Swing DJ

My grandfather, grandmother, and aunt, circa 1947, Beaufort, NC

I love many types of music, but my true love is the music of the jazz age and swing era. I grew up listening to this music, not really paying attention to it, but listening to my grandfather as he raved about Sidney Bechet, Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Django Reinhardt, and on and on. I had no idea what he was talking about at the time, but as my musical taste for swing developed, starting in high school, I began to understand his excitement.

I started DJ’ing in 2001 as an undergraduate attending East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. I had a small collection of neo-swing and some big band CDs at the time, but quickly began expanding my collection. With the help of friends who gave me a chance and my earliest DJ mentor, Rob Moreland, I started DJ’ing swing dances outside of Greenville, then outside of the state.

While my grandfather is no longer with us, his music lives on through his extensive record collection which I have used in the past to DJ. It’s something I love to do, but DJ’ing with records is hard work, so I have a lot of respect for DJ’s who spin vinyl regularly!

Here is a list of some of the swing dance events I have DJ’ed:

All Balboa Weekend, Cleveland, OH

Bal-ast Off, Huntsville, AL

Bal Jam, Philadelphia, PA

California Balboa Classic, Newport Beach, CA

Camp Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

Eastern Balboa Championships, Raleigh, NC

International Lindy Hop Championships, Arlington, VA

Jammin’ on the James, Richmond, VA

Lindyfest and the Lone Star Championships, Houston, TX

Lindy Focus, Asheville, NC

Queen City Lindy Exchange, Charlotte, NC

Richmond Lindy Exchange, Richmond, VA

Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout, Denver, CO

Southern Belle Swing Bash, Atlanta, GA

Triangle Lindy Exchange, Durham, NC

Twin Cities Balboa Festival, Minneapolis, MN

Virginia Beach Lindy Exchange, Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Tech Lindy Exchange, Blacksburg, VA

I am a regular DJ at The Lindy Lab, a weekly swing dance held in Durham, NC and have also DJ’ed other local dances in Raleigh and Durham, NC.

If you are looking for an “official” DJ bio for your event, here is the one I use:

“Laura began DJ’ing in Greenville, NC in 2001 for the yet-to-be-formed ECU Swing Dance Club, chosen by default because she had the most swing CDs (which, at the time, was about 10). Since then, her music collection has expanded greatly to become a joyous selection of swinging music. She loves female vocalists, bouncy instrumental tunes, songs with lyrics that make her laugh, and, above all, hot trombone solos. ”

If you’d like to contact me about DJ’ing, please email me at caab241@hotmail.com.

December 31, 2015DSC_2020

Photograph courtesy of Hilary Mercer Photography.  Photoshop magic below courtesy of Erica Vess.