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Swing time: Thais go dancing in the streets

[NAKHON PATHOM] Dressed in top hats, vintage outfits and shiny shoes, hundreds of Thais grooved to swing music in a town more famous for its ancient Buddhist stupa.

More than 300 enthusiasts, including foreign dancers, came out for the shindig on a street in Nakhon Pathom, about an hour from Bangkok.

Thailand's swing dance community has grown in recent years and Sunday's street party was organised by a group called "Bangkok Swing," founded in 2011.

They have held three such parties in Nakhon Pathom and hope to make it an annual event.

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The group's co-founder Chayapong Naviroj, 29, said he discovered swing dancing while attending university in the US.

"I wanted to dance and it's a happy dance with swing music," he said.

"Humans like to dance. Humans like to touch. Humans like music. It can go on forever."

Nakhom Pathom is home to Phra Pathom Chedi, one of Thailand's most revered Buddhist structures, which loomed in the distance as the dancers stomped to music by bands The Shirt Tail Stompers from the UK and the US-based Casey Macgill & Friends.

"It's just meeting people, beautiful people.... Having really beautiful music and it's just great fun actually," said Kris Asvanon, a 61-year-old creative consultant based in Bangkok.

Nan Kitnichee, a 33-year-old art director also from Bangkok, said she enjoyed the event's throwback theme.

"We dress up just to pay respect to the culture and how people in the old days dressed up very nicely and went social dancing," she said.

AFP