By Jenna Bunescu | Staff Writer
Whitworth University’s Swing and Ballroom Dance Club organizes regular events that bring people together to learn and practice distinctive styles of swing steps, such as West Coast, East Coast and country.
This club was originally approved in 1999 and has been organizing dances each month of the school year since. Their most popular dance is the masquerade in November, which normally gathers over 100 people. They also organize workshops centered on teaching swing choreographies.
They organize about 16 events per year which include both dances and workshops, both being open to anyone.
The Swing and Ballroom Dance club kicked this year off with a welcome back dance last Friday in the Hixson Union Building (HUB) Multi-Purpose Room (MPR), named “Back into the Swing of Things.”
With a group of about 40 people, they were able to learn classic swing basics and socialize. Since may people were there for the first time it was a chance to learn a lot of “cool moves,” said the president of the club, Michael St. Marie.
The instructors first explained the moves, letting people implement the moves into their dancing to classic swing music in pairs and groups. People were cheerful and laughter resounded throughout the room. The social atmosphere was “happy and uplifting,” said first-year student Alex Troyer. “Moderately cash money,” he added.
The club decorated the HUB MPR with string lights. There were also a few tables with snacks and water bottles. “The room look[ed] fantastic,” said first-year student Bennett Johnson.
The experience is designed to give people more “confidence in social settings” and let them take part in an “art form” that “not everyone has the chance to experience in their normal life,” said St. Marie. “It’s okay to not know what you’re doing when you show up” since “everyone is nervous,” he said. Sophomore Sarah Mott called it a “wonderful way to break the ice.”
St. Marie said there are several events coming up including a Harvest Hoedown dance in October and a jazz themed event in December, to name a few.