Mother City Hop

Globetrotting swing dancers creating memorable connections.

When we first sat down to start brainstorming Mother City Hop in 2015, we had to make a decision about whether it would be a really small event, with just one or two international teachers and mainly local participants, or whether we'd go big and have more teachers, try to attract more international participants, and put the Cape Town scene on the map. Although the scene had grown since Boogie Back Dance Co. opened its doors three years prior, three couples on the dance floor felt like a lot. We wanted to connect to the rest of the global swing community, but since few of our dancers were able to travel overseas, we figured we'd invite the world to us. We launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise the funds – and with amazing support from lindy hoppers all over the world, we were able to make Mother City Hop a reality. Each year since then, about half of the event participants have been from other countries – at our last event, we welcomed dancers from 29 countries.

Swing dancing has a beautiful way of connecting people. In the last few years, the Cape Town Swing community has grown in size and in spirit: we've developed lasting friendships within the scene and our dancers are traveling to other events. Mother City Hop has been a big driver of this growth, inspiring dancers in our city and building connections to other scenes. We're learning more about the local history of swing music and swing dancing through the Echoes of Sophiatown project, uncovering a treasure trove of music and stories that might otherwise be lost.

The next edition...

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition of Mother City Hop was brought to a quick halt, and transformed into an online learning experience. We were tentatively hopeful about a 2021 edition, however with ongoing uncertainties about future Coronavirus cases, and the associated health and financial risks, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel MCH 2021.

If you happen to be travelling to South Africa, however, please get in touch: we would love to welcome you to our swing dance community.



Author

  • Muriel Gravenor

    Muriel discovered lindy hop in 2013 via a friend – she was hooked and for the next year, took as many classes as she could pack into the week. Her interest in scene building (and later, teaching) was ignited after attending an international lindy hop event for the first time, in Istanbul. Besides working with the Cape Town Swing team, Muriel also freelances in various things – and always has something brewing.