Swinging into Community: The Story of Nac Swing Dance

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In the heart of Nacogdoches, Texas, a unique community has been flourishing, one swing step at a time. Nac Swing Dance, founded by Catie Munguia, isn’t just about dance; it’s about connection, history, and joy. This swing dancing community, offering lessons, social dance events, workshops, and performances, has become a vibrant part of the Texas Forest Country region.

A Dance of Passion and Purpose

Catie Munguia’s journey into the world of swing dancing began in 2006, in the very same Rec Center dance room in Nacogdoches where Nac Swing Dance now thrives.

“I really loved it,” Munguia recalls about her first encounter with swing dancing.

Her passion for the dance took her to Austin, where she became deeply involved in the swing dancing scene. However, upon returning to Nacogdoches in 2016, she realized something was missing — the swing dance community she loved. Inspired by swing dancing groups in Tyler and Rose City Swing in Longview, Munguia decided to bring swing dancing back to her hometown in February 2020.

Building More Than Just a Dance Community

What sets Nac Swing Dance apart is its commitment to building a community that extends beyond the dance floor.

“What we’re really doing here is building a community, and that extends well beyond Nacogdoches,” Munguia explains.

This initiative has led to connections with swing dancing groups in Tyler and Longview, creating a network of dancers that support and strengthen each other’s communities.

Dancing Through the Decades

Nac Swing Dance offers a variety of events and classes, from beginner swing dancing lessons followed by social dances to more intermediate level workshops. One of the signature events, Swing In The Streets, sees the community coming together to dance under the moonlight in downtown Nacogdoches.

“To me, it’s powerful to see my community coming together through dance,” Munguia says, highlighting the joy and playfulness that swing dancing brings to people’s lives.

A Legacy of Joy and Connection

Munguia’s vision for Nac Swing Dance is clear: to grow the community and create more opportunities for people to learn and enjoy swing dancing.

“This was never meant to be a personal project; I want this to become a community that is much larger than me!” she states.

With local teachers emerging and the community taking ownership, Nac Swing Dance is on its way to becoming a permanent fixture in the area’s cultural landscape.

Swinging Forward

Looking ahead, Munguia is excited about the possibility of expanding the East Texas Swingout event, a collaborative effort with swing groups in Tyler and Longview. This event symbolizes the growing interest in swing dancing and the potential for even greater community engagement.

A Dance for Everyone

Through Nac Swing Dance, Catie Munguia has not only revived swing dancing in Nacogdoches but has also created a space where everyone is welcome.

Nac Swing Dance stands as a testament to the power of dance to bring people together, fostering a sense of belonging and joy that transcends the dance itself.

“People are so hungry for connection,” she reflects, emphasizing the importance of a community where people can connect with each other and themselves.

Photos provided by Catie Munguia.

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