Group Seeks to Bring Title for Largest Swing Dance Back to Michigan

Grand Rapids is famous for many things: being the home of President Gerald R. Ford, hosting ArtPrize, and the ever-flowing craft beers, just to name a few. The Grand Rapids Original Swing Society (GROSS) wants to put the city in the spotlight for another reason.

On July 19, GROSS will attempt to reclaim the title of Largest Swing Dance in the Guinness Book of World Records. Organizers say they need 1,200 dancers to beat the current record held by the Cowboy Country Swing Club in Laramie, Wyo. The Grand Rapids nonprofit group previously held the title from 2012 until April 2015.

“For three years we held the title,” notes GROSS founder Steve Zaagman in a press release. “Let’s put Grand Rapids back on top!”

You may recognize some of the friendly faces at the world record attempt if you ever attended swing dancing night on Tuesday in Rosa Parks Circle. GROSS has been hosting free community dance events for the past 11 years, and has grown exponentially since its beginning. Tuesday night dancing in the heart of downtown has become a popular activity for dancers of all ages and abilities.

Dancing has been shown to have countless health benefits, both physically and mentally. The upbeat swing music coupled with fast-paced steps are sure to make you break a sweat. The physical and social benefits of dancing make it the perfect activity to stay happy and healthy.

Want to get involved but worried you don’t have the moves to qualify? Don’t sweat it! The Grand Rapids Original Swing Society will offer lessons starting at 7 p.m on the day of the event. A full schedule for the event is provided on the GROSS Facebook page.

So you think you can help beat a world record? Stop by Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on July 19 to help Grand Rapids reclaim its world record-holder status.

Photo credit: Spitalfields_E1

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