Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just dance: Swing Club members meet to express love of swing dance

By Kelsey Hilmes, Guest Writer

Pacific Lutheran’s Swing Club brings the Jitterbug and Blues out of students.

Swing Club strives to provide a casual environment for learning swing and to promote a love of dancing, several club members said.

Roughly 15 members meet regularly Monday nights at 9:15 p.m. in The Cave to practice their moves.

“For some people, dancing is outside of their comfort zone because of the social interaction or because they think they can’t dance,” Swing Club member senior Jen Jepsen said, “but everyone can dance.”

At a typical meeting, Swing Club members take turns teaching a new move, building on skills learned in prior lessons.

Lessons are kept to around 30 minutes depending on the difficulty of the move. Dancers are then given time to practice on their own.

The Swing Club also hosts monthly dances in The Cave. These dances fall either on the first or last Monday of every month and last about two hours. The dances focus on whatever style of swing the club members request.

Dance themes have included such titles as “black and white and blues all over.”

Jepsen and senior Jayde Huggard were hesitant to join Swing Club as first-years.

“I walked in not knowing a thing,” Jepsen said.

Huggard has taken more than nine dance classes at PLU.

“A friend forced me to come to the meeting, and turns out I really liked it and I kept coming,” Huggard said.

Swing Club member senior Linnea Anderson said that they are planning to tackle Lindy Hop style and Blues style soon. Lindy Hop is also known as the Jitterbug, according to dancing.org.

“The blues is like a sexy swing,” Anderson said. “It’s slower and you feel the music more.”

Anderson said the relationship between musicality and the Blues is “adding small gestures.”

There's a consensus that new members can come to a meeting and pick up a basic swing by the end of the night.

“There are no wrong moves, just new moves,” Jepsen said. “Dance gets inside you and you can’t stop once you start. It just becomes a passion.”