some people do everything, I don’t know how they survive.

Dancers like Dr. Robin Miller said it’s for everyone and has a lot of benefits. “Partner dancing is really good for your brain,” Miller said. “It helps prevent Alzheimer’s. It’s really good for patients with movement disorders like Parkinson’s.”

The event focuses on west coast swing style, which means that a variety of music is played which uniquely allows dancers to express themselves; like NBC5 News alum and current KGW-TV in Portland morning anchor, Christine Pitawanich. She first got into it, years ago and hasn’t missed a SOswing convention since.

It was the fun. The fun that people were having. The connections they were making with each other, the art they were making on the dance floor. It was just all a culmination of everything. It’s just having fun with people on the dance floor. Not competitively or anything, no barriers just kind of having a good time and creating community with people.

For more information on the SOswing Convention, competition results and other swing dance opportunities, click here.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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