Swinginfusion Brings Dance Back to Downtown Farmington May 2

Officials give organizers an exception to city's noise ordinance on Thursday nights after school year ends.

A popular Thursday night swing dance group will return to the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion in downtown Farmington May 2, after dancing indoors all winter long. 

Alexander Steward, who organizes Swingfusion in Farmington, told city council members Monday that the group has been meeting at St. John Lutheran Church in Farmington Hills. He said dancers stay until 11:30 p.m. and would like to continue that schedule, requiring a waiver of the city's noise ordinance from the end of June through the end of August. 

"We've never really had any issues, and we'd love to stay out a little later," he said. 

The dances draw from 80 to 200 people, ages 15 to 30, on an average night; events open to the community bring out more people. Officials complimented the group on their record of good behavior and making sure the area was clean before they left. 

Council member Greg Cowley asked what provisions the group had in place for security. 

"Any time you've got 200 people in one location, you're going to have issues," he said. "We're probably lucky that we haven't had any." 

Steward said he and several other young adults are responsible for policing the events, and they have ejected people who brought in contraband. 

"Our goal is to have a safe environment for young adults," he said. 

Cowley said he was concerned that if a problem did arise, "you really don't have an ability that you can control that problem." He cast the lone vote against the group's permit and noise ordinance waiver. 

While Public Safety Director Bob Schulz also complimented the group, he said the later hour could "draw a different type of crowd." He asked that officials include a regular review of the agreement, which was approved as part of the permit. 

Steward said plans include another community-wide event with a live band in August. Learn more about Swinginfusion on the group's website

Greg Cowley April 16, 2013 at 01:28 PM
These events are the what the Downtown needs, however, the potential for growth based on its popularity this summer is my concern. A small miniority has the potential to ruin the gathering spot for our young people. The recent event at the Zap Zone is a wake up call that was managed by our Public Safety Department this time! Similar events planned in our downtown provide security and I believe is the responsible way to manage the risk. Greg Cowley


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