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Watch Grand Rapids swing dance group smash world record

It’s not unusual to see a thousand people hanging around and swing dancing at Rosa Parks Circle on any given Tuesday night in the summer. The Grand Rapids Original Swing Society(GROSS) has built a reputation as a fun, safe place for people to dance the night away.

Credit Lindsey Smith/Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Couples dress up and dress down during the Tuesday night swing dances.

Casey McCoy drove all the way from Delton, a small town fifty miles south of Grand Rapids to dance with his friends.

"I find this so amazing that there’s so many people not just like bobbing their heads or hopping up and down there’s actually people who know what they’re doing," McCoy said. "It's such a great atmosphere."

“I want to teach dance to the community and something fun for everyone. I want something so a 10-year-old can be out here and a 70-year old can be dancing to the same music," GROSS founder Steve Zaagman said.

Steve Zaagman started the group several years ago. Back then he says there was about 20 regulars that met up each week. It's grown every year.

“Seven, eight weeks ago someone came to me and said ‘Hey I looked up the largest swing dance and it’s only 292 people," Zaagman explained. "We are the largest in the world according to my estimate.”


Last night Zaagman’s group made it official, with more than 750 people swing dancing in unison for 5 minutes straight.

The record will need to be certified before it’ll appear in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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