Kellie and Chris, Wednesday Night Swing


“I needed a place that would not just accept, but celebrate my unique and pleasant awkwardness, and Wednesday Night Swing has been that place.”


Husband and wife Kellie and Chris.

Meet Kellie and Chris. They are part of the local organization, Fresno Swing Dance. They also teach beginning and intermediate Lindy Hop lessons every Wednesday night at Studio 65.  There is no need to RSVP nor do you need a dancing partner!



Lindy Hop, also known as the jitterbug, is a form of swing dance. This social dance consists of a constant 8-count and is not as bouncy as its name implies. The dance originated in the 1920s in Harlem and combines African and European dance traditions. You can watch a video of local Lindy Hop dancers dancing here.



Regulars of Wednesday Night Swing have successfully spread the word of this joyous event.


Married couple Kellie and Chris moved from Santa Cruz to Fresno in 2008. Kellie says Santa Cruz had a vibrant swing dance scene. When she moved to Fresno, however, it was difficult for her and her husband to find swing-related events in the area. They were comfortable with swing dancing and did not want to dabble too much with other dances. Kellie says she decided to teach Lindy Hop to introduce more people to the dance she loved.

Kellie and Chris started teaching six-week long lessons to regulars of Wednesday Night Swing, Lauren and Loren. Only three people signed up for their first string of Lindy Hop lessons. After that, Kellie and Chris decided to welcome drop-ins every Wednesday night starting January of last year. They have gained an ever-growing group since then.



Kellie and Chris like to celebrate special events by forming a "jam circle." People had the chance to dance with Kellie and Chris in celebration of the couple's fifth wedding anniversary.

You might have seen Kellie and Chris giving swing lessons to attendees of the Alien Fashion Show at The Starline earlier this month. I was thrilled that Fresno was hosting a swing event and was eager to go. I was unable to attend this 21 and over event, however, due to my age. When I felt the need to complain on twitter, Loren, a long-time Lindy Hop dancer, introduced me to Wednesday Night Swing.

I dove into Lindy Hop last week. Kellie and assistant, Crispulo, started the lesson dancing a typical routine of Lindy Hop. Though their dancing was impressive, the routine looked incredibly complicated. They spent the rest of the lesson breaking the dance apart into tiny, basic building blocks.

All of the intermediate and beginning dancers danced in a circle for my first lesson. The female dancers rotated around the circle and was introduced to a new partner after each step was taught. By the end of the night, I had the chance to meet every classy gal and fella there. The mix between the new comers and the regulars seemed intimidating at first, but the intermediate dancers did a great job at pointing out the common errors of beginning dancers. They were also willing to give me advice on how to improve my dancing. Kellie, Crispulo and Chris were very patient with lefties stuck in a right-handed world, like myself.

After the lesson, Chris and Kellie turned on their playlist of upbeat jazz music. Everyone was left to take a break, socialize or practice what they learned. The most exciting part was when Kellie concluded the night by improvising a dance routine to a particular song and everyone mimicked her body movement. I even learned to do the Charleston while following the beat of the music!




You can meet Lauren, pictured with husband Loren, almost every Wednesday night. She is involved with several organizations, such as Creative Fresno and the Frebby Awards.


Most of the regulars of Wednesday Night Swing are young adults interested in spreading the excitement of swing music. One of the regulars is Lauren, the wife of Loren. Lauren was introduced to Kellie and Chris when she requested Lindy Hop lessons as a birthday present.

Lauren says the salsa scene is live and well in Fresno. She felt she didn’t fit in with the salsa scene, unlike Lindy Hop. “I needed a place that would not just accept, but celebrate my unique and pleasant awkwardness,” Lauren says, “and Wednesday Night Swing has been that place.”

Lauren and Loren had the wonderful chance to Lindy Hop at their wedding in April of 2010. Lauren has participated in Wednesday Night Swing on a regular basis ever since. “Lindy Hop’s buoyant upbeat style and focus on improvised social dance is what keeps me coming back,” Lauren says.



Regulars, Matt and Sarah, got married last month! They had live music as Kellie and Chris taught guests how to swing.




Fresno Swing Dance is planning on creating more swing-related events in the Fresno area. They hope to make the area a more vibrant place for swing dance and music. These plans include live swing music, such as in Bass Lake next month, and monthly swing nights at local clubs. They are searching for more local bands and venues willing to participate in future swing events. The ladies of Wednesday Night Swing are putting together a day of shopping at local thrift stores in search of more dresses perfect for dancing! You can “like” Fresno Swing Dance for more information and updates.




You can participate in this lovely event for a very reasonable price!


When: Every Wednesday Night. Lessons are from 7:00 to 8:15 pm. The floor is open to dancing from 8:15 to 9:30 pm.

Where: 2965 Moroa Ave., Fresno CA (south of Shields).

Cost: $8 for the lesson and the dance. If you’re already a pro, you can skip the lessons and attend the dance for $5. Students, with a valid ID, receive a discount!



Have a lovely day in Fresno!

Veronica Stumpf







5 Responses to “Kellie and Chris, Wednesday Night Swing”
  1. Loren Nikkel says:

    Great writeup! We want as many people to join the Lindy Hop scene so we can keep on dancing!

  2. Awesome, Veronica! We LOVE all the unique, fun people who show up for Lindy Hop-that’s a huge part of why we teach this dance. Somebody just posted this movie trailer on our FB page, and I love how it speaks to the awesome, geeky fun that can be found at any Lindy dance around the country or the world-including right here in Fresno at Wednesday Night Swing!

  3. Holly Martin says:

    Humboldt girl grows up to dance her heart out in the Valley! I’ve know Kellie since High School, and her heart was in dancing way back then. We did not have a drill team at our little MHS, but we did have a Cheerleading squad, and Kellie and I were on the squad together our Senior year. It was always SO much fun creating the dance portions of the routines with those who were super creative, and Kellie was at the top of that list! I will Kellie and Chris the BEST of luck with Wednesday night swing, and may you be healthy enough to dance forever:) Hugs to Kellie!~ Hollyanne

  4. Janelle says:

    What a hot picture of Kelly & her hubby!

  5. Samantha Alibrando says:

    Great article! Wednesday night swing class is a great opportunity to learn the basics of Lindy Hop, and then to advance a little more each week. I love Chris and Kellie’s class and their enthusiasm and love for Lindy Hop is so contagious. Not only are they fantastic teachers, but they are also warm, friendly people who happen to be two of the best swing dancers I have ever seen. Check out the class, you won’t regret it.

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