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I’m writing here from a place of brilliant exhaustion. Like most of the Toronto lindy hop scene, I spent this weekend at the Toronto University eXchange, or TUX, the annual dance event put on by our good friends at the University of Toronto Swing Dance Club. The 6th edition of TUX was Alice-in-Wonderland themed, and the organizers really brought you down the rabbit hole and into a new world.

Having organized the very first TUX back in 2008 — an event that was thrown together in two months by latching onto two dances that were already planned, and adding late-nights, a board game social, and (at the very last minute) a Sunday brunch — it was an incredible experience for me to see just how much this event has grown and matured. From the 300 people who packed two floors of Dovercourt House on Saturday night, to the first ever “networking” brunch where a mad Mad Hatter called for us to CHANGE PLACES so we could meet all of the attendies from out of town, to the phenomenal Jack and Jill (seamlessly shifted from Friday to Saturday night to avoid the 80-car pile-up on the 401), TUX 6 was a weekend that has come into its own and that the entire Toronto lindy hop community — not to mention the UT-Swing executive who pulled it all together — should be extremely proud of.

Not least because through all of the expansion — introducing workshops, a second brunch, and even having to cap registration, all for the first time ever — the organizers still preserved the soul of the event, a dance exchange where people from all over Ontario and beyond can become instant friends and enjoy a fun, laid-back dance experience together. And the dance experience here was second to none.

If you’re looking to keep the TUX spirit going in the weeks and months to come, the place to start would be UT-Swing’s weekly dances, every Wednesday night. But you should also know that the broader Toronto swing community runs its own spectacular lindy hop exchange, the Frankie Manning Tribute Weekend from May 24-26. Registration is already open at . Toronto Lindy Hop will be running the Friday night dance and supporting the rest of the weekend, one which will feature Chazz Young (Frankie’s son, and a great dancer and teacher in his own right) and Gordon Webster (a Toronto native now based in New York, who leads one of the top swing bands in North America).  So keep the exchange vibe going and we will see you all soon!

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