About Us

"We're a community of Swing Dance lovers in Saigon. We keep this jazz vintage dance art alive and kicking and you should be dancing with us! "

Who are Saigon Swing Cats (SSC)?

Saigon Swing Cats is a community of Swing dancers in Saigon since 2006 with the shared passion for Swing jazz, a Harlem-born culture from the 20s – 40s including the music, the dance, the vintage look with Michel Tosto and Catherine Tran relocating from Montreal, Canada and looking to share the dance to folks in Saigon. Since then, Saigon Swing Cats have grown to be a fun dancing community welcoming many, traveling to international dance festivals, participating in various performances in Saigon and organizing our own dance exchanges and festivals like Vietnam Lindy Exchange, Saigon Swing Fest, Swing Into Spring, Swing Meow Saigon Oi.

We have also participated in various public performances in Saigon: AmCham Vietnam’s Ball 2009, Poussieres De Vie's Kermesse Festival 2011 & 2012, Saigon Big Band's New Year Show in 2013, British Business Group Vietnam’s Roaring 20s Party 2016.

We usually dance on Wednesdays from 8.00pm - 11.30pm @ Sofitel Saigon hotel (17 Le Duan, D.1). See more info on Venues.

Please check for more instant updates on activities on our Facebook group and page just to be sure in case of last minute changes.

WANNA DANCE? Bạn muốn nhảy không? :-)

What is Swing dancing?

Swing dance is a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s–1940s, with the origins of each dance predating the popular "swing era". During the swing era, there were hundreds of styles of swing dancing, but those that have survived beyond that era include: Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and Charleston. Today, the most well-known of these dances is the Lindy Hop, which originated in Harlem, New York City within the African American community in the early 1930s.

(read Swing Dancing vs. Lindy Hop: What's the difference? by Michael Jagger & Evita Arce)

Why Cats?

Cat, or hepcat, is a slang used first by the Black Americans who love jazz music to address one another. Being a hepcat in the jazz era was a great thing to be. During the era, the Savoy Ballroom (1926 - 1958), dubbed 'Home Of The Happy Feet' in downtown Harlem, has an area near the bandstand called the Cats' Corner that was monopolized by the best and boldest dancers. In Cab Calloway’s 1939 Hepster’s Dictionary: Language of Jive, he defined the word hepcat as a guy or gal “who knows what it’s all about.” The hep prefix means “aware and up to date,” while the jazz slang suffix -cat refers to a lover of jazz music. By the late 1950s, hepcat was shortened to cat in common usage, and a decade later, cat was documented as an accepted title for a jazz musician.

We adopted the term Cats into our community name in 2009 because we kinda relate to how they are usually out at night, always landing on their feet, great at improvising with whatever and they always seem to know to have fun while being slightly aloof from society.

Saigon Swing Cats logo since 2022 by Trường Giang --> jang's work (@jangillus)

Story behind the logo

Stepping into the world of swing dancing in 2017 in Saigon, Giang, a freelance illustrator, originally wanted to surprise his girlfriend who already took swing dance lessons in Danang. After getting married in the witness of many Saigon Swing Cats, Giang decided to work on a new logo for the community with some ideas:

  • Jazz & cartoons: as almost any kid growing up in Vietnam in the 80s and 90s Giang got to see jazz first in animations like Tom & Jerry, Mickey Mouse, etc.

  • Vintage dressed Cats: even though it is not a rule but as Giang learns more about any dance culture, the music and the vibe it creates make vintage dressing give dancers better feel. And of course Cats because they always seem to know how to have fun!

  • Bến Thành market: calling Saigon his second home, there's nothing less obvious to add to the logo as the design of the market that has been here as long as the city.