Students swing into new trend

Students swing into new trend

Lauren Effertz, Staff Writer

Swing dancing, a style of dance whose widespread popularity has diminished since the days of big band music, is emerging as a dance of choice among some BSM students. With a social dance class now offered as a wellness option and a jazzy local swing dancing hot spot available, a group of students has cropped up with the hope of bringing swing back.

Some students look at the quick, unchoreographed form of dance with a certain apprehension, afraid it will be too hard to learn. “I started swing dancing the summer of my junior year. It was so intimidating to start, but the Caves have an amazing atmosphere, which made it more fun to learn and easier to loosen up,” said senior Casey Nightingale, in reference to the Wabasha Caves in Saint Paul, which offer swing dancing lessons every Thursday followed by a dance session with live music.

Many of the students who’ve tried swing dancing share Nightingale’s sentiments. “My favorite thing about swing dancing is that it is honestly so easy, but can look so cool,” said senior Brennan Gensch.

Swing dancing is a great activity to break away from the monotony of social outings with friends and dates. “Its a great way to meet friends and take someone on a date––way more fun than sitting through a movie where you can’t talk,” said senior Emily Boole, who has been swing dancing “ever since [she] could walk.”

Even though swing dancing is predominantly improvised, there are set moves that make learning simpler. In some cases, the most impressive-looking moves are really the easiest. “There is a move called the ‘The Pretzel’ which is everyone’s favorite. It is fun and fast, and looks incredibly difficult, but is actually quite easy…and makes you look like a pro right away,” said senior Katie Baudler.

These students encourage others to go and give swing dancing a try. “It’s something you can always do; there are people at the Caves that move like they’re 20 but are probably close to 80. You can always learn new moves and teach your friends, plus it looks cool,” said Nightingale.

And while swing dancing isn’t as popular among most guys, Gensch said, “If you’re a guy it will totally impress the ladies.”

“I think that more people should try swing dancing because it has something for everyone. There are many different kinds of swing and so many moves that there is always something at every level of difficulty. It’s something worth trying. Everyone that has come with me has liked it so far,” said Baudler.