Swing into the Atomic Ballroom for a night of nostalgia

I’m sort of a sap for all things nostalgic, and, sometimes the plethora of antique malls in the Orange Plaza is just not enough to satiate my need for oldies-but-goodies. I grew up listening and playing jazz music, but as I entered college my workload prevented me from really continuing my passion for it. That is until I discovered that Chapman offers a dance course in Lindy-Hop swing.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not the most uncoordinated person, but this class is accessible for even the most left-footed clutz out there (I’m referring to myself, here). One of our assignments for the semester is to go out dancing with strangers, which was an absolutely terrifying idea until I visited Atomic Ballroom in Irvine.

Atomic is a great place for anyone who’s interested in jazz, swing, rock-a-billy or all of the above to indulge on a Friday night. I know what you’re thinking. “A swing dancing club? Who am I going to dance with, Mickey Rooney?” I had my suspicions about the patrons of the place, too. I was pleasantly surprised, and relieved, that most Atomic regulars are under thirty years old. The ages do range, but don’t be afraid that you’re going to a retirement center. You’re far from it. Besides, the best dancers are the ones who were around when swing dancing was actually in style.

For $8 you can dance the night away (be sure to show them your Chapman I.D. so you can get that $2 student discount.) Some nights, if you’re lucky, there’ll be a live band (who’s players are from Chapman’s own faculty), in which case the price will go up $5. Trust me though; it’s still worth it.

I love Atomic because it gets me away from the Chapman community and interacting with people I wouldn’t get to meet otherwise. Thus far, I’ve danced with an engineer, a registered nurse, a high school drummer and a seventy-year-old car mechanic. It’s a ship of dancing fools.

If you haven’t taken the Lindy-Hop class, do, but if you want to get out there before next semester, you can find basic swing lessons all over Youtube or Atomic offers a basic introduction class before open dance for $15 (this includes the lesson and the dance). And when you get there, you’ll catch on, or should I say, “dance on?”

Atomic Ballroom


17961 Sky Park CircleSuite C, Irvine, CA 92614

(949) 250-3332

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