Get ready to swing! Carousel museum offers dancing with live music

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The Stanley Street Big Band will partner with Hartford Ballroom Dance Studio to bring swing dancing to the New England Carousel Museum this Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m. for lessons, followed by live music. (Submitted)
The Stanley Street Big Band will partner with Hartford Ballroom Dance Studio to bring swing dancing to the New England Carousel Museum this Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m. for lessons, followed by live music. (Submitted)

TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

Get ready to take a step back through time—the Stanley Street Big Band is returning to the New England Carousel Museum this weekend with special guest, Nate Evans of the Hartford Ballroom Dance Studio.

“There’s a lot of people that love to swing dance, so what they want to do is they bring in a dance instructor,” said Greg Hahn, a member of the Stanley Street Big Band, “For the first hour, they teach people how to swing dance. And then the band will play for a couple hours, so people can just have a good time, relax, and do what they know or what they learned.”

On Saturday, Jan. 25, the NECM will open its doors at 7 p.m. where interested individuals can learn how to swing dance made possible by Evans, a dance instructor from Hartford Ballroom Dance Studio. Evans will spend the first hour of the event conducting a swing dancing lesson. The next several hours will be dedicated to testing out new moves to the musical stylings of a 1940s era big band.

The Stanley Street Big Band was formed by Carl Knox (a jazz professor at Central Connecticut State University), Hahn (playing flugelhorn and trumpet), and Ryan Vacca (lead trumpet) in the wake of the Bristol Reunion Jazz Band.

“If you enjoyed and loved the Bristol Reunion Jazz Band, you’re going to love this group,” said Hahn.

Hahn explained that Stanley Street did a similar style performance at NECM this past fall, and while the crowd was small, they were dedicated to music reminiscent of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, and more. The positive response led Stanley Street to perform during the Carousel Museum’s “Roaring 20s” party held in honor of New Years.

“We’re trying to build on that, and it’s not for the benefit of the band—although we like to play—but it’s to get people into the Carousel Museum,” said Hahn. “I know there are people who came to these dances that had never seen the Carousel Museum before, so it’s that exposure; it also brings some money into the New England Carousel Museum.”

Tickets are on sale now, and are $20 for general admission, and $10 for military members and students with I.D. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting thecarouselmuseum.org.

The New England Carousel Museum is located at 95 Riverside Avenue in Bristol. To learn more about the museum, and to stay up to date on their upcoming events visit thecarouselmuseum.org.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at Entertainment@BristolObserver.com.