More than a two-step
Students in PLU’s Swing Club dance to improve their skills and make friends.
The club brings together new and experienced members who share a common love for dance so they can learn from one another.
“I just showed up and fell in love,” said senior English major Jen Jepsen.
Jepsen came to a meeting her first year at PLU and hasn’t looked back since. This year, Jepsen is the club’s secretary and helps teach new moves at their weekly meetings.
“You don’t need to be able to dance well to come in and have fun,” Jepsen said. “We take people who have been dancing for years and people who started dancing that night.”
Our goal is “breaking down that stereotype of, ‘oh I don’t want to dance,’ or, ‘oh I can’t dance,’” Jepsen said.
Getting new dancers to come makes it all the more exciting, said Jepsen.
“It was fun to get beginners in there,” Jepsen said after their first dance of the year in October. “They all came ready to have fun and meet new people. We had them dancing by the end of the night.”
That night, the group danced to classics, like “Don’t Let Go”, “King of Swing”, “In the Mood”, “Sing Sing Sing” and “Daddy-O.”
These dances are a time for club members and other PLU students to show off the moves they have been learning all month.
So far this year, the group has been working on open and inside turns, and the hammerlock, bow tie, peek-a-boo, and the tunnel.
They learn these moves at their weekly meetings on Monday nights. Club leaders teach new moves during the first half hour and then members are free to dance.
There are about 15 active members who show up each week, but this number changes during the semester, especially around midterms, said club president and senior communication major Linnea Anderson.
Swing Club members also get to test their new found skills in grand settings like the trip they took to the Century Ballroom in Seattle.
“It’s not as scary as people might think,” Jepsen said. “It’s a fun to place to meet people and share a common love of dance.”