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10 years ago, Dave and Eileen Ewing were spectators.  They attended concerts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and watched as the other couples danced the night away.  They wanted to join in, but there were two things standing in their way.  First, they didn’t know how.  And second, Eileen was exhausted.  She eventually found out she had chronic fatigue syndrome.  It was so bad, she couldn’t even walk up the steps in her home.
 
“My doctor told me I would eventually be bed ridden if I didn’t make some drastic changes,” Eileen says.
 
“Exercise, he said, has to be a priority.”
 
Eileen hated gyms and had no interest in sports. But then, she remembered those dancing couples… gliding across the floor as if they were in the happiest place on earth.  That, she thought, was the answer.
 
Eileen and Dave signed up for lessons.  Lindy Hop Swing was fast-paced and up-beat, so Eileen knew she would get a good workout.  After the first lesson, not only was she feeling energized, but she was also hooked.  And so was her husband.   They eventually started a group called the Central Pennsylvania Swing Dance Club and danced 3 times a week with dozens of other couples.
 
When they moved to Washington, DC a few years later, they joined a group there.  That’s where they learned how big Lindy Hop really is… one venue in particular filled to capacity at 860 people.  Eileen even danced with 93-year-old Frankie Manning, one of the first Lindy Hop Swing dancers.  Lindy Hop Swing was no longer just something to do… it was a passion.
 
Fast forward 10 years.  The Ewings made their way to Savannah in December.  They could hardly wait to find out what the historic city offered in the Lindy Hop Dance realm… after all, Lindy Hop Swing has been around since the late 1920’s. 
 
Their anticipation was quickly thwarted.  There was no Lindy Hop group.  There was no Lindy Hop dance venue.  They didn’t know anyone, so starting a group from scratch seemed impossible.
 
Then, one night, they went out to dinner and afterwards, decided to go for a walk.  They came up on a jazz club that was playing some great music… music that would pair great with Lindy Hop.  Just like the couples they sat and watched 10 years prior… they were now the ones dancing the night away.  They were no longer the spectators.
 
After going out a few different nights, Dave and Eileen began to meet other couples who were also familiar with Lindy Hop Swing.  In just one month, they formed their own group, called the Savannah Swing Cats.  They how have 20-25 people in the group and they meet every Thursday night at Kokopellis Jazz Club on West Broughton Street in Savannah.   The Swing Cats even have an official website in the works.
 
“I do Lindy Hop not just because I love it, but also because of my health.  I couldn’t even walk up my steps before I started dancing.  Now, I can walk steps forever,” Eileen says.
 
Dave and Eileen Ewing will be the guest speakers for the Renaissance Lecture Series held by Magnolia Manor on the Coast.  The event, titled “Lindy Hop Swing:  Then and Now” is slated for March 13th.
 
Each month, Magnolia Manor hosts the Renaissance Lecture Series at its Richmond Hill campus.   The event begins at 5:30 and includes a light supper.  After the guest concludes his/her speech, a question and answer session follows.  The event is free and open to the public, but guests are asked to RSVP by calling Julie Gartside at (912) 756-4300.
                                                                                     
Magnolia Manor on the Coast, located in Richmond Hill, is a non-profit, active, rental retirement community for seniors age 62 and older.   It offers 120 one and two-bedroom apartment homes with full kitchens and patios.   Located on 40 wooded acres, Magnolia Manor offers stimulating social and cultural activities and has amenities such as a wellness center with indoor exercise pool, barber and beauty salon, library and media center, game and activity rooms, three full-service dining rooms, as well as a formal parlor and chapel. 
                                                                                
For more information or to request a brochure, please call (912) 756-4300 or log on to www.magnoliamanor.com.
 

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