For many College students, dancing consists of sweaty grinding to the latest hot jam in an overcrowded club. But now, a group of students is taking dance back to the days of jazz music and swing dancing.
While some students might shy away from swing dancing because of a lack of experience or self-consciousness, Mike Milazzo, vice president of Swing Club, assures “no experience is necessary to become a member of the club.”
Milazzo believes “everyone can develop rhythm” in order to to excel at swing dancing and find their own style.
Several different dances actually encompass the general category of swing dancing, including the Lindy Hop, Charleston, Blues and Balboa. Each dance has different etiquettes that dictate the manners partners display on the dance floor.
Weekly lessons are held Thursday nights on the second floor dance studio in Packer Hall from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The club travels to Philadelphia every Tuesday night to dance with other college students at Lindy and Blues, a swing dance nightclub.
Here, students flaunt their fancy footwork, practicing moves they learned on- campus. Luckily for beginners, Lindy and Blues provides additional lessons for novice dancers one hour before the Swing Club members take the floor. With a cover charge of merely $5, Milazzo emphasizes that the club’s trips to Philadelphia are truly “experiences that differ greatly from those that people are faced with in their everyday lives.”
Milazzo explains that “consistency is the key to swing dancing success … with dedication and practice, students can master the art of the dance and make it a part of their lives.”
According to Milazzo, most students who become involved with Swing Club discover their fellow dancers become a second family. They establish close ties to their dance partners and find a common interest in the art and style of swing dancing.
The weekly trips and lessons provide students with a chance to make new friendships and learn a great deal about the culture of the swing dance community, both on- and off-campus.