Čakovec is a small town in Međimurje County, situated in northern Croatia, just about hour and a half drive from Zagreb. A few weeks ago, we were kindly invited to a concert combined with social dance party in their City Café, organized by Big Band Čakovec – a band which slowly builds its reputation with high quality gigs and carefully chosen songs, suitable and played for dancers. This was actually the first time we went to their concert and it was really a special experience – it’s always an impressive sight, to see all this musicians at one place and listen to their interpretation of songs that you usually hear just as studio recordings – some of them are just meant to be played this way.
We picked up a few of our swing friends and went for a little road trip / excursion. At that time, the city was full of tourists due to their famous annual cultural event – Porcijunkulovo (don’t even try to spell this right), so we went for a little sightseeing before the concert. The whole street where booths were installed was decorated with floating colorful umbrellas, which is their trademark.
Our Mario and Andrea from Back to Swing held a short workshop, teaching some basic lindy hop steps. Everyone could join in, but only a few really brave did – most of the people were stuck in their comfort zone, watching others, but you can’t learn a lot from watching. We always try to encourage people to break the ice and give it a try – maybe you’ll find it amusing, maybe you won’t, but the first step is always on you. Let me put it this way – it’s not easy to amuse and animate complete strangers, but every „yes“ is a big reward for someone who’s trying to pull you out of the chair
As the party started, Filip Horvat, the leader of the Big Band Čakovec announced some great news – from now on you can expect more frequent events like this! Besides that, two dance teachers from Čakovec in collaboration with Back to Swing are starting their lindy hop lessons in autumn, so if you’re from the hood and you liked what you saw – join in! No excuse this time! Especially when you have such a great place where you can dance – as we learned, City Cafe used to be a hit place in 20s and 30s of the last century, where dancers demonstrated their dancing skills and bands were playing as well. Thanks to the enthusiasm of a few people, this place is about to become a dance floor again and the Big Band Čakovec will take us back to the golden age of swing and jazz. So, as a future swing dancer, it’s your historical obligation to be there
You can get more information on their Facebook page, and we could definitely get used to this big band sound… See you in Čakovec!
Thanks Big Band Čakovec for the photos!