Promoting Swing Dancing
and Live Swing Music
in the Triangle Region

About TSDS

Triangle Swing Dance Society is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that promotes swing dance and live swing music in the Triangle area. We promote education, lessons, dances and other swing-related events.

TSDS has been formally producing swing dances since 1994 (!) and many of the founders organized dances for a few years before that.

 

It is important for you to read the TSDS Code of Conduct.

 

We asked our nominees for the December 2017 board of directors election to tell the community about themselves (5 nominees for 5 seats):

Melissa Graf MELISSA GRAF

I have lived in North Carolina for more than 20 years, after growing up in southern Maine. I am a 2016 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work graduate program, and am a Licensed Clinical Social Work Associate (LCSWA). I work for a local non-profit Hospice serving terminally ill patients and their loved ones, and find this work to be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. My husband and I live in Chapel Hill with our two sons, both high school students and our daughter, currently in 8th grade. Rolling up carpets at home to make space to dance and teach the kids new dance steps that we learn along the way is a regular occurrence, and sometimes one, two or all three of the kids can even be found alongside us at TSDS events!
I fell in love with swing dancing immediately about 3 years ago when my husband and I decided on a whim to attend a TSDS event. Being married to a person with an extensive dance background, I was intimidated, but we soon discovered that swing was something we could learn and refine together, and it has become an important part of our family life and marriage. The many dances we have attended are quality entertainment, and provide an inclusive space where people of different backgrounds, ages, interests, cultures and abilities have a rare opportunity to find common ground – and then dance all over it! It would be my privilege and honor to work alongside others to support this incredible community.
PAUL GRAF

Dance has been a part of my life in one way or another since I saw a boy dancing on Mr. Rodgers when I was three. I started doing Scottish Highland dance in grade school and then ballet and modern dance in high school. I was introduced to swing dancing while in New York attending SUNY Purchase for dance performance in the late 90’s, however I didn’t fall in love with it until much later.
After my time in New York I completed a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail, hiking more than 2000 miles in six months, from Georgia to Maine. This experience led to my working at the Durham Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) store in several capacities, including Community Outreach Specialist, Event Planner, and Outdoor School Instructor.
In 2012 I returned to college to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree. Along the way I met my wife Melissa while taking a course at our community college. We attended a TSDS class as a fun evening out and both fell in love with swing dancing. I loved that it reconnected me with a joy of dance that I thought I had lost, and Melissa loved that in spite of all my prior experience, it was just as challenging for me to learn as it was for her. We continue to enjoy taking classes together as well as teaching what we have learned to our three teenaged kids, who are pretty good sports and only roll their eyes a little.
I am excited for the opportunity to serve on the board of the TSDS and to give back to the dance community that has given me so much, as well as to spread this fun and quirky dance form to as many new people as possible.
JORDAN LEINO

Briefly tell us about yourself. I’m a musician, graphic designer, IT manager, dancer, daddy of 2 cute kids, from Tampa FL, and a huge Florida Gators fan.
Why do you want to be on the board of TSDS? I want to help serve this community of people/dancers and see this organization thrive and grow! I enjoy seeing others catch a passion for swing dancing!
What do you want people to know about you? That I want to dance with them! I like to have fun. If you’re not smiling, you’re not doing it right. 🙂
DOUG NOËL

My name is Doug Noël, and I am very passionate about swing dancing! I started dancing in Richmond, Virginia. I taught weekly lessons for the VCU swing club for two years as a volunteer, and taught workshops at JMU, Virginia Tech and App State. Last year, I moved to the Triangle, and my first night I went dancing at a local dance at the Stag’s Head bar.
Since coming to town, I’ve started DJing at TSDS dances every other month, and DJing at the Lindy Lab every month. I also restarted the lessons at the Lindy Lab, where I’ve been teaching East Coast, Lindy Hop and Balboa. For the last year I’ve been helping to produce the TSDS dances and have been teaching a number of the beginner drop-in lessons. When TSDS had their workshop this year, I was asked to teach the Lindy track. I have also been hired by the Duke Swing club to teach workshops for the last two years.
It has been a great experience meeting many other passionate dancers and enjoying the live music not only at TSDS, but other local venues with local dancers. One of my goals has been to spread the joy of swing dancing where ever I go. To that end, I started organizing two smaller dances with a partner, taking over the Stag’s Head dance, and adding a dance at the Quarter Horse. This experience with Facebook advertising, hiring DJs, bands and teachers has given me experience in reaching out to the community and find out what pulls people in.
I would like to be on the board of TSDS because I want to further that spreading of dance joy. I am new to the area and passionate about dancing, teaching and growing our scene. I’ve experienced many of the inner workings of TSDS, volunteering in every position available, and I want to take my experience and help make TSDS better.
Foremost, I’m interested in dancer retention. We do a great job of getting new dancers to come. I am interested in seeing what we can do to increase and measure the return of newer dancers.
Some issues facing TSDS are its difficulty in getting desk volunteers and producer volunteers, and the equity of compensation for teachers and producers. While the board informs me that the compensation issue is being reviewed, I would like to be involved in that discussion. TSDS is a wonderful volunteer organization, with a rich history of being served by quality individuals, and I would like to volunteer my time to keep TSDS going strong.
MELISSA TOWNE

I am a teacher in the Chapel Hill school system and I am from Charlotte. I have been dancing for two years. I am very grateful to the community for teaching me and welcoming me. I would like to join the board because dancing has brought me a lot of joy and friendships and I would like to be able to contribute meaningfully. I have been grateful to be able to come and hear great music and enjoy great dances and would like to help support the continuation of an organization that has been important to me since I began dancing. I am happy to contribute in whatever capacity is needed.
It seems that the issues facing TSDS are sustaining community support so that the frequency of the dances can be sustained. I think it’s also important to continue to ensure that dances are safe spaces for everyone.

 

A note on TSDS scope:

The focus of the current and last many years’ TSDS boards of directors is on dances that have characteristics for swing jazz music, like East Coast Swing, Charleston, Lindy Hop, etc. We need to draw the line somewhere, and we choose to focus on (and be the go-to home of local information for) dance styles for swing jazz music.

On our Facebook wall, it is our aim to maintain a stream of information that is pretty-strictly relevant to the swing jazz dances (and the music and culture), and we request that posts stay within this scope.

It is fantastic that people (including many of the TSDS organizers) also enjoy other dance styles, and we recognize that dancing multiple styles creates better all-around dancers. It’s also true that people interested to get information for other dance styles like Blues, Contra, Shag, Waltz and West Coast Swing can connect to it elsewhere on the internet. (And, people who do follow multiple dance styles don’t need or want to see the same information re-posted several times on each of the groups to which they belong.)

The TSDS website calendar and newsletter authors, subject to their discretion and bandwidth, sometimes dedicate space and energy to offering paths to other local dancing.

A note on some fringes: Local music events for rockabilly and jump blues are in scope, since a number of our members enjoy dancing ECS or Lindy to it, and the beat usually swings (part of the beat rhythm is slightly late).

 

Questions? Want to get involved? Contact us at tsds.nc@gmail.com.

 

Although not directors in the board, know that there are many other individuals who perform vital roles for the functioning of TSDS!

 

Please meet our current board of directors:

Triangle_Swing_Red  Name Roles Term
Marc P1050627 Tiffany Linquist Co-President
2016-2017
Joan Pharr
Co-President 2016-2017
 KirkEisenbeis Kirk Eisenbeis Treasurer,
DJ & Venue Coordinator
2017-2018
Kate Anzinger
Secretary
2017-2018
  Dan Tullis Instructor Coordinator
2016-2017
Catherine Walvoord
Producer Coordinator
2017-2018
Jordan Leino
Facebook Events 2016-2017
Micki McCarthy
2017-2018
Susan Jennings Email Newsletter 2017-2018
(open seat)

2016-2017
Andrew Wilson Desk Volunteer Coordinator 2017-2018